Simmers has joined Stoney Creek's lineup just in time to promote the band's newest project, the bluegrass gospel album Are You Ready?. The title track and lead single “Are You Ready?” was written by the late Dee Stottlemyer, sister of bassist and vocalist Libby Files. Files noted that Simmers had previously played mandolin with Stottlemyer, and was the first mandolin player to record a live version of the song with Stottlemyer shortly after she wrote it.
Libby File says she's thrilled that Simmers has joined Stoney Creek in time to promote Are You Ready?. The single features a posthumous duet between Files and Stottlemyer. The song is now playing on bluegrass and gospel radio, and a music video is airing on BlueHighways TV and is available online through YouTube and Yallwire.
Simmers also played at jam sessions in the late 1970s with Stoney Creek's banjo player, Darrell Sanders. Simmers' mandolin and vocal talents, along with his longtime connections to the band members, made him a unanimous choice to fill out the band's lineup. Simmers plays a Buckeye mandolin, built by Pete Hart of Guysville, Ohio.
Stoney Creek is also promoting the re-issue of Darrell Sanders’ West Virginia Style album, released simultaneously with Are You Ready?. Originally released on Webco Records in 1983, West Virginia Style features Sanders’ former band mates Bill Harrell (guitar), Larry Stephenson (mandolin), Carl Nelson (fiddle), and Ed Ferris bass) and special guest Mike Auldridge (dobro). In 2011, Sanders was finally able to license the rights to this recording, which is now making its debut on CD. Recent Stoney Creek concerts have featured several songs from West Virginia Style.
To catch Bob Simmers with Stoney Creek, check out the band's tour dates at StoneyCreekBluegrass.net. Stoney Creek is scheduled to headline the Independence Jam in Clear Spring, Md., on July 3, and the Conococheague Bluegrass Festival in Greencastle, Pa., on August 25. The band will be appearing at West Virginia's Pickin' in the Panhandle in September and North Carolina's Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival in October. application/x-shockwave-flash