Popular Bluegrass And Gospel Musician Ted Jones Retires His Band

Ted Jones & The Tarheel Boys Formed In 2004

A well-known local musician has announced the retirement of his bluegrass and gospel music band. Ted Jones and The Tarheel Boys formed back in 2004 when Ted was just 18.  Prior to forming the group Ted had played since the age of 8 in a family bluegrass gospel banded called True Gospel. The Tarheel Boys have played in hundreds of locations, but last week Ted announced he was retiring the band and cancelling all upcoming concert dates.

“I have decided to retire my band for a while,” Jones told JoCoReport on Tuesday. “I am fixing to assume duties as fire chaplain for the Franklin County Fire Association in October. The Lord is calling on me to do more work in the ministry. I will be ministering to fireman through the association and each fire department in the county as well as any other local agency through the fire association.”

There have been several band members over the years. The three current band members performing with Ted include Randy and Joey Canady of Hampstead and Britt Pridgen of Leland.

“We recorded 7 albums during the 15 years. We were blessed to have done several TV shows and played a lot of festivals up and down the East Coast. Our last album, Keeping The Tradition was awarded the Old Time Bluegrass CD of the Year by the Iowa Traditional Music Association.  We were blessed to go out on a high note with that,” Jones said.

One of the highlights of his career was performing on stage with Jesse McReynolds and The Virginia Boys. Other highlights included performing with George and John Shuffler who worked with The Stanley Brothers, meeting Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys, and playing a 1929 mandolin used in famous recordings on the Bluebird Record Label.   Ted and his band were featured by PBS TV in Virginia in 2007.  One of his most popular songs Just Memories was written by Jones.

While the Tarheel Boys may disappear, Ted says he will do solo acts in the future and one freelance project which had already been in the works will continue.  “I’ve been working with a friend in Virginia to do a Jim and Jesse tribute show. We’ll make an announcement in the next two months.”

Since making the announcement last week, Jones says he has been approached to play with other groups, but says no formal plans have been made.

“I’m still going to do some singing, but right now I want to pursue some other opportunities,” Jones said.

Jones said his website will still remain active so that fans can continue to follow him.  “It’s been a wonderful 15 years. I’ve met a lot of good folks and made a lot of good friends.”

Photos courtesy Ted Jones