We had a fantastic time on our return visit to Music City Roots earlier this month! We shared the stage with some of our favorite people, The Isaacs and the Lonesome River Band, and made some new friends with Foghorn String Band! If you missed the show, you can watch it in its entirety online here. (We come in at about the 1:20 mark.) Special thanks to LuAnn Adams who took some great photos for us, including the one above. We've got all of them on our website.
We've been attending SPBGMA in Nashville for years and although we conduct a ton of business while there, it's also become a fantastic opportunity for some good ole socializing with so many of the friends and fans we've made over the last decade. We spent two full days at SPBGMA this year and performed on the main stage on opening night. On Friday, we hosted an Appreciation Luncheon for Talent Buyers and Radio Programmers with about 50 people in attendance. Thanks to EVERYONE who came to see us in Nashville - we look forward to returning very soon!
Alternative Strings is an organization of young people that we have supported for a while now. In fact, they'll be making an appearance at our spring SOIMF! Led by our dear friend, Doug Eyink, Alternative Strings is a group of orchestra students who perform Bluegrass, Celtic, Bebop, Swing, Celtic, Funk & Rock music on orchestral instruments.
This year, they are celebrating their 10th anniversary and we are honored to be with them on March 4th for The Bluegrass Blowout! The event will be held at the Centerville, Ohio High School Performing Arts Center and tickets are available now. General admission is $10 in advance or $12 at the door, and you may order your advance tickets by calling 937-619-8490.
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!
What a wonderful Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival we had earlier this month! We enjoyed some amazing talent, a very touching Veterans Tribute, and a capacity crowd! Thanks to everyone who joined us and those who helped us fulfill one of our goals with the festival - charitable giving! This year, the Dayton National Cemetery Honor Squadreceived over $3,000 in contributions from generous festival guests and community supporters. Congratulations to Jim Holcomb of Xenia, OH, and Mike Newkirk of Franklin, OH! Their donations earned them the Martin and Cherrybend guitars, respectively. Special thanks to JD Music Company and Cherrybend Pheasant Farm for their instrument donations!
Check out our website for photos from the entire weekend!
Joe Mullins is the recipient of two awards presented by the International Bluegrass Music Association this past week during the World of Bluegrass Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. In a special ceremony celebrating industry contributions, Mullins, who has been in radio for over thirty years, was awarded Broadcaster of the Year. During the prestigious IBMA Awards held at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, he and his band, The Radio Ramblers, took the award for Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for their recent hit, "All Dressed Up," from the their Sacred Memories CD on Rebel Records.
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers are previous IBMA Award winners, having been named Emerging Artists of the Year in 2012, but this is the first time for Mullins, who owns a network of radio stations in Ohio and is host of the syndicated weekly broadcast Front Porch Fellowship, to win IBMA's Broadcaster award.
The week-long conference became a true family affair when Mullins' son, Daniel, was awarded Best Liner Notes for his work on The Blues Are Still The Blues, a retrospective collection of The Traditional Grass also released on Rebel Records, featuring Joe and his father, the late Paul "Moon" Mullins.
Of the accolades Joe said, "I am so thankful for all of the support and encouragement this week. It's a great blessing to have my work as a broadcaster recognized, and having the talents of The Radio Ramblers and my son Daniel applauded just put it over the top."
Earlier in the week, Joe Mullins was elected chairman of the board of directors of the IBMA, and has already begun his term by spreading his message that becoming a member of the IBMA is essential to the growth and sustainability of Bluegrass music.
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers are very proud to announce the addition of a new booking agent and team member. Laura Mainer will now be representing the band full-time as well as manage the band's day-to-day office needs.
An East Tennessee native, Laura Mainer was raised on mountain and roots music. Growing up, her childhood was spent learning instruments, studying music, singing in churches with her father, and attending festivals and concerts with her family. Even her last name carries historical significance to a musical past as Laura’s husband, Isaac Mainer, is a direct descendant of J.E. Mainer and Wade Mainer, the latter being referred to as the Grandfather of Bluegrass Music. In 2012, Laura was one of the very first female students to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music from East Tennessee State University.
Professionally, Laura has worked in the Bluegrass industry since 2011. Her experience includes working for Mountain Music Entertainment and Moonstruck Management. Over the past five years, she has aided in the careers of artists such as Dr. Ralph Stanley, The Soggy Bottom Boys, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, and Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-Press. Furthering the success and legacy of Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music is a very important passion for Laura.
