Daywind Music Group Relaunches Thoroughbred Records

~ CHOSEN ROAD JOINS VENERABLE BLUEGRASS GOSPEL LABEL THOROUGHBRED RECORDS ~

Daywind Music Group, home to top Gospel labels Daywind Records and New Day Records and upstart mainstream bluegrass label Billy Blue Records, is relaunching Thoroughbred Records, a bluegrass Gospel label with historic ties to the genre. Thoroughbred’s first signing is Chosen Road which debuts with a brand-new upcoming album titled Appalachian Christmas featuring the veteran group along with several artist friends including Selah, Point of Grace, and more.

Thoroughbred Records emerged in 1995 as a premier outlet for bluegrass Gospel music. Thoroughbred was home to the incomparable Lewis Family, Hall of Famers in both the bluegrass and Gospel genres, from 1995 until shortly before their retirement in 2009. The Easter Brothers, a Mt. Airy, NC, mainstay in the genre featuring brothers Edd, Russell, and James Easter, followed and were later joined by Chigger Hill Boys and Terri, who joined the label in 2003. Along with these tremendous artists, the label directed attention to the Gospel side of bluegrass during the period of tremendous resurgence of the bluegrass genre following the release of the blockbuster movie, O Brother Where Art Thou through its two-volume collection of Bluegrass Gospel music, O Lord How Great Thou Art, which featured cuts from artists including Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Bluegrass Cardinals, Alison Kraus, Ricky Skaggs, and many more. Thoroughbred culminated its successful initial run with an audio and video collaboration featuring Jeff and Sheri Easter, the Lewis Family, and the Easter Brothers aptly titled We are Family.  

In 2018, Daywind Music Group formed Billy Blue Records, a boutique mainstream bluegrass label under the direction of veteran industry creative Jerry Salley. The highly successful label includes Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (recently retired), Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Donna Ulisse, Jason Barie, Appalachian Road Show, Authentic Unlimited, and more, and is home to multi-artists projects like IBMA Award winner Country Faith Bluegrass and Grammy® nominee Gonna Sing Gonna Shout. The relaunching of Thoroughbred Records fits nicely with Daywind Music Group’s move into the bluegrass genre and will give Chosen Road and other strictly bluegrass Gospel artists their own label home.

A&R and Creative Director of Thoroughbred Records/Billy Blue Records, Jerry Salley, commented, “Christian Hearts with a Musicians’ Mind – that’s what I’m reminded of when I think of The Chosen Road.  Over the years of getting to know this band and it’s founder, Jonathan Buckner, I have been impressed not only with their musical ability, but also their hearts for the God they serve and sing about. I am very excited to launch Thoroughbred Records, our new, all-Bluegrass-Gospel label with such a sincere and exciting group”.         

Jonathan Buckner of Chosen Road adds, “As a band, we couldn’t be more excited about the re-launch of Thoroughbred Records, and the opportunity to be a part of the Daywind family. Thoroughbred Records has a rich history in bluegrass and roots gospel music. We grew up listening to the legendary artists that once called Thoroughbred home. We’re honored to become a part of that legacy. Daywind has made such a positive impact on the world through Gospel music, and that is why Chosen Road exists. We look forward to bringing hope through some exciting new music to audiences and listeners very soon.”Thoroughbred Records will be distributed to Christian retail through New Day Christian Distributors.

Who Is Chosen Road?

Chosen Road has carved a singular niche in the musical landscape with their world-class Appalachian instrumentation combined with a passion for sharing and living the Gospel. Comprised of founding member Jonathan Buckner, along with Zachary Alvis, Tyler Robertson and Josh Hicks, the group has been carefully honing their craft since 2009, releasing six albums and performing at festivals, fairs, churches and theatres across the United States as well as overseas. Their 2020 recording, Appalachian Worship, reached #4 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart, and remained a fixture there for a notable 30 weeks. Throughout their career, the ensemble has garnered six Top 10 Bluegrass radio singles, including the #1 “When I Get Home,” and performed on stages alongside such greats as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent, and The Isaacs. With deep roots in the Baptist tradition, the band has an ongoing partnership with the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Church Replant and Revitalization Team, where they help increase awareness about the number of churches closing their doors each year. Their latest recording, Appalachian Hymns, released in the fall of 2021 and has spent 8 weeks in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart.

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