Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cross Ties Band: Joy Of My Life

I discovered this tune and the “Cross Ties Band” a couple of months ago when I was looking for sacred bouzouki music on YouTube. I immediately added the song to my YouTube favorites. “Joy of My Life” was written by multi-instrumentalist Johnny Wright, who is featured in this recording playing the penny whistle and Irish bouzouki.

Intrigued by his sound, I asked Johnny what tuning he was using and he responded that he is using the GDAD tuning that gives a drone-like quality to this song in the key of D. The addition of the bodhran by Bret Mulcay really adds to the Celtic flavor of this song that I am featuring as my Spiritual Sunday selection.

For more information, I suggest that you check out their website at The following bio of the band is taken directly from this site.
The Cross Ties Band is an acoustic, stringed instrument band based in northwest Georgia. Covering a broad spectrum of musical tastes, the versatile ensemble enjoys playing and singing bluegrass, gospel, a cappella spirituals, Sacred Harp hymns, and traditional Irish music. With "something for everybody," the group is seen regularly at churches, festivals, and private social events throughout Georgia and the southeast.

Although Cross Ties was only officially formed as a band in 2003, some band members have been performing together since 1987 as The Universal Pickers. Cross Ties and its predecessor group have completed four concert tours of Germany since 1997, as well as appeared locally with well-known artists such as The Inspirations, The Isaacs, IIIrd Tyme Out, and Doc Watson. The band has produced seven recording projects since 1990, with the most recent since the summer of 2004: “Makin’ Tracks”, “Wonderful Over There”, and “Life's Highway”. The band recently re-released its 1993 recording "Original Sacred Harp" on CD. This recording has gained national attention as a selection requested by the Library of Congress.

The Cross Ties Band consists of Johnny Wright, Randy Garrett, Randy Ellis, and Bret Mulcay. The band's repertoire reflects the diverse talents and backgrounds of the individual members, and a Cross Ties show is full of instrument swapping and unexpected combinations of harmony. Coupled with enjoyable comedy and audience interaction, the end result is uplifting and entertaining.

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