Gospel songs have been an integral part of the bluegrass genre since its very first days, and within a few short years, groups appeared which devoted themselves exclusively to songs of faith delivered in bluegrass settings. In 1973, The Primitive Quartet took its place in the ranks of bluegrass gospel artists, and over the nearly 50 years that have followed, the durable group has made its way to the forefront.
In October, The Primitive Quartet and Mountain Home Music Company began the groundbreaking Through The Years series that is bringing the beloved gospel group’s music to new generations of listeners through streaming services and digital sales platforms for the first time. Now, the series continues with Volume 3, which features songs like “Only Gone From Our Sight” featuring Jeff Tolbert, “Go And Tell Jesus” featuring Reagan Riddle, and “Thank You For Saving Me” featuring Mike Riddle.
When completed, the series — curated by the Crossroads Label Group’s Greg Bentley and The Primitive Quartet’s Mike Riddle — will encompass eight volumes covering nearly 40 years of historic releases, including a Christmas collection and a compilation of songs from the several live albums the group has released over the years. Rarely has such an archival exploration been directed exclusively at digital platforms, and the combination of historical interest and forward-looking accessibility serves to guarantee that not only will long-time fans of the storied group have their favorites close at hand, but that the vital musical ministry of the Primitive Quartet will be available for discovery by generations of fans yet to come.
Listen to Through The Years Volume 3 HERE.
About The Primitive Quartet
The Primitive Quartet began in 1973, when two sets of Western North Carolina brothers, Reagan and Larry Riddle and Furman and Norman Wilson, carried a guitar and mandolin with them on a fishing trip, where they discovered a love and a gift for harmony singing. With the encouragement of their parents and pastor, they began to sing together at area churches as the Riddle-Wilson Quartet. In 1978, with the decision to devote themselves to a full-time musical ministry, the group said goodbye to Furman Wilson, welcomed Reagan and Larry’s brother, Mike, into the group and renamed themselves as The Primitive Quartet. As their career developed, the Quartet added Indiana-born singer and instrumentalist Randy Fox in 1986 and, a decade later, another North Carolinian, Jeff Tolbert — first as an instrumentalist and then, with the passing of Norman Wilson in 2014, as a singer. Over the years, The Primitive Quartet has toured across the United States and overseas, recorded scores of albums, released more than a dozen videos and DVDs, and made their “Hominy Valley Singing Grounds” in Candler, North Carolina, into a popular home for gospel singing events.