Many family groups have made a name for themselves in the fields of gospel, bluegrass and country music but few can claim performance success in all three genres while never veering from their sincere dedication that their music should always reflect the love of Jesus.
Whether performing on a grand stage with country stars such as Randy Travis and Diamond Rio, bluegrass festival or gospel concert in front of thousands, or in the pulpit of a small country church, 2008 Impact Award nominee The Watkins Family raise spirits and hopes of the life to be led as servants of Christ through their harmonies.
While the musical legacy of the Watkins family reaches back for generations in the mountains of northeast Georgia, their music today reflects the best in harmonies and musical instrumentation that can be heard.
Their newest CD “Heaven’s Worth Waiting For”, which includes two charting songs in multiple genres, features a group at the height of their abilities. Produced by Grammy winner Mark Fain, Grammy nominee Karen Peck Gooch and Danny Jones the CD follows their acclaimed project “Darkness Wept.”
The successful career was born from the dreams of the late Don Watkins, a guitarist/vocalist, and his wife Judy began a ministry in the 1970s that grew to include their son Todd and daughters, Lorie and Shanon.
The family continues to tour across the United States and Canada appearing at gospel singings, fairs, bluegrass festivals and ministerial conferences and crusades.
Lorie and Todd share emcee duties on stage while passing nine instruments between them as their performances move forward with almost a seamless since of clockwork as Judy joins in with her harmonies and helps to orchestrate seamless changes.
Todd shares his proficiency on guitar, resonator guitar, and bass, and singing numerous parts and tools the sound heard through the group’s equipment to the highest level of perfection.
Two-time Female Artist of the Year nominee Lorie Watkins sings and plays banjo, mandolin and guitar on stage.
The family made a heralded appearance at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky in 2007 where Lorie performed with the legendary banjo stylist Earl Scruggs. The group’s appearance was broadcast on the INSP, Inspirational Network. Lorie made a return appearance to share the stage as part of Tim Lovelace’s NQC All-Star Band in 2008.
They have appeared on shows with legendary names of bluegrass such as Jim and Jesse, Mac Wiseman, and gospel music stars including The Speers, Gov. Jimmie Davis, and The Lewis Family.
The Watkins Family have received nominations for Impact Award and Female Artist of the Year from the Front Porch Fellowship hosted at the National Quartet Convention, Best Contemporary and Traditional Bluegrass Gospel Group by the Society for the Preservation of BlueGrass Music in America which hosts its annual awards in Nashville, and were also nominated as Best Bluegrass Act at the Coca-Cola Music Awards previously hosted in Atlanta.
With numerous albums to their credit they have gained several charting songs in different genres.
The group broke new ground in 1988 becoming the first bluegrass gospel act to perform on Capitol Hill in the Capitol Complex in Washington D.C. attended by dignitaries from around the world.
Don and I always felt we were so blessed with a wonderful family and close friends. Now that I am left this life with out him, I have truly learned how thankful I am to have three wonderful children and so many close friends that have stood beside me.
There is not enough space here for me to describe my Don. I cherish every day, every hour and second that God allowed me to share. He was always there for his family and always had time for a friend – but no one could ever mistake the fact that God came first in his life. I think that this thought was best explained by Danny Jones when he stated that “Don was a country boy who knew how to dres.” In Ephesians 6 it describes the armor of God that we must put on and Don wore his armor faithfully.