The Watkins Family to share mountain sounds in Columbus

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The acoustic music of the Watkins Family, a well known bluegrass gospel group that performs across North America, will be coming to Columbus next Tuesday evening.

The Watkins Family will bring their ministry to Columbus Veterans Memorial Park at the corner of Ward and Gibson streets on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The special concert is part of the Columbus Fire Department&squo;s annual 4th of July BBQ and Gospel Sing, which benefits the fire department. For more information, call (828) 817-3722. Concessions will be available.

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The group, which includes matriarch Judy Watkins and her three adult children Todd, Lorie and Shanon, continue a path sharing their love of Jesus through traditional music touring across the United States and Canada since 1982.

Their latest project, &dquo;Heaven&squo;s Worth Waiting For,&dquo; will be released in 2009 featuring a collection of new material.

&dquo;This project is one of the most exciting recordings we have ever done,&dquo; Lorie said. &dquo;We really searched to find just the right songs to reflect the sound and message we are wishing to share with those who have followed our career.

&dquo;This is our way of sharing our thanks for all the support we have received,&dquo; she said. &dquo;All of the family is featured on the new CD on songs which reflect their vocal character.&dquo;

Lorie was nominated twice as female vocalist of the year in the Front Porch Fellowship Bluegrass Gospel Music Awards hosted at the National Quartet Convention. She appeared in the NQC All-Star Band in 2008.

The CD, produced by Grammy winner Mark Fain, Grammy nominated Karen Peck Gooch and Danny Jones, follows their acclaimed project &dquo;Darkness Wept&dquo; which brought the popular radio singles &dquo;He&squo;s Still God,&dquo;a number 1 song, &dquo;Love Stood Alone&dquo; and &dquo;Round The Last Turn.&dquo;

The groups newest radio single from the Rick Hendrix Company is &dquo;She&squo;s Working on Her Testimony,&dquo; featuring Shanon. The song was penned by Greg Day and Sheri LaFontaine.

The group has shared concert stages performing for thousands beside acts such as Randy Travis and Diamond Rio. They have appeared at major industry events including the National Quartet Convention in Kentucky in 2007 and the SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Convention in Nashville, Tenn., as well as large ministerial crusades.

The family has performed on television broadcasts for INSP, Inspirational Network and dozens of stations around the U.S. and Canada.

The Watkins Family have received nominations for the Impact Award and Female Artist of the Year from the Front Porch Fellowship hosted at the National Quartet Convention and Best Contemporary and Traditional Bluegrass Gospel Group by the Society for the Preservation of BlueGrass Music in America, which hosts its annual awards in Nashville. The group was also nominated as Best Bluegrass Act at the Coca-Cola Music Awards previously hosted in Atlanta.

The group broke new ground in becoming the first bluegrass gospel act to perform on Capitol Hill in the Capitol Complex in Washington, D.C., attended by dignitaries from around the world.

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