The Season of Goodwill

Christmas time, the season of goodwill, good will to all men. In bluegrass music circles it’s always a time of good will.

This has been demonstrated recently with the stupendous support that the Marksmen Quartet has received since we reported the theft of their white Ford travel van, white enclosed Country Boy trailer and all their instruments, their stock of CDs, costumes and various pieces of equipment.

Sadly, the Rural Rhythm Christian recording artists were uninsured and none of the stolen items except for the van has been recovered.

However, the band has received a considerable amount of help in their hour of need, as Mark Wheeler (vocalist, guitar/banjo player in the group) acknowledged …

“We have been overwhelmed with kindness from the bluegrass community. Louis [SXSW co-founder Louis Meyers, Folk Alliance International] gave us a Gibson Mastertone and a Dobro. A friend of mine gave me a guitar; people have given us money etc. It’s been overwhelming to say the least!

Please tell everyone thanks for the support and especially the prayers.”

Here is a reminder of the stolen instruments with cases:

  • 2008 Mossman Texas Plains guitar with mahogany sides and back and a big sound hole, serial number 08078
  • 1991 Mossman Texas Plains guitar with rosewood sides and back and a serial number beginning with 91
  • 1999 Mossman Wheeler Gospel all mahogany guitar with serial number 990506
  • one-of-a-kind late 1990s Mossman resonator guitar all mahogany with F holes with no serial number
  • 1973 Gibson Mastertone banjo
  • blonde Engelhardt upright bass model number EM1B with serial number  91443.

If anyone has information on whereabouts of the trailer or the band’s equipment they should contact the Florence Police Department 843-676-8800, or the South Carolina Crime Stoppers hotline at 888-CRIME SC (274-6372). Callers need not reveal their identities.

If anyone wishes to assist the Marksmen Quartet directly, their contact information is:

1312 Post White Hill Road
Murrayville, GA 30564
(706) 864-2951

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.