The Farm Hands honored in the Tennessee Senate

Keith Tew, Don Hill and Tim Graves of The Farm Hands, Tennessee Senator Kerry Roberts, and Daryl Mosley

Today was a big day for The Farm Hands, when the bluegrass quartet was invited to perform on the floor of the Tennessee Senate, and hear the reading of a proclamation honoring them for their success as musical ambassadors for the state of Tennessee.

The proclamation was sponsored by Senator Kerry Roberts of Springfield, TN.

Tim Graves, who plays reso-guitar with the band, said that they are all proud sons of the Volunteer State.

“We are so honored and humbled by both the proclamation and the opportunity to perform on Capitol Hill. We are proud to call Tennessee our home and thankful to be able to take a little bit of Tennessee to the places across the nation where we perform.”

The proclamation as read today in the state Senate says:


WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this legislative body recognize those artists who devote themselves to their craft, thereby enriching the lives of their fellow citizens; and

WHEREAS, The Farm Hands Bluegrass Quartet is one such group of artists, which was recently awarded Entertainer of the Year, Gospel Band of the Year, Album of the Year (Dig In The Dirt) and Song of the Year (Dig In The Dirt) honors at the 2017 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) awards, accolades most befitting this distinguished group of musicians; and

WHEREAS, Tim Graves, Daryl Mosley, Keith Tew, and Don Hill comprise The Farm Hands, the combined talents of whom are synergistic and have taken the group throughout the country and to various heights during their seven years together; and

WHEREAS, with over thirty years of experience in professional music, twenty of which were spent as part of the Grand Ole Opry, Grammy Award-winner Tim Graves has toured extensively across the United States, both as a sideman and with his own group; a master of the dobro, he has been nominated for SPBGMA’s Dobro Player of the Year every year since 2002, winning the honor an astounding twelve times; and

WHEREAS, a member of the Bluegrass Music Preservation Hall of Fame since 2015, Tim Graves received his Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album with The Great Dobro Sessions, a 1994 album that included Mr. Graves playing alongside other greats, including Josh Graves and Jerry Douglas; and

WHEREAS, referred to as a poet by gospel music icon Bill Gaither, Daryl Mosley is a multi-award-winning songwriter with songs featured on American Idol, The View, and True Hollywood Story; he has several No. 1 songs to his credit, including the southern gospel classic “(Ask the Blind Man) He Saw It All”; and

WHEREAS, prior to joining The Farm Hands, Mr. Mosley was the lead vocalist of the beloved bluegrass gospel group New Tradition and later performed for over a decade as part of the legendary Grand Ole Opry; he took home Songwriter of the Year honors from SPBGMA in 2016 and again in 2017, and he won SPBGMA’s Song of the Year award in 2006; and

WHEREAS, three-time Guitar Player of the Year nominee Keith Tew has toured with various acts, including High Strung, Vassar Clements of the Grateful Dead, and Rhonda Vincent, with whom he performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage; a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, he is a two-time SPBGMA Song of the Year award winner; and

WHEREAS, rounding out the group of four vocalists and virtuoso musicians is Don Hill, who has the distinction of being named state champion banjo player in several states, including Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee; a Tennessee native, he has worked with many major artists in bluegrass, including Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds, and he was a 2017 SPBGMA Banjo Player of the Year nominee; and

WHEREAS, as a unit, The Farm Hands have garnered many SPBGMA accolades; in addition to this year’s Entertainer of the Year, Gospel Group of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year awards, the group won Entertainer of the Year in 2015, Vocal Group of the Year in 2016, Gospel Group of the Year in 2015 and 2016, and Album of the Year for In A Country Town in 2014; and

WHEREAS, The Farm Hands continue to foster appreciation and ensure the continuance of the bluegrass genre through their commitment to writing and performing their music, and it is wholly fitting that the group be recognized; now, therefore,

I, Randy McNally, Speaker of the Senate of the One Hundred Tenth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, at the request of and in conjunction with Senator Kerry Roberts and Representative Jay Reedy, do hereby proclaim that we commend The Farm Hands Bluegrass Quartet’s commitment to excellence, congratulating members Tim Graves, Daryl Mosley, Keith Tew, and Don Hill on their recent honors from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass

Music of America and wishing them much success in their future endeavors.

Proclaimed in Nashville, Tennessee, on this the 19th day of April 2017.

After the proclamation was read, the boys played a live version of Dig In The Dirt for everyone in the chamber, which was very well received.

Their next album, Colors, is expected from Pinecastle Records in June.

Well done Farm Hands!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.