Have a Bluegrass Christmas

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bluegrass Christmas Nothing says Christmas louder around our house than a freshly cut Leeland Cypress tree, big red ribbons on our front porch rockers, and bluegrass Christmas music.

Since relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, we like to keep the celebration simple around our home. Our extended families are located 1200 miles due north, and so for the most part we do not experience the rush and flurry of family visits and gatherings. But we have started a few new traditions of our own.

By far the most favorite is “Elf on a Shelf.” Our girls awake each morning and scurry through the house to find out what our own real North Pole Elf has been up to in the night — after making her report to Santa of course! One morning she could be hiding the Christmas tree, the next she could be perched on the fireside banjo that sits atop the mantel, or peaking from the top of one of the girls Christmas stockings. It brings a little fun and magic into the celebrations!

However, throughout the Christmas preparations and celebration, we remind our children of why we celebrate in the first place — the birth of the Christ Child Jesus. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. God so loved each and everyone of us that He sent His only son to Earth. This baby we so readily accept on Christmas would later in life be rejected, nailed to a cross and crucified for our sins. But in a few months another celebration awaits — Easter! On the third day He rose!

As we all prepare for Christmas — we’ve made room for you on our Front Porch so we can share with you the real meaning of the season. Tune-in! And have yourselves a bluegrass Christmas!

Live Guests on the Front Porch

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From time to time we feature Live and Local bands on Front Porch Bluegrass Revival! If you are a local bluegrass group and would like to come pick some gospel tunes — send your info to ContactUs@NewLife.FM

Coming up on December 1st, 2013 — we will be featuring Jason Hoard & the Furies! Jason is from Griffin and he o/o Black Cat Studios where many top notch Christian artists record — does Casting Crowns sound familiar? But did you know that Jason got his start in music by playing bluegrass with his family’s band?

We’ll be talking bluegrass and getting to know Jason Hoard & the Furies better on Front Porch Bluegrass Revival on December 1st from 6:30-8:30 PM. Join us!

banner_Jason Hoard with web

News from the Front Porch

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KentuckyTravelerPromoThe long awaited autobiography of Ricky Skaggs was released this Tuesday! This book contains fascinating stories about his rise to fame. One of my favorite stories is how as a young boy Bill Monroe pulled him up on the stage by his arm and handed Ricky his Mandolin.  But more importantly, the book contains Ricky’s testimony in Jesus. I encourage all bluegrass fans to grab a copy of this book for some great front porch reading! And stay tuned as we have a copy we’ll be giving away on the program this weekend (8-18-2013).

Also this weekend, we will have a special guest come visit us on the front porch. Donna Ulisse will be sharing her music and testimony and you will not want to miss this conversation. Donna’s husband is Rick Stanley, cousin to Dr. Ralph Stanley. Hear how that family relationship influenced her music and career and how Ralph Stanley’s performance of Little Maggie at Donna’s wedding would change her life forever.

All this and more this Sunday evening from 6:30-8:30 pm on Front Porch Bluegrass Revival!

Front Porch Decor

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tire flower pot

Recently, I had to purchase 4 new tires for my car. Those of you who have had to do that, well, you know how expensive that can be! But when life hands you lemons, make some sweet tea and enjoy the front porch…ha!

I decided not to let that necessary purchase get me down. The old worn tires would be turned into something useful the family could enjoy from the front porch rocking chairs. Thus was born the tire planters!

They were really quite simple to make. Just cut one side wall of the worn tire into the shapes of flower petals — you can get really creative. Then turn the tire inside out. Okay, that part was a little difficult, but with practice it get’s easier. Now I have four nice sized rubber planters I can use for raised bed gardening around the front porch!

For the really creative, you can purchase spray paint and add some bright colors to your planters. Turn your trials into something of beauty!

The Front Porch Community

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On Front Porch Bluegrass Revival, you will hear a lot of Georgia grown groups. For example: The Bruce Weeks Family band, Randall Franks, The Boxcars, Russell Moore and iiird Thyme out, Bonnie Ridge Bluegrass…etc.

The Front Porch of NewLife FM is really a great place for sharing home grown gospel music. If you have a group you like to pick with on the weekends, or maybe you travel the bluegrass circuit — we’d love to hear from you!

Get in contact with us by emailing ContactUs@NewLife.FM or by calling 770-229-2020 during business hours. See you on the Front Porch!

Georgia Peaches

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bucket o peaches

 June in Georgia means only one thing — Peaches! Here on the Front Porch, my family and I started a new family tradition. That tradition is picking peaches at our favorite orchard in Locust Grove.

