February 17–19, 2023
Bluegrass First Class
Second Chance Bluegrass
Second Chance Bluegrass is a Bluegrass Gospel group committed to sharing the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you like soaring harmonies, exceptional musicianship and encouraging ministry and testimony you’ll like us! This is not your grandparent’s bluegrass group. We are energetic and youthful yet passionate about the traditions of our music. If you enjoy the driving sounds of traditional bluegrass with all the dynamic harmonies and style of today’s sounds, you’ll love Second Chance Bluegrass and the unique presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through music we present!
History of the Band
After singing in the Southern Gospel group, The Welcomaires, cousins Jon Essick (banjo, bass, 2002–present) and Jerry Tysinger (guitar, 2002–present) joined with Jon’s sister, Amy (vocals, 2002–2006) and her husband Randy Dally (mandolin, 2002–present) along with another cousin, Freddie Craver (guitar, 2002–2006) to form a family bluegrass group. Shortly thereafter a bass player named Sid Curry (upright bass, 2002–2006) joined the band and named the group Second Chance Bluegrass. Sid had played bluegrass on the radio in the 50’s and had just survived a near death experience during a routine gall bladder procedure. Sid said, “You folks gave me a second chance at playing bluegrass and the Lord gave me a second chance at life to tell as many people as I can about Jesus.” Sid gave his testimony each and every night about his experience until he had to leave the band to care for his wife. Sid would later come back and record a recitation for each of the first 2 CD’s for the group.
In 2005, Randy Shumaker (banjo, guitar & dobro, 2005–2016) joined the band and brought a strong lead vocal to the group that coupled with Jerry, Randy D., and Jon. They formed a new sound that became recognizable as Second Chance Bluegrass. Tom Hyatt (banjo, 2007–2010) joined the band in 2007 on banjo and Jon moved to the upright bass and Randy to the guitar. Now the group was ready to record. Randy Shumaker had written a song about his battle with cancer called “Bend in the Road” and it became the title track to the first project. The group now had a ministry going and sang in 67 churches and venues that year alone. Tom Hyatt moved to Kentucky and after a few months Greg Pettigrew (banjo, 2010–2014) from Monroe, NC took over the banjo and the groups ministry continued to grow. After Greg had to leave the road Terry Martin (2014) played banjo for a little while until his health wouldn’t allow him to continue and a 17-year-old banjo player named Blake Lanning from Reedy Creek, NC stepped in and took the banjo role he holds today. During 2014 the group recorded “It’s About Time” which included the banjo work of Greg, Terry, and Blake.
Back in 2007, Randy Shumaker had been diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live. Randy ended up living for 9 years before a blood disease finally overtook him in 2016. Randy was an inspiration to Second Chance and so many with his songs and testimony. Although this was a difficult time for the band, they remembered his last request for the group to continue sharing the gospel and “keep on singing”.
In 2019 the band released the long awaited self-titled album Second Chance Bluegrass. They continue their mission together to share both their love for Bluegrass and their love for Jesus with everyone and everywhere they have the opportunity to perform.