JD Messer and Sanctified are a six piece band composed of musicians and vocalists from West Virginia and Kentucky. Their group is a ministry for the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. JD says, "We take our ministry and profession very seriously but at the same time do it because we love our Lord, our music, and the comradery of each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. We would first and foremost like to thank God for our gifts in music, singing, and our salvation." Their latest album, Coal Miner's Prayer has been released to Radio via AirPlay Direct.
JD Messer and Sanctified consists of the experienced and skillful lead and rhythm guitar playing, and great harmony vocals of Kenny Stanley. The great dobro playing and piercing high tenor singing of Jerry Sturgill. The Driving banjo playing of Brent Amburgey. The metronome timing and superb tone bass playing, and sweet sounding lead and tenor of Kayla Amburgey The silky smooth fiddle playing of Albon Clevenger. And the songwriting, lead singing, and tasteful mandolin playing of John D. Messer.
The band's members tell us a bit about themselves...
John D. Messer - I spent most of my childhood listening to my uncles and my dad play bluegrass and gospel bluegrass music. I learned my first chord on the guitar when I was seven years old, but it wasn't really until I was 19 or 20 years old that I really took an interest in wanting to play music. I spent countless hours listening to people like Tony Rice, Third Tyme Out, Doyle Lawson, Adam Steffey, Dan Tyminski, Alan Bibey, and some Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe. I loved the driving sound that bluegrass had and by this time it was in my blood. I have to tell you though, I wasn't very good AT ALL!!!! But, that didn't stop me from spending 90% of my day trying to improve and praying for God to bless me to get better. In just a short period of time, I was improving fast. After about 10 years you get what you see today. Still not the best in the world, but definitely better. I am still trying to improve and still praying for God to bless me to always do better. I want to thank people like my parents, my wife, my sister, my uncles, and all of my family who have supported me. Most importantly, I want to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, who Shed his blood that an awful, sinful person like me could be saved.
Jerry Sturgell - I'm 48 years old, and I was born and raised in Kermit West Virginia. I have been married for 25 years, my wife and I have three children and three grand children. My family is very supportive of me. I started playing music when I was 13 years old. My dad was probably my biggest inspiration. He has played music my whole life. I grew up listening to the Stanley Brothers. The first band I played with was the Joint Heirs. From there I played with The Family Heirs, The Overcomers, and Gospel Revue. I play guitar, mandolin, and Dobro and sing high lead and tenor. The Lord has truly blessed me, without him, I wouldn't be able to do these works for him. I want to give God all the praise and glory for giving me the opportunity to be able to do all of this for him.
Kenny Stanley - My dad James B. Stanley was my earliest influence in music. He was able to play a tune on anything with strings, his influences were Flat & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Reno & Smiley, and the Stanley Brothers. As I started to play music I became a big fan of The Bluegrass Album Band. Their music and style has inspired many in the world of bluegrass. I have played music as often as I could over the years, but nothing is more rewarding than doing it in service to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, he has done so much for me. I want to thank him for my salvation, and for the wonderful family that has always supported me as I try to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ every where I go.
Brent Amburgey - From Knott county, Kentucky. I'm 32 and been playing banjo since the age of 17. My dad taught me the basics of this music I love so much. God has blessed me beyond belief and I can't thank him enough for everything he has done for me. Gospel music and playing for God gives me great joy and peace in my soul. Without God I am nothing and I give all the glory to him.
Kayla Amburgey - I was raised in Kermit,WV. and now reside in Knott Co, Ky. I have been around bluegrass music all of my life along side of my father. I started at the age of twelve singing bluegrass gospel as a solo act. At the age of 16, I started playing bass and singing in my own bluegrass band. Through the years, I have been blessed to have musical talent and God loving friends to be able with whom I can play. I am very thankful for every opportunity to be able to sing and play to glorify and praise God's name!
Albon Clevenger - I have played music most all of my life. When I was a kid, I would act like I was sick so I could go home from school and play my banjo. I have been more known as a fiddle player but I played a little of everything. I have played with a lot of different bands in my life, but the one that sticks in my head is 5 For The Gospel. We traveled all around the world playing music for God. I have gotten to go to alot of places that I may have never seen if it were not for the gift that God has given me to play music. I have always had a great passion for bluegrass music, but the biggest passion I have ever had is for my LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. He is the one that has made everything possible for me.