There are some lyrics from a famous Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings song that are apropos to a group of young musicians from the bluegrass band Gate 10, who have been singing and playing together since August 2018. The band’s name Gate 10 is derived from the name of the road where lead vocalist, Addie Levy, lives.
In the song, “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,” two specific verses stand out: “they pick guitars” … and “they’d rather give you a song than diamonds and gold.”
The musicians from Gate 10 range in age from 10 to 21 and although they are not cowboys, they have a passion for performing and inviting all generations to experience their love of music. They write most of the lyrics and compose and arrange the melodies that they perform. Jared Housman does much of the phrasing and succinctly puts it, “I don’t have feelings … I have songs.”
Levy, vocalist and mandolin player, began singing in church at age three and playing the piano at age five. She and Housman were members of the former group Gravel Road which disbanded because of the members going onto college and careers. Now at age 17, Levy, along with band member Ethan Handy, teach music with Pulaski JAM – Junior Appalachian Musicians.
Jarrod Belcher, 21 from Blue Ridge, is a self-taught guitar player and sings vocals with the band. He will be graduating this year from New River Community College with associate degrees in Instrumentation and Electrical Engineering.
Like several of the other band members, Belcher grew up in church and was influenced by the hymns and conventional songs; learning piano at age 10.
“I had a cheap little toy guitar that had four strings and I started picking out melodies on one string and tried to learn whatever chords I could. I got my first real guitar for Christmas when I was 13 and fell in love with it! I’ll never forget how excited I was when I finally strummed a full chord on all six strings,” he recalled.
Brightly smiling Eric Handy, age ten and the youngest member of the band plays the dobro. He began learning the piano at age eight.
“My parents played music at home and we went to concerts,” he explained when talking about his love of music.
Older brother, Ethan Handy, began playing at age seven and is the lead banjo and guitar player for Gate 10.
According to Ethan, “I would definitely like to make a career out of musical performance and mentoring others.” Ethan also produces and engineers the productions for the group.
By chance, Ethan met Jarrod and invited him to check out the band. He asked if Jarrod knew a fiddle player, so Jarrod brought Gabe Scott along … and the rest is history.
Gabriel “Gabe” Scott, 19, plays fiddle for Gate 10 and sings vocals. As a double major in Electrical Engineering and Music Performance, his passion is for teaching the younger generations and passing on the love of music as a legacy. Gabe believes the Gospel song he wrote, “He’s Always There” was an inspiration from God.
“Some songs come easily … those are the ones inspired by God,” he says.
Housman, age 17, plays bass and began his music career at age nine. He is a member of the Auburn High School Marching Band and performs classical percussion. He likes the technical side of production and has built circuits, instruments and gears, and would love to have a recording studio in the future.
While Gate 10 classifies their music genre as progressive bluegrass, it does contain elements of the tales of traditional bluegrass, the energy of classic rock, the love of Christ in Gospel and the heartaches of old country music.
“Writing our songs is mostly a collaborative endeavor,” says Levy. One of the favorite songs on the new CD entitled “Maitland,” was a group write about life in a coal town. Inspiration came from Belcher’s family’s hometown outside Welch, W.Va.
Songs from their first CD, “Play Another Round” will be featured at the Floyd Country Store on Saturday, February 22nd from 12 to 3 p.m. Special guests will be Scott Patrick and Jim Lloyd who were influencial in the group’s song writing, and some students from the Pulaski JAM middle school program. A celebration from 2 to 3 p.m. will enable fans to obtain autographs, purchase Gate 10 merchandise and participate in door prize drawings and a special raffle of the fiddle being played that day.
To win, fans need to like the Gate 10 page on Facebook, share the release post and add comments. Visit the Gate 10 website for additional information: www.gate10band.com
Gate 10 will be featured on Monday, February 24th during a radio interview with Stevie Barr on the Crooked Road Show on Classic Country 98.1 WBRF radio.
By DANIELLE REID, The Patriot