Hello Chuck Wagon Gang family and friends. I'm writing to let all of you know that I plan to leave the Gang at the end of this year, following our New Year's Eve performance at Green Grove Gardens in Greencastle, PA. I count it a great honor to have been a member of the Chuck Wagon Gang for a little over six years. I first started as a fill in for Stan Hill while he was home with his wife Kathy during her first very intense battle with cancer, through which she made it victoriously. My first performance during that time was November 4, 2010 at Branch Chapel Baptist Church in Selma, NC. From that first weekend up to the present, I have met and got to know so many wonderful and special people. I love each of you dearly and I so greatly appreciate all of the love, support, and kind words I've received from you in the last six years. I have been a fan of the Chuck Wagon Gang myself since I was around 10 years old and I always loved the guitar picking of Ernest "Jim" Carter and Howard Gordon. It was the "Lord's doings" that brought me to the Gang, and it has been a dream come true for me to be able to bring those guitar styles back to the Gang to the best of my ability.
As many of you know, I got married April 12, 2014 to my sweetheart Corrina Rose Logston. We met and became friends through the love of traditional bluegrass music. We love singing and playing music together. Since our marriage, we have felt strongly that we are supposed to be performing and traveling together as much as we can. This past year has been a very special one, because we got to work on the road together and I got to continue working with the Chuck Wagon Gang as well, due the Gang's limited schedule. It has definitely been the best of both worlds for me, and I'm very thankful for this year. Several months back, though, I felt that I needed to be moving towards increasing my and Corrina's performances together. In the meantime, The Gang had decided that next year's schedule would need to be a bit busier than this year, so through much prayer and consideration I decided that I would need to turn in my notice.
I am very pleased to know that the Chuck Wagon Gang has found two very qualified people to fill the roles of guitarist and bass singer. Karl Smakula of Elkins, WV is an excellent multi-instrumentalist and recent graduate of the bluegrass program at East Tennessee State University. Karl has filled in for me and traveled some with us the last few months and he is a great fit for the guitarist position. He is a very kind and respectful person to be around and to travel with. He has been delving into the guitar picking of the old Chuck Wagon Gang this year and has a very good feel for the music. I am also very excited for Wyatt Austin for getting the bass singing position. Wyatt has proven to be a devoted fan of the Chuck Wagon Gang the last few years, and we have recently become aware of his abilities as a bass singer. I believe that Wyatt has the potential to be one of the best bass singers that the Chuck Wagon Gang has had. I give my deepest congratulations to Karl and Wyatt!
As Corrina and I journey into the next chapter of our musical career together, it is our greatest desire to be witnesses for Jesus in this dying world. I ask that you would keep us in your prayers as we seek to do God's Will. Our primary focus is on what we can do together as duo and with our band High Fidelity.
I sincerely give my best wishes and prayers to Shaye Smith, Stan Hill, Melissa Kemper, Wyatt Austin, and Karl Smakula as they continue to propel forward the powerful force that is the Chuck Wagon Gang. LONG LIVE THE CHUCK WAGON GANG!