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New River Bluegrass is No. 2, takes aim at top spot

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, August 5, 2013

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New River Bluegrass' recording “When I Look Back Down the Road” has vaulted to No. 2 on the gospel “Singing News” Bluegrass charts.

New River Bluegrass' recording “When I Look Back Down the Road” has vaulted to No. 2 on the gospel Singing News” Bluegrass charts.



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"We have a lot of business decisions to make. We will see what the best step is from here."

Barry Long

Member, New River Bluegrass



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New River Bluegrass members are,  Michael Johnson, Dwayne Brown, Chuck Price, Michael Mullins, Andy Smith and Barry  Long. They recorded the song under the Pisgah Ridge label at Crossroads Music studio in Arden, N.C.

New River Bluegrass members are,  Michael Johnson, Dwayne Brown, Chuck Price, Michael Mullins, Andy Smith and Barry  Long. They recorded the song under the Pisgah Ridge label at Crossroads Music studio in Arden, N.C.



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Want to help New River Bluegrass reach No. 1?
Request the playing of “When I Look Back Down the Road” at:
• WNCW (N.C), 828-287-8080 or visit here.
• WSSL Sunday morning request line between 6-10 a.m. at 864-271-5175 or email Mark Ferguson.

Want to help New River Bluegrass reach No. 1?

Request the playing of “When I Look Back Down the Road” at:

• WNCW (N.C), 828-287-8080 or visit here.

• WSSL Sunday morning request line between 6-10 a.m. at 864-271-5175 or email Mark Ferguson.



Barry Long and the New River Bluegrass band are feeling mighty good. Their song, “When I Look Back Down the Road” is No. 2 on the gospel Singing News” Bluegrass charts.

The song, from their newest project, “Heart on the Run” was sitting at No. 37 earlier this year, moved to No. 6 in the previous ratings two months ago and now rests one rung below No. 1.

“We all feel honored. There are so many good groups and musicians that don’t get recognition,” said Barry Long, (banjo, dobro, vocals).

Long said the band had settled into its No. 37 ranking and maintained its routine of playing in churches in the Carolinas and made its second appearance at Dollywood in May.

The band members – Michael Johnson, Dwayne Brown, Chuck Price, Michael Mullins, Andy Smith and Long – all have day jobs. They recorded the song under the Pisgah Ridge label at Crossroads Music studio in Arden, N.C.

Since their movement into the Top 10, Long said there has been substantial interest in the group, especially from Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. “For some reason Kansas seems to love us,” Long said.

Long said the band has been around 10 years singing gospel and enjoying the recognition that has come its way. Now it’s different. “We have a lot of business decisions to make. We will see what the best step is from here.”

The jump to No. 2 was significant for New River in as much as who it supplanted – “Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver” (‘Say Hello to Heaven’). Lawson’s group, inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame last September, has about 40 albums to their credit, multiple Grammy, Dove and other industry awards and several times winner of Vocal Group of the Year.

New River has its sights set higher than it ever thought possible. They are hoping they can move up one more more notch to overtake “Are You Prayin’ Hard?” by Chigger Hill Boys & Terry.

The message on a New River member’s Facebook said it all: “God is Good!”

Want to help New River Bluegrass reach No. 1?

Request the playing of “When I Look Back Down the Road” at:

• WNCW (N.C), 828-287-8080 or visit here.

• WSSL Sunday morning request line between 6-10 a.m. at 864-271-5175 or email Mark Ferguson.

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