Music Release



“Little at a Time”

Mountain Home Music Company




Roanoke, Virginia


In the wake of “Love Songs,” their most recent bluegrass single, the iconic Lonesome River Band offers an energetic reminder that it is not only one of the best interpreters of secular bluegrass, but of bluegrass gospel, too. “Little at a Time,” from the collective pen of the legendary Easter Brothers, is a muscular affirmation of faith and perseverance married to what aficionados will immediately recognize as the quintet’s signature groove.

The story of a humble character trying to make it day by day through a life of hard work with gratitude for the Lord’s blessing, “Little at a Time” features a lead vocal from mandolinist and tenor singer Jesse Smathers and powerful harmonies from guitarist Brandon Rickman and Sammy Shelor, the group’s leader.

“Growing up in Patrick County, Virginia, I was influenced by a lot of Bluegrass Gospel,” notes Shelor. “One of the strongest groups in that genre was The Easter Brothers from just down the road in Mount Airy, NC. Their songwriting and harmonies were so strong and inspiring to me in my youth, and it has stayed in my heart all these years. We are so happy to be able to pay tribute to these fine gentlemen and the legacy they have created.”

Indeed, with Shelor’s driving banjo kickoff—he’s the second recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Bluegrass and Banjo and a five-time winner of the IBMA’s Banjo Player of the Year award—and sizzling solos from Smathers and fiddler Mike Hartgrove, “Little At A Time” keeps the bluegrass element front and center, while lifting up the song’s gospel message with a heartful delivery.

“‘Little at a Time’ is a song for everyday life,” says Smathers. “It’s for anyone trying to tread the seas of life. The lyric especially rings true as we have all struggled through the pandemic and the troubles of the world. The lyrics and optimistic bounce remind us though, that our faith can guide us through life ‘a little at a time’ and of the glory that is waiting for us in the end.”


  • Beginning almost 4 decades ago, Lonesome River Band continues its reputation as one of bluegrass music's most respected names
  • 4 Top 10 US Bluegrass charting albums, 5x International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year and winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, Sammy Shelor, leads the group in constantly breaking new ground in the acoustic music arena.