Called a “Banjo Legend” by the Washington Post and twice awarded BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR by the Muleskinner News Bluegrass magazine, BILL EMERSON is one of the most influential musicians in Bluegrass music. As a soloist and a member of THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN, banjoist BILL EMERSON has left his mark on the contemporary Bluegrass scene, pushing country music’s most conservative genre in fresh directions.
Beginning in 1957, BILL EMERSON established himself as a banjo virtuoso and history maker alike! He was a founding member of the famed Bluegrass ensemble THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN; billed as a featured artist while with JIMMY MARTIN during the height of that Bluegrass legend’s career; the man who introduced the classic “Fox on the Run” to bluegrass; and was the founder and shaper of COUNTRY CURRENT, the world renowned Bluegrass ensemble of the United States Navy Band.
THE GOSPEL SIDE OF BILL EMERSON & SWEET DIXIE is Bill’s fifth album for Rural Rhythm Records which also includes his solo album ECLIPSE from 2011. The album contains 12 gospel songs including 9 gospel songs from previously released albums by BILL EMERSON & SWEET DIXIE and three newly recorded gospel songs for this album, “What A Day”, “Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room” and “Drifting Too Far From The Shore”. The list of songwriters on this Gospel album is very impressive and contains some the top songwriting talent past and present including Leroy Drumm, Pete Goble, Carl Jackson, Tim Stafford, A.P. Carter, Rob Mills and Charles Moody.
THE GOSPEL SIDE OF BILL EMERSON & SWEET DIXIE is an acoustic blend of traditional and contemporary Bluegrass and classic Country featuring powerful lead vocals by SWEET DIXIE members Tom Adams, Teri Chism, Wayne Lanham and Chris Stifel along with special guest lead vocals Wayne Taylor, Randy Waller, Linda Lay and Lauren Mears. Bluegrass and Gospel music have gone together so strongly since the beginning of Bluegrass music and THE GOSPEL SIDE OF BILL EMERSON & SWEET DIXIE is an excellent example of this power blending.
1. He Knows My Name
2. Will A Light Be Shining Bright
3. What A Day
4. Little Stone Lambs
5. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room
6. Thank Him For The Miracle
8. Last Night I Was There
9. Drifting Too Far From The Shore
10. The Rope
11. Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life
12. The Lord Will Light The Way