Location: R.A. Fountain

from the May 27, 2009 FAD

The Chocowinity-based bluegrass gospel group Unshackled celebrates release of its new CD Going Down the Road this Friday evening with a performance at Fountain General Store.

Unshackled takes its name from a line in one of the group’s original bluegrass gospel songs, “Lift the Chains.” They perform original and traditional bluegrass gospel at churches, festivals, and special events throughout the region.

Formed in 2002, the band evolved out of a weekly picking session held at the home of the late Rev. Bobby Chandler. Unshackled continues to perform today with its original mission: to share the band’s Christian faith through traditional and original bluegrass gospel music.

Current members include Warren Blackard of Chocowinity on bass; Marvin Walker of Kinston on banjo; Elton Ipock of Washington on mandolin; and Preston Norman of Blount’s Creek on guitar. All share in lead and harmony vocals.

“We just got the CDs in,” said Blackard. “Fountain will be the first place we’ve had them for sale.”

The new CD was produced by Mike Rose and recorded at his Goldsboro studio, Audio Farm. The disc contains four originals and covers of traditionals by the likes of Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs.

Also new to the band for its Fountain performance is vocalist Amy Burton, a classically trained violinist who will become the band’s fiddler once she’s comfortable with bluegrass style.

Tags: bluegrass gospel, original, tradtional bluegrass