"I am so thankful to have Laura on board as our full-time agent and office manager," says Joe Mullins. "We have been so fortunate the past few years with bookings and building JMRR into a recognizable brand. With over 100 performances in 2016, the need for an agent became inevitable. Laura and her family have been friends of the band and encouraged us through the years. Her passion for bluegrass and gospel music and her expertise in managing a band's schedule will be a great blessing."
Laura, who officially begins her new role on Monday, July 18th says, “I am delighted to be the new booking agent for Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. I couldn’t feel more blessed to be part of such an incredible team!"
Talent buyers interested in booking Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers may reach Laura Mainer at 423-202-8346 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers Announce Donation to World Vision Through "Share the Link, Share the Love" and Perform Special Concert with Alternative Strings
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers are very proud to announce a donation to World Vision has been made as a result of their recent "Share the Link, Share the Love" fundraising campaign featuring a video performance of the original version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" with The Isaacs.
The fundraising campaign which launched on Easter of this year and ran through Father's Day, raised money simply by tallying views of the "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" performance video featuring The Isaacs. For each view, Mullins donated 10¢ to World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The result is a $1000 donation already in action helping kids and families around the world. Thanks to EVERYONE who viewed the video and shared the link!
The recorded version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" featuring The Isaacs can be found on the new album by Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, Sacred Memories, which was released April 15th on Rebel Records. Sacred Memories features 12 tracks of new and original music plus several traditional tunes. In addition to the The Isaacs, special guests include Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White Skaggs, and Rhonda Vincent.
Mullins had the idea of capturing the studio recording on video in hopes of creating a unique way for fans to "Share the Love" of the music created, while simultaneously supporting the very worthy cause of helping children in impoverished countries around the globe through World Vision. "The Isaacs have supported World Vision for several years and I am thankful for an opportunity to be part of their effort in assisting children worldwide," states Mullins.
The official donation announcement was made on Father's Day during a live concert with Centerville, Ohio's Alternative Strings, a group of orchestra students who perform Bluegrass, Celtic, Bebop, Swing, Celtic, Funk & Rock music on orchestral instruments under the direction of Doug Eyink. Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers performed a concert in front of several hundred fans at Stubbs Park Amphitheater and then were joined by the youth orchestra for a performance of five songs, including the band's latest hit single, "All Dressed Up." The performance with Alternative Strings was presented LIVE via the band's Facebook page and to date, has received nearly 10,000 views.
Watch the LIVE Video with Alternative Strings Here!
THANK YOU Radio Programmers, Fans and Friends for taking our new single — "All Dressed Up" --
to #1 on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Songs chart! It's not only a hit with Bluegrass fans, but it's doing well on Gospel radio and is #7 on the Singing News Bluegrass Gospel chart!
View This Live Performance Video of "All Dressed Up"
We can't think of a better way to celebrate our 10th Anniversary than with a hit song and we are grateful to everyone for the support you've shown us over the years! As you know, the IBMA Awards process is continuing with this 2nd ballot and we are so honored to find ourselves among the Candidates for Nomination in several categories, including Song and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for "All Dressed Up!" Your continued consideration is very much appreciated as you make your top five selections in the following categories:
Entertainer of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year
Instrumental Group of the Year
Song of The Year - "All Dressed Up" written by Jerry Salley and Diane Wilkinson
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year - "All Dressed Up"
Male Vocalist - Joe Mullins
Male Vocalist - Duane Sparks
Banjo - Joe Mullins
Bass - Randy Barnes
Fiddle - Jason Barie
Check out the Facebook Page of Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers on Sunday, June 19th at 8:35pm ET to Watch Their LIVE Concert Performance with the Alternative Strings Orchestra!
We're excited to be celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year! It seems like this past decade has flown by and we are so grateful for all the friends and fans we've made along the way!! Thanks to each and every one of you for all of the support you have given us, all the miles you've traveled to see us, and all the love you've shown! Our hope is that we've returned it 10-fold!
We celebrated our first decade with an Anniversary Concert on Monday, May 16th. Thanks to the hundreds of friends who packed the place, making for a SOLD-OUT show! We had a ball with all of you!!
It's only fitting that we kick off our 10th Anniversary with something we've never done before - a European Tour! We'll be spending Five days covering the United Kingdom and Switzerland and plan to take in as much of the scenery and chocolate as possible! If you happen to be one of our International friends, make plans to come see us at one of these shows:
May 19 at 7:45 PM - Old Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK - Square Roots Productions - SOLD-OUT!