 As you can imagine, a five-gallon bucket of peaches is a lot of peaches. In order to give the peaches a longer shelf life, we decided to try our hand at making pickled peaches. Pickled peaches have such a sweet flavor and they are a great item to have on hand through out the year.

The pickling juice is quite simple. We used Apple Cider vinegar, sugar, cloves,canned peaches and cinnamon sticks. Then we brought that solution to a boil and dropped peeled peaches into the solution and simmered for about 5-7 minutes before canning. And then we filled the mason jars, put them in the boiling water and sealed them. The “plink, plink” of the jars sealing as the cooled was music to our ears.

Now, I mentioned that we had peeled the peaches before canning, so what to do with all those peels? Well, we boiled them down, strained them, and got about 4 cups of juice. To that we added pectin and sugar. The end product was peach jelly which we also canned.

peach picking_girlsIn July, we look forward to getting fresh freestone peaches which we will can or freeze using a different process than pickling. I cannot think of a better way to enjoy this Georgia summer than with family, fresh peaches, and good bluegrass gospel music.

Brad Davis

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brad davisJust got this brandnew album from Brad Davis in the mail! We’ll be hearing cuts from this fantastic Gospel album on the Front Porch this weekend (6-9-13).

My friend from Mansion Entertainment and BlueGrass Valley Records — John Mathis, Jr — was kind enough to send us the project. Brad Davis recorded a song from John’s dad — the late Country Johnny Mathis — called Black Sheep. A real great hard driving bluegrass version and one of my favorite cuts from this project.

Brad Davis is known as the Shredder for his cutting edge guitar picking style. For more information on this Grammy winning artist click the website below.


Front Porch welcomes Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers

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joe-mullins-hymnsFront Porch Bluegrass Revival is always searching for new artists to add to the line up. Recently I stumbled across Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers out of Ohio. Last Christmas their promoter sent me a postcard and it’s been sitting on my desk ever since — finally I got a chance to jump online and give them a listen. What a great group!

Their latest release from April 2013 is called “They’re Playing My Song” and in the CD credits all of them gave credit to Jesus Christ first and foremost. Several gospel cuts from that project were added to the Front Porch line up as well as past gospel releases from Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers.

Joe was kind enough to call into the station this week and share more about his music. We recorded the conversation and will bring it to you on this Sunday’s program (5.05.13). I hope you will join us!

Just some quick facts about Joe — he is a 25-year radio veteran, the Radio Ramblers was started in 2006, and their new radio release “Some Kind of War” is receiving rave reviews! We will discuss all that with Joe this Sunday, and we’ll take a listen to “Some Kind of War” — a fantastic song about the struggles we all face that people may not realize.

See you on the Front Porch this Sunday from 6:30-8:30 PM EDT!

Bonnie Ridge Bluegrass podcast

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Bonnie Ridge 2On the April 7th, 2013 broadcast of Front Porch Bluegrass Revival, we had special guest Bonnie Ridge Bluegrass from Griffin, GA.




Listen to the Front Porch Podcast here:


Click on the menu button, then under “streaming” click the mic icon.

We hope you enjoy this performance! Video will be posted later this week, so check back later. :)

God’s Front Porch

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Dillard HouseMarch 2013 marked the 2nd year anniversary of Front Porch Bluegrass Revival on NewLife FM. I want to personally thank everyone who helped make the program a success and a big thanks to all those fine bluegrass gospel musicians out there who continue to make great music!

 The very first song we played on Front Porch Bluegrass Revival was “God’s Front Porch” by Lou Reid and Carolina. The song contemplates the thought that heavenly mansions will have front porches very much like those we are familear with now. I like that thought.

Recently, my wife and I made a trip to Dillard, Georgia and snapped the above photo on the porch of the Dillard House restaurant. What a great place to spend an evening enjoying God’s scenery! If this is what we have to look forward to in heaven I’m glad I signed up. (As if spending eternity with Jesus isn’t reason enough).

Front Porch Bluegrass Revival is more than the music. For me it’s been a fun time to visit with the listeners and learn about bluegrass groups that they enjoy and even add them to the playlist. It also gives me a foot in the door to speak with bluegrass groups I come across at various bluegrass festivals around the NewLife FM area.

If you haven’t been to a bluegrass festival, I encourage you to find one near you and go! They can be tons of fun for the whole family. So, again thank you to each and everyone for helping to make this program fun, exciting, and successful for the past 2 years and looking forward to many more!