Grandpa Built a Church House
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - MAY 28, 2019
ROGERS, AR - Nickeltown Records and Cedar Hill is happy to announce the release of our brand new Gospel CD entitled “Grandpa Built a Church House”.
Frank Ray . Mandolin vocals
Jim Bunch . Banjo Vocals
Pete Brown . Fiddle
Patti LaFleur . Bass Vocals
Dan Stokely . Lead Vocal
Eddie Faris . Guitar
Engineer: Eddie Faris
Recorded at Palm Recording
Cedar Hill has a long tradition of Bluegrass music spawned from the Ozark Hills of Missouri and Arkansas. The bands beginning goes back to 1967. Led by Frank Ray, recipient of many awards and accolades over his career. Some of the most recent acknowledgments; NTCMA (National Traditional Country Music Assn.) Hall of Fame in 2008. Bluegrass Song writer Award at the prestigious Merlefest in March 2018. NTCMA Life Time Achievement Award September 2018. And most recent, Frank was honored to have been selected as the 2019 inductee into the HALL OF GREATS by SPBGMA at the February, 2019 Nashville convention. The band has been honored with many awards and accolades over the Years from various traditional and Bluegrass music organizations beginning in the mid 70's. Their music has placed them firmly on the National and International Bluegrass scene. The music you will hear has been described as "original, emotive brand of song”, “hard driving bluegrass of tradition" and "the real deal". Though they occasionally do cover songs, it is their original songs that has gained their popularity. According to the Bluegrass programmers at XM/Sirius radio, their song, "Pearl", a personal story, has been the most requested bluegrass song on the National XM/Sirius radio program "Bluegrass Junction" and other stations for over 10 years. The current line up of several years, is an extremely cohesive group, allowing them a freedom that causes their music to flow with ease and a joy that is clearly evident when watching their performance.
It has been in these recent years that I seem to have begun to relate today’s experiences retrospectively to the words of elders and experiences of my earlier years and truths. It seems the true meaning of life has only begun to unravel for me. In many way’s it seems it is only after loss we begin to understand gain; after sadness, we begin to understand the joy and the things that truly matter in life. There are thoughts, words, and phrases in many of these songs from my Life mate and mother of my children, Vicki, my Mother, Father, Grandma Sykes, Great Grandpa Ray, and others. I thank God that I was blessed to have been born into a family that reverenced and worshiped our creator with the realization that without faith in Him, we often find ourselves without hope in this world. It is through their lives I have seen and come to know Christ.I hope you find something in one or more of these songs that are meaningful to you. Each one of them holds memories for me. Remember, no matter how hard you try you can’t go back to yesterday, no matter how much you want to you can’t get into tomorrow. So that leaves only today, only the moment. It is only this moment that you have the power of choice and free will. Life is lived in moments not day’s, week’s, month’s, or year’s so make every moment count and remember this moment will have an impact on every moment that follows. You will only have one chance at this moment. I truly believe my dear wife Vicki and son Scott are in heaven, in the presence of Jesus at this very moment. They know a joy that can’t be comprehended while in this earthly body. This album is dedicated to them and other loved ones who now know that the Gospel story was true and how trivial the trials of this life are when compared to the eternity that lies before us. I need to say how much I appreciate my band mates in Cedar Hill. Each of you, in your own way, not only contribute to the music but even more importantly you encourage and make it easy for us to be the kind of people we need to be. Thank you, Jim Bunch, Pete Brown, Patti LaFleur, and Dan Stokely. Thank you and Lord bless each of you with Peace, Joy, hope, and much Love. Frank Ray
Jimmy Bunch - Since his grandfather, uncle’s and mother played music, Jim started off at an early age with the guitar and then banjo at age 12. Jim was one of the original members of Cedar Hill and was only 15 years old when they recorded their first album. He later worked for the Calton Family Band, Silver Dollar City and Shepherd of the Hills Farm in Branson, Missouri and then returned to Cedar Hill. After taking an extended leave from the music business, Jim started performing again and in 2009 again became the banjo player and baritone singer with Cedar Hill. Along with his wife Pam, Jim built Palm Recording Studio in Rogers, Arkansas, where he uses his engineering skills to provide a variety of audio and video recording services to artists and musicians. J.D. Crowe, Doug Dillard, Carl Jackson and Ben Eldridge were the banjo picker’s that had the most impact on Jim’s banjo style.
Pete Brown - Pete developed a love of the fiddle at three years old listening to his father's Bob Wills records. He discovered that his barber could play a fiddle and would get his hair cut as often as his dad would take him so he could get a few more pointers. Pete started playing with Blue Mountain Bluegrass at 13 and played many years with the Mcgaritys until he jumped into country music and headed for Nashville. Pete had several successful years playing Country on the road which included playing for two Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. After quitting the road with the Country band Pete came back to Arkansas and ran across an old friend from junior high, Patti LaFleur. She persuaded him to come back to bluegrass and play fiddle in a band that she was putting together. He began holding down the full time fiddle spot with Cedar Hill in 2011.
Patti LaFleur - Patti started classical piano training at 4 years old. Annual trips to the Ozark Folk Festival in the proclaimed, Folk Music Capitol of the world, Mountain View, Arkansas, exposed her to bluegrass and she wished for a banjo for her ninth birthday. Patti started playing banjo with the Dickerson Family at eleven and bought a bass a couple of years later to play with The Silver Eagle band and has been picking and grinning ever since. Patti has been playing Bass and singing with Cedar Hill since 2012. She is very proud of her two amazing children, attempts to keep Pete Brown humble and lives in Benton, AR.
Dan Stokely was born and raised in a small farming community in southeast Missouri. He grew up listening to his mom play guitar and sing classic country music and knew he wanted to do the same thing. He started singing when was 3 years old and finally found the patience to sit down and learn to play the guitar when he was 16. When he was 16, Dan also listened to his first bluegrass album and fell in love with the sound. After high school, Dan spent some time in Nashville pursuing music but then decided to go to college and took some time off from music. He started going to bluegrass festivals and sitting in on bluegrass jams about 6 years ago. Dan joined his voice to Cedar Hill in 2015.