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Music in the Mailroom: Greg Marlow says that music is medicine

Greg Marlow plays with New Harvest, a Campbell County band that has opened for Diamond Rio, The Charlie Daniel Band and others. (photo:Crystal Huskey )
What has music meant to LaFollette resident Greg Marlow?

“It’s been a lot of different things,” he said. “It’s been a friend. At times, it’s been a curse. More than anything, it’s been medicine. Literally, medicine, some of the best.”

He’s been a part of the band New Harvest for more than 30 years, along with Steve Bruce, who is his pastor at Faithway Assembly of God, his brother Warren Marlow, and Robert Powell, who has been with them since 1992.

The band also serves as the worship team at Faithway, a church that was condemned last week due to the massive flooding in Campbell County.

“Our church was the hardest hit in all of it,” Marlow said.

The waters reached 8-feet in the sanctuary and stayed there for nearly eight hours.

“It destroyed everything,” he said. “All our sound equipment, we stored it there. We lost everything. The amps, speakers, microphones, new digital board we had just bought. Cables, you name it. Stands. It destroyed everything. Gone.”

The church didn’t have any flood insurance because it wasn’t in a flood plain. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency called it the 500-year flood.

For the foreseeable future, the congregation will meet at the old post office building in LaFollette, which currently serves as Postmark LaFollette’s headquarters.

Postmark LaFollette is a nonprofit in the county that supports the arts.

“They’ve been gracious to loan us the building,” Marlow said. “The stage is there now and they’re loaning us the equipment.

“We’ll be all right.”

We’ll be all right. It’s a motto that has gotten Marlow and his family through many things, inspired by his faith in God. He and his family have dealt with sickness — Marlow contracted Black Lung Disease during his time as a miner — and loss. But music and his faith have always gotten him through.

The band opened for the Charlie Daniels Band and Diamond Rio in the early 90s, and they had the opportunity to meet many interesting people throughout the years.

“We traveled from Michigan to Mississippi, pretty much everywhere…east of the Mississippi,” he said.

His son Luke has music in the blood, too. He plays with Campbell County band New River Rising, and he and his dad recently cowrote a song.

“I had the lyrics on my mind for months, but didn’t know what to do with it,” Marlow said. “He’s always got a guitar or mandolin in his hand, and he played that song. I said, ‘Hang on. Don’t do nothing. I’ve got some lyrics somewhere.’ I think in 10 minutes we had a song.”

The song is available to listen to on our video series available at