Two news singles from Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Can it really be eight years since we’ve had new music from Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out?

It seems that over the past three decades touring together, Russell only records when he has the band sounding just right, and has found material up to his high standards. It’s quite a contrast from the artists who choose to get something new out every 18 months, just for the sake of having it.

But now we have two singles from the current band, Heading East To West Virginia and When I Get There, released to radio today.

Moore explained a bit about the delay this time around.

“I’ve always wanted our band to present the absolute best music possible so entering the studio to record comes with a great deal of forethought and preparation for me. Before we recorded the album for Cracker Barrel, it had been five years since our previous album. In fact, going into the studio only two years later for It’s About Tyme was kind of an anomaly for us. That album was so successful that I didn’t really feel the need to prepare for another project right away.

And then there was a period of time when we experienced a couple band member changes, and then came the pandemic, and the next thing you know, time has flown by.

I’m hopeful that folks will be excited about not just one single, but two! We thought, why not come out of the gate running and give everyone a bluegrass and a gospel song.”

Heading East To West Virginia was written by Tim Raybon, and Russell says that he liked the unique directional twist in the song’s title.

“I like a good ‘hook’ to a song, and when I first saw the title of Heading East To West Virginia, it immediately piqued my interest. After listening to the demo I knew I wanted to record it. The positive story-line and excitement of falling in love, and longing to be with someone comes through clearly, and I think you can hear the band’s excitement in our performance on this cut!”

With Moore on guitar and lead vocal, support comes from his current IIIrd TYme Out bandmates, longtime mandolinist Wayne Benson, banjo picker Keith McKinnon, fiddler Nathan Aldridge, and former bassist Kevin McKinnon.

It’s the sort of solid, contemporary bluegrass that have made IIIrd Tyme Out a headlining act since 1991.

When I Get There comes from Mike Feagan, a former Blue Grass Boy and current fiddler with Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers. It’s a song of salvation, played in an uptempo bluegras style, and sung as a quartet.

Russell says that this one will be in their stage show for a long time.

“I knew Mike Feagan to be a fiddle player but didn’t know he was also a writer. The demo for this song was just Mike and his guitar, but I quickly heard it as being a quartet all the way through. Mike definitely has a talent other than playing fiddle and I love the way he put his feelings into words with this song. I also look forward to performing it on our live shows for years to come.”

Both Heading East To West Virginia and When I Get There are available to radio now from AirPlay Direct. Both will be offered soon from popular download and streaming services online.

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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.