Bass player Jay Sanders is a Nashville native who moved to North Carolina to study jazz at Appalachian State University. They knew him through music circles. Dobro player Billy Cardine also was a mutual friend.
"We invited him to play with us three years ago for an Earth Day celebration in Ashville and it was love at first sight," McMurry said.
Friday's gig won't be the band's first in West Virginia. Over the years, it has played in Morgantown, at Charleston's Empty Glass and for Mountain Stage, when it did a show at Snowshoe Resort.
These days, the McMurry clan still has strong ties to farmland its family has owned since the late 1700s. Steve grows wheat and soybeans on 100 acres of his own. Bryon used to grow tomatoes but now works as executive director of the county Division of Farm Services. Fitz is a vegetable grower.
Because of their roots, the McMurrys are strong advocates for the environment and the traditions of farming. They have played benefit concerts including Farm Aid and McMurry said the topic of farming often comes up during concerts.
"Farming is hard to make a living on, though we've all tried it at one time or another," he said, recalling the troubling 1980s when many farmers they knew were foreclosed on by the federal government.
"It almost happened to us - it was a very painful and unsettling series of events," McMurry said, adding his uncle Fitz - the younger Fitz's father - was able to save the family farm by selling off a parcel of it and now has made the operation profitable again.
He has many fond memories of the farm growing up and his time there led to his music career.
"My parents would send me up there (to the farm) to work," he said. When he was 12, Fitz was 11 and Bryon was 9, their parents decided to buy them musical instruments.
"I got a fiddle, Bryon got a bass and Fitzy got a guitar," he said. "They would parade us out for family events - we served at the pleasure of our parents. That carried on until we grew out of it."
"I was a child of the New Wave music, so I wandered off in that direction for a while," he recalled. In the early 1990s, the cousins reunited and started writing music.
As the band works out its latest iteration, McMurry said he's enjoying the new pace.
"We did that professional touring thing ... We traveled the country top to bottom and in between. That was a wonderful experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but that is a young man's game," McMurry said.
"Life isn't all about fame and fortune. I'm really glad that's how it worked out because our lives were enriched."
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