May 20 - Zweildlen, Switzerland - American Folk Club Rocking Chair
May 21 - Willisau, Switzerland - Spring Bluegrass Festival
May 22 - Liestal, Switzerland - Kulturhotel Guggenheim
We'll be sending photos and updates to our good friends at Bluegrass Today who have graciously agreed to keep everyone posted on our travels. Be sure to check daily for news from "across the pond!"
Thanks to the Dayton Daily News and journalist Don Thrasher for this outstanding feature on JMRR and our 10th Anniversary! Read The Complete Article Here!
Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers are pleased to announce their new, all-gospel album on Rebel Records, Sacred Memories, is being released worldwide today, and is available for digital download via AirplayDirect for radio programmers. Consumers may purchase the album via iTunes and Amazon, and wherever great music is sold.
Sacred Memories is the band's second all-gospel project following their highly succesful Hymns From The Hills release of 2011. Mullins and the Radio Ramblers are joined by special guests who are beloved in both the bluegrass and gospel fields, including Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent and The Isaacs. The collection also features new music from some of the top writers of Bluegrass and Gospel music: Jerry Salley, Paul Williams, Billy Smith and even a never-before-recorded song from the late Randall Hylton. The album offers great vocal variety and a wonderful set of songs. Notes Mullins, "Every vocal combination from our group is in the spotlight, which is very exciting for us. While the gospel message is throughout the album, several songs will appeal to listeners of all tastes and walks of life."
The band's first single, "All Dressed Up," has already debuted on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Songs chart at #2 (4/1), and along with the album, early reviews have come in strong:
"Good call on the new single! Good song, and one that is fresh and unique to the
Radio Ramblers" — Rick Francis, Singing News Magazine --
After listening to the project I was in amazement. It is one of the best projects I've heard. It will get a lot of airplay on Kickin Grass, I assure you of that. Absolutely amazing! Definitely knocked it out of the park with this album. — Rodney Davis, Kicking Grass, WMJD 100.7FM --
Thank you so much for the new Joe Mullins CD. What a treat!! We are putting it with the first group to get it on the air!!! We need to get this one on the air before I wear it out!!! — Gilbert Humphrey, General Manager, KJAB Christian Radio --
I had already been playing the single. I just checked out the entire project today, and man, it is a winner!!! — Gentle Ben West, WMMT --
The Joe Mullins CD, Sacred Memories, is another great music testament to Bluegrass!!! Joe is a Class Act!
— Big Al Weekly, Program Director, WMJD FM --
Just now listened through the new album from Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers. Oh My! This is so good, go get it! — Joe Stutzman, Heartland Bluegrass --
In addition to releasing "All Dressed Up" as the first single, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers have also released a video of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" featuring The Isaacs. Views of the video are part of the "Share The Link, Share The Love" campaign which will result in a donation by the band to World Vision, an organization supporting children in impoverished countries across the globe. The video may be viewed on the band's YouTube channel.
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers are very proud to announce "Share the Link, Share the Love," featuring a video performance of the original version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" with The Isaacs, and benefiting World Vision.
"I was working at a Cincinnati, Ohio gospel radio station in 1990, doing a bluegrass gospel hour daily," states Mullins. "The program director introduced me to the Spencers, an Ohio family group with Kentucky roots. They had recorded an a cappella album in the 80's with "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and I loved it! This was the old, original lyrics and melody, not the popular Carter Family version. AP Carter's song from 1935 was actually titled "Can the Circle Be Unbroken" and featured totally different verses and a slightly different chorus. I have a collection of hymnals and found the original lyrics from 1907. It really needed a quartet with two male voices and two female voices. The Isaacs have been lifetime friends, beginning their music ministry in Ohio in the same county where I grew up. We have always loved singing and performing together and this old time tune was perfect. I love them dearly and I certainly hope we can sing together as often as possible."
Mullins had the idea of capturing the studio recording on video in hopes of creating a unique way for fans to "Share the Love" of the music created, while simultaneously supporting the very worthy cause of helping children in impoverished countries around the globe. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by their faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision serves alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. "The Isaacs have supported World Vision for several years and I am thankful for an opportunity to be part of their effort in assisting children worldwide," states Mullins.
For every view of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" on the YouTube channel of Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers beginning Easter Sunday (3/27/16) through Father's Day (6/19/16), Mullins will make a donation to World Vision. Fans are encouraged to "Share the Link" of this special video and in turn, the will "Share the Love."
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.