Arden, North Carolina (March 17, 2023) — Even the most storied performing career must eventually come to an end, and for The Primitive Quartet — for more than half a century, faithful practitioners of an acoustic musical ministry rooted in the traditional sounds of Appalachian mountain churches and communities — that time has finally come.
As a farewell to their many fans — and in addition to Through The Years, their remarkable digital multi-volume retrospective series for Mountain Home Music Company — the group has released their last set of studio recordings, Stay Their Arms to digital platforms. The collection reveals a group as musically compelling and spiritually powerful as they were at their founding in 1973.
Hewing to the sturdy, down-to-earth approach that has characterized their music since the beginning, Stay Their Arms maintains a resolute focus on heartfelt originals that retell timeless truths in ways that inspire and comfort — although, as if to reaffirm their place in tradition one last time, the Quartet includes two of the best-loved songs from the canon in Albert E. Brumley’s “If We Never Meet Again” and R. E. Winsett’s “Will You Meet Me Over Yonder.” Yet new or old, each song glows with the warmth of wood and wire — mandolin, guitar, dobro, fiddle and bass — and the simple, straightforward tones of the human voice, sincere and unadorned, exemplifying the deep appeal that earned the group the devotion of countless audiences over their many years.
“After 50 years of music ministry, our touring days are coming to an end,” says The Primitive Quartet. “We hope our music will live on and be a blessing by way of our recorded songs. We’ve released Stay Their Arms, the final recording that we made, to all digital platforms. Thanks to all who have loved and supported us these many years. We love you all!”
Listen to Stay Their Arms on digital platforms HERE.
About The Primitive Quartet
The Primitive Quartet began in 1973, when two sets of Western North Carolina brothers, Reagan and Larry Riddle and Furman and Norman Wilson, carried a guitar and mandolin with them on a fishing trip, where they discovered a love and a gift for harmony singing. With the encouragement of their parents and pastor, they began to sing together at area churches as the Riddle-Wilson Quartet. In 1978, with the decision to devote themselves to a full-time musical ministry, the group said goodbye to Furman Wilson, welcomed Reagan and Larry’s brother, Mike, into the group and renamed themselves as The Primitive Quartet. As their career developed, the Quartet added Indiana-born singer and instrumentalist Randy Fox in 1986 and, a decade later, another North Carolinian, Jeff Tolbert — first as an instrumentalist and then, with the passing of Norman Wilson in 2014, as a singer. Over the years, The Primitive Quartet has toured across the United States and overseas, recorded scores of albums, released more than a dozen videos and DVDs, and made their “Hominy Valley Singing Grounds” in Candler, North Carolina, into a popular home for gospel singing events.