Blackwood Brothers hire piano player

Ever since Jimmy Blackwood brought the Blackwood Brothers back onto the Southern Gospel scene six or seven years ago, the quartet has based its sound on classic, piano-and-vocals arrangements. So it was a double loss for the group when baritone/pianist Brad White went into solo ministry last year. Billy Blackwood joined on baritone last year, but the piano bench remained (mostly) vacant until today. (Billy would play some piano, particularly during requests.)

Today, they announced their new pianist, Mike Hammontree. He has been playing piano since age four, and was accepted in the Jacksonville University Conservatory of Music at age six. He has been the minister of music at Southside Assembly of God in Jacksonville, Florida for the last fifteen years—a tenure that bodes well for the Blackwood Brothers, who have maintained one of the steadiest lineups in our genre. (Brad White’s departure last year was their first change in over five years.)

From the press release:

Jimmy said, “We heard about Mike and invited him to play for us at Bill Bailey’s Winter Quartet Convention in February, and again for several Florida concerts in March. We were the first quartet he ever played for and it seemed like a perfect match from the start.”

Mike’s wife, Dana and their sons Chad and Chase said, “This has always been a dream of Mike’s and now has become reality.” Mike says, “I’ve always been a Blackwood.”


For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

4 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I am looking forward to hearing him.

  2. Mike is a FANTASTIC piano player! He will do really well in complimenting the Blackwood Brother’s style.

  3. At six??? That’s amazing!

  4. I had the opportunity of hearing the Blackwood Bros tonight and hear Mike play and he tore it up!! Literally!! (well okay it wasn’t his fault the keyboard pedal broke! LOL) But he moved over to a grand piano and he is one of the finest pianist I have ever heard and he really fit well with the Blackwoods style. Randy said when he first played with them in Florida it didn’t take long for him to fit right in and “hit his groove” with the Blackwood Brothers.