Many of the songs on the album reflect my upbringing and Christian experiences. I was born and raised in the Appalachian hills of West Virginia. We lived up a hollow and walked about a mile to Church on Wednesday's and Sunday's. I attended a small Baptist church where hell was preached so hot you could feel the heat. You could see the convicting power of the Holy Spirit work in the hearts of men and women and persuade them to repent and dedicate their lives to the Lord. There was a great amount of respect for the Church. We were taught to serve God with fear and trembling, respect and love your neighbor, provide for the needy and pray for those who would spitefully use you. Dad would play his guitar, especially on weekends. He and mom would sing and friends and neighbors would come to the house and stay for hours at a time and sometimes overnight. Some would join in and sing and others would clap their hands or stomp their feet, and there was usually some good home cooking at some point during the evening. Sometimes mom would become happy and shout. My four brothers and I would just kind of look on and sometimes laugh. There were seven of us and we were raised poor, I guess. Dad worked in the coalmines, when he wasn't on strike or laid off. He raised a garden and sold crops during the summer. Mom cleaned houses, did laundry and ironed clothes for extra money. We all had chores to do and everyone worked in the garden. I once asked Dad, "Were those rows of corn really that long or did they seem so long because I was little?" He said, "Nope, they were really that long." Dad was a great musician and song writer. As a young man he had an opportunity to go to Nashville and go on the road to sing and play the guitar for a living, but he could not stand the thought of being away from us and mom. He would make me sing Davy Crockett when someone would visit. I once asked him to teach me to play the guitar. He gave it to me and said, "Learn the same way I did." He must have known something that I didn't at that time. I was always around bluegrass gospel music. It wasn't unusual to have a group of singers and musicians to the house and musical instruments laying everywhere. They didn't need a big crowd, just someone to say let's go to Sarge's house. They would bring their wives and children and "Let the music begin." I didn't begin to sing in Church until I was about 20 years old. With my guitar, I think was purchased at Sears, I stood before a crowd for the first time, knees trembling and mouth dry. After a few months the Pastor, Clarence Campbell, began to call on me about more often and occasionally had me sing on a local radio program. It seemed we were always in revival meetings somewhere and I remember one that lasted five weeks. I sang almost every night. I rarely had musical accompaniment; just me, the Lord and my guitar. It was during this time I wrote my first songs. Very few of the early songs are on this album. One of the first songs, Born Again, is on the album. It was an attempt to put into words my conversion and the transformation I experienced going from darkness into light. I heard the gospel preached that Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. He made the cripple to walk, the deaf to hear, the mute to speak and the blind to receive their sight. What a revelation, what Jesus did for me. Hallelujah! I've been born again! Ok, who were my musical influences? Groups like The Hinson's, The Cook Family, The McCameys and The Payne's influenced me. But, I am influenced every time I hear a new song of any genre. There are also many other Christian singers who influenced me. I would often attend singing conventions where individuals and groups from various churches would come together and sing until midnight. There was rejoicing and preaching and someone was usually saved. My greatest musical influence was my father. Every time I visited him the first thing he would say was, "Do you have your guitar with you?" He was always reading his Bible, writing a song or playing his guitar. He was a perfectionist when it came to his music and that's something that probably hindered him from singing in public more than he did. He was one of the most delightful and entertaining persons I have ever known. He became disabled from a coal mining accident and this prevented him from doing more of what he loved most, singing and playing his guitar. This album is dedicated to my mom, who is still singing and praising the Lord, and my father who passed away April 17, 2006. May the Holy Spirit bless and comfort you as you listen to the songs from "The Chosen One."