It’s been more than five years, but people still ask Josh Williams about “The Bird.” In May 2011, the Josh Williams Band was playing Doyle Lawson’s festival in Denton, N.C., when a baby bird, just out of the nest, fluttered from the stage rafters to land on his Kendrick guitar. Williams stopped playing so as not to disturb it, but kept singing, the bird staring up at him for the rest of the song. The old saying came to life: “He could charm the birds out of the trees.” Video cameras rolled, and the YouTube clip went viral, more than 2.5 million views to date.
“I do think it was a blessing from God,” Williams says. “I don’t necessarily know yet what it meant, but I’ve seen too many things to believe in coincidences.” Most of us didn’t know at the time, but what gave it special meaning for him was that blessing came almost a year to the day after he completed rehab for the methamphetamine addiction that had wasted the robust 6’4” singer/guitarist down to a 140-pound skeleton.
Personal relationships that last a lifetime are wonderful and rare these days. It’s even more extraordinary for a musical partnership to endure in this way, particularly between two people who are married to each other. But that’s exactly the kind of relationship Eddie and Martha Adcock have. After more than four decades together, they’re still in love and still happily making music together.
Long-lasting friendships—the kind in which two individuals can repeatedly veer off in separate directions but always return to pick up right where they left off—are also few and far between. And, going back over half a century, that’s the type of relationship that exists between Eddie Adcock and his former Country Gentlemen bandmate Tom Gray.
Eddie and Martha have continually refreshed their music by playing what they enjoy, adding elements of folk, country, blues, gospel, rock, and jazz to their bluegrass. Their personnel configurations from II Generation to David Allan Coe have ranged from a duo to a seven-piece group. They had been performing exclusively as a duo when, in 2005, they invited Tom to join them on some shows. They found the connection was still there, both for audiences and for themselves, and they began to perform together on a semi-regular basis as a trio.