VBF Video Theatre 009: Kevin Pace and The Early Edition Hitch Up "Wheel Hoss"
This morning on Video Theatre we are showcasing our fantastic headliner this evening, Kevin Pace and The Early Edition, as they burn up the strings with Bill Monroe's "Wheel Hoss." We've also included some bonus audio tracks in case the video isn't enough to get you exited about tonight! See you there—gates open at 9 am!
Kevin Pace and The Early Edition have been touring the Northwest since they made their debut in January of 2012. Though fronting his own band had been in the back of his mind for a long time, the idea for this group came to Kevin in the spring of 2010. After relocating from the southeast to the northwest, he wanted to put together a group of young guys who could play and sing real bluegrass and gospel music.
After much prayer and consideration he began looking at who might fill the roles that were needed to make this band a reality. Then the good Lord let things start falling into place. After stumbling across some local kids playing bluegrass on YouTube, Kevin contacted them and within a few months he had his banjo and fiddle player. After running into a musician at a festival that he had met the year before, he had his guitar player. Soon after the four piece band began meeting and going over material and just getting to know one another both personally and musically. For several months the guys met and rehearsed without a bass. About eight months later a bassist was brought to Kevin’s attention by one of the band members and a few weeks later the bass fiddle was in place and the group was complete.
After a few more months of rehearsing the band was ready to make their debut and did so on January 21, 2012. The band was very well received by the audience and was immediately hired for two festivals for later that year. They took off from there and have enjoyed a great two years of traveling around the northwest festival circuit and opening for such acts as Chis Jones & the Night Drivers, the Boxcars, the reigning and two-time IBMA entertainers of the year the Gibson Brothers and many more. During this time the band has also recorded two CD projects which are available. As they look to go forth and continually build and broaden their fan base, they look forward to coming to your area and bringing their brand of bluegrass and gospel music to a venue near you.
Kevin Pace – Mandolin, guitar, lead & harmony vocals
Josh Robertson – Guitar, lead & harmony vocals
Christopher Arndt – Banjo, guitar
Matthew Arndt – Fiddle, harmony vocals
Jim Adams – Upright Bass, bass vocals
Born in 1971 and raised in the great state of Georgia, Kevin grew up in a family of talented musicians and singers. His Dad and two aunts made up The Pace Trio, a gospel group that traveled around Georgia in the late 50’s and early 60’s and sang in concerts with southern gospel greats such as Hovie Lister and the Statesman Quartet.
Besides his family Kevin has had several musical influences down through the years. But it wasn’t until he was in his twenties that he really got on fire for bluegrass music. Since then he has studied the music and played it as much as possible. He has been a side man for local/regional bands in the south and more recently in Washington State.
In the fall of 2010 he formed his own group that is a traditional bluegrass and gospel band. Kevin is “old school” when it comes to performing. He prefers the use of one mic and dressing up for stage. His mandolin playing is heavily influenced by Bill Monroe and his strong tenor voice has been compared to that of Vince Gill. With an easy-going, laid-back stage presence he makes the audience feel comfortable and right at home.
Other influences include Doyle Lawson, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, the Stanley Bros, the Chuck Wagon Gang and Flatt & Scruggs.
He has surrounded himself with a group of talented young men that can really get the job done. Close, tight harmonies and great picking is the core of Kevin’s music, driven by his desire to spread the Good News through the music. Kevin and his wife Michelle reside in Spokane, WA.
Christopher lives in Post Falls, Idaho and is the older brother of fellow band member Matthew Arndt. Musically he has come a long way in a short time, having started playing banjo in 2007 and guitar in the summer of ‘08. He is currently a member of the Tony Trischka School of Banjo, a division of the Artistworks Academy of Bluegrass Music.
Christopher was playing mostly with The North Idaho Hat Band, a trio formed with his brother and a friend, when Kevin discovered him. He has also performed with the Bressler Trio.
He has a quick sense of humor. “I’ve never lost a banjo contest, mainly ‘cause I’ve never entered one!” Funny, but true.
He is a dedicated musician who is continually working to improve himself. He plays Scruggs style but also is talented with the chromatic style of banjo pickin’. His main musical influences include Earl Scruggs, Scott Vestal, Tony Trischka, Bela Fleck, Jens Krueger, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Tony Rice, The Alex DePue & Miguel DeHoyos Duo, and John Williams.
Josh grew up in the mountains of northeast Washington and started playing guitar at the age of fifteen. A few years later he was playing in a local band, and has since served in a number of bands. Now at the age of twenty-seven, he’s lending his talents to the Early Edition, playing guitar and offering some nice vocals.
Josh is a fine flat picker and was voted “best guitar player” for the INBA in 2008. He’s also excellent at playing the finger-picking style of Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, which are two of his biggest influences. Other influences include Tony Rice and Bryan Sutton. Josh resides in Addy, Washington with his wife and two children. Folks there say he is a “bluegrass nut”. They’re probably right!
Matthew is the youngest member of the group at 17, but seems way ahead of his time. He has only been playing the fiddle for about six years, but you would think it’s been for a lot longer. He has a wonderful touch on the instrument and is destined to do great things with it. Besides being the fiddler, he has come into his own as a vocalist, singing harmony with the group. Being the younger sibling of the banjo player, Christopher, he has an arsenal of banjo jokes and isn’t afraid to use them!
Matthew played with the North Idaho Hat Band for the last couple of years. This has been a great experience for him and his brother. First of all, they have to work together, not only on playing at live gigs but also at the recording studio where they have cut two CD’s.
In his spare time he enjoys riding motorcycles, archery, shooting, hunting, and robotics. He lives with his family in Post Falls, Idaho.
Jim anchors the band on the double bass and sings bass in the group’s quartet numbers. Originally from north central Washington, Jim spent numerous years performing and playing in the beautiful mountains of western Colorado. Having returned to the Pacific Northwest, Jim is looking forward to getting to know the region’s rich music scene while exploring the world of traditional bluegrass with The Early Edition.
Jim holds a B.A. in music from Western State College of Colorado where he studied under Dr. Laura Shumann and Mr. Kenneth Todd and has received numerous awards and citations for outstanding musicianship in the areas of jazz and classical music. He has performed in the Crested Butte Summer Music Festival, the After 5 Jazz Quartet, the Western Slope Ramblers, the multi-national group Siya Jika, the Western State College Community Orchestra, and was music director for Rocky Mountain Christian Ministries.
When he’s not onstage holding the bass up, Jim spends his time home-schooling his six children with his wonderful wife Jen, teaching low strings, piano and guitar, tuning pianos, fixing and building string instruments, and woodworking. Jim and his family reside in Reardan, Washington.