Considered a supergroup by fans and followers of bluegrass music alike, The Bluegrass Album Band was founded by Tony Rice and J.D. Crowe in 1980. The band itself featured J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Tony Rice, Bobby Hicks, and Todd Phillips. The initial reason for the this ensemble was to help Tony Rice with his solo album. Although, once they began to work together and were so pleased with the result, The Bluegrass Album was born. This aforementioned album was released in 1981, with 5 more volumes of music to follow.
The song, “Model Church,” off this album was written by a NY Methodist minister named John H. Yates in 1896. It’s a gospel song about an old man visiting and recounting a meeting place not built for show. Telling his wife about the glorious singing and simple sermon he witnessed, he joyfully reassures her that though their race was nearly run, their victory would soon be won.