As we always tend to do this time of year, it's time to reflect on what an amazing year 2016 has been, while looking forward to an even better, more productive 2017! This year brought many highlights that took us to new places, allowing us to make new friends, while also affording us the opportunity to revisit familiar venues and reconnect with faithful friends!
In January, we traveled to Florida where we performed for new crowds of enthusiastic bluegrass fans. We were welcomed with open arms and we'll be returning to the area again in January 2017!
We made our debut at one of the coolest places ever when we performed in February at Bluegrass Underground. The show was sold-out and we found ourselves in awe of Cumberland Caverns, and a little nervous about the giant rock hanging over our heads.
March was a pivotal month for us as we released the first single from our gospel album, Sacred Memories. "All Dressed Up" was embraced by fans and radio, and immediately became one of our most successful singles to date. And, we enjoyed an absolutely perfect Spring edition of the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival where we launched the "Share The Link, Share The Love" video fundraiser featuring our a capella version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" with our special guests, The Isaacs, benefiting World Vision.
April brought on the official release of Sacred Memories and a return guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry where we had more than just a little fun visiting with country star Terri Clark.
Maymarked the 10th Anniversary for JMRR and what better way to commemorate such an important milestone than with a sold-out celebration concert at La Comedia Dinner Theatre and our first ever tour to Europe! We had a fantastic experience with our performances and travels to the United Kingdom and Switzerland and can't wait for more international travel.
In June, our "Share The Link, Share The Love" fundraiser afforded us the opportunity to make a $1000 donation to World Vision and our single, "All Dressed Up" reached #1 for the first time on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Songs chart! And, we shared the stage once more with Alternative Strings for a live Facebook concert on Father's Day.
July brought about a significant addition to the JMRR team with the hiring of Laura Mainer as our full-time booking agent and office manager. Laura has been a well-respected agent for several years with her previous clients and when it became apparent she was such a big supporter of JMRR, well, it was a perfect fit. Laura hit the ground running and has been a crucial part of our team ever since!
August brought along news of an IBMA nomination for Gospel Recorded Performance for JMRR as well as a Broadcaster of the Year nomination for Joe. This news arrived at the same time that Joe celebrated his first anniversary as host of the syndicated radio show, Front Porch Fellowship, which reaches 200 affiliate stations.
September and October were full of welcome surprises! JMRR won IBMA's Gospel Recorded Performance for "All Dressed Up," Joe won for Broadcaster of the Year, and Joe's son Daniel, won for Best Liner Notes for his work on the Traditional Grass CD, The Blues Are Still The Blues. If that weren't enough, Joe was named Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Bluegrass Music Association. (Become a Member Here!)
November and the first weekend of December wrapped up an incredible year for us. Our fall Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival was once again a joyous gathering of friends. We enjoyed some amazing talent, a very touching Veterans Tribute, and a capacity crowd! This year, the Dayton National Cemetery Honor Squad received over $3,000 in contributions thanks to our generous festival guests and community supporters.
Something else major happened to us in 2016. Duane Sparks became a daddy for the third time! Duane and Makole welcomed beautiful little Camdyn to the world on November 17th! The reason we say this happened to JMRR as well, is because ever since Camdyn arrived, things on the bus are a lot quieter. You see, no one sleeps at home with a new baby in the house, so Duane hits the bunk the second he steps on the bus. It's been glorious!
2017 is just around the corner and we can hardly wait to see what it has in store for all of us. We pray you and your family will have a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous new year, and that you'll make plans to come visit us on the road!
Keep up on all the latest Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers news RIGHT HERE! Whether its new album info, a venue change, or anything else, we’ll post it right here.