My life has been blessed with many people worthy to be called heroes; not the least of which was my grandpa, Big Harless Slone. He was a man of the mountains and a mountain of a man. These songs are dedicated to him. He started working under the ground digging coal from the Appalachian hillsides when he was 13 years old. He loved my grandma, Dora. He loved his children and grandchildren. He loved simple honest work, and he loved music. Most of these tunes I learned on the front porch of his house.
It was this music, even though often filled with tragic lyric, which brought mountain people joy and hope; as well as sparking persistence to carry on, oftentimes in spite of bleak circumstances. We were poor, but we really didn’t know it. We were rich in family, friends and blessed with the bond of the love of the Lord.
This music has been in my heart, well… always. It’s been passed from my great, great grandfather, Shadrach “Fiddler Shade” Slone to my great grandfather, Shadrach “Sambo” Johnson to my grandfather, Harless Slone to my uncle Ray, my other uncles, aunts and my mom, to me. I inherited this treasure from these people. This sound came out of their soul into mine; I hope it finds its way into yours.
Guitars: Kenny Thacker, Clay Hess and Ron Block
Banjo: Ron Block
Clawhammer Banjo: Shad Cobb
Fiddle: Tim Crouch
Mandolin: Clay Hess
Bass: Byron House
Harmonica and Toe Taps: Buddy Greene
Accordion: Jeff Taylor
Tin Whistle: Skip Cleavinger
Lead Vocals: Kenny Thacker
Background Vocals: Suzanne Cox Ratcliff, Sidney Cox, Michelle Patterson, Faye Smith, Clay Hess, Buddy Greene
Engineers: Nathan Smith, Mainframe, Nashville, TN; Randy Kohrs, Slack Key, Nashville, TN; Barry Patterson, Studio X, Dallas, TX
Mastering Engineer: John Mayfield, Mayfield Mastering, Nashville, TN
Thank You to…
My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the creator of music and the reason for everything.
My best friend, wife and most beautiful woman in the world, Lynn.
My daughter Leigh Anne and son in law Jonathan and my son Justin and daughter in law Christine; I am blessed beyond measure to be related to such great people.
The little ones that call me G-Daddy; Madeline, Kaelan and Cadence Grace. They keep my heart smiling.
My Mom, Inis Thacker, who taught me how to whistle. She taught me to be good and loved me when I couldn’t.
My spiritual father Dudley Hall and his loving wife, Betsy.
All the “real” musicians that helped me on this project. In a world where some many are in it to get glory, it’s such an honor to know these folks who are in it to give it.
The saints at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship; who let me live my life with them.
All the faithful friends and partners of SoundWord. You make it possible.
And last but not least, the men of Kerygma Network who are guardrails for my life.