A concert of American Christian music by The Needhams is at 6:30 p.m., Friday, March 13 at Ponderosa Bible Church, 1800 N. Beeline Hwy. There is no charge for this concert. Call 928-474-9279 for details.
The Needhams are comprised of Dave Needham, his sister Diane, and her husband Steve.
The musical story begins a generation earlier with Dave and Diane’s parents, David and Eileen Needham. Patriarch David Needham spent his early music career in New England playing with the likes of Lefty Frizzell and Marty Robbins before marrying his wife Eileen and moving to Genesee County in New York.
The couple was part of a local country group, The Genesee Sweethearts. They were called to Christian music, and once Dave and Diane could stand in front of a microphone and learned their instruments, the family began touring throughout the Northeast. David and Eileen moved to Tennessee in 1994, rejoining Dave as a trio in 1997. Today, David and Eileen reside in Tennessee and continue to work behind the scenes for The Needhams.
Son Dave had moved to North Carolina and joined the Dixie Melody Boys as a vocalist and bassist in 1993. While touring with them, Dave was nominated for the Singing News Horizon Individual Award, and garnered respect for his songwriting.
His return to family harmony roots marks the beginning of The Needhams as they are today. Dave owns and manages the group, playing bass guitar, singing and acting as emcee, continuing as a writer and producer for The Needhams as well as other artists in Nashville.
Diane was introduced to audiences at 2 in a theater in LeRoy, N.Y. Harmony was natural for the siblings and adding Diane as drummer to Dave’s bass guitar rounded out the band with David and Eileen playing guitars.
Diane attended Roberts Wesleyan University in North Chili, N.Y. and met drummer Steve Mummert in Pennsylvania, where they moved after they wed. Diane honed her songwriting skills and played guitar with Steve’s group until the couple joined The Needhams. A prolific writer, Diane pens songs for The Needhams and other artists, and adds her mandolin, guitar, and vocal to the pristine family harmony.
Steve Mummert is a Pennsylvania native who began drumming for his family’s group at 12. His parents asked him to add his voice to their group when he turned 18, and their band toured the Mid-Atlantic region extensively.
He met Diane at a music conference in 1992, and their whirlwind romance found her added to his family and band by the middle of 1993. In 1999, Steve approached Dave about joining The Needhams, and now Steve is the road manager for the band as well as drummer and vocalist.
Continuing a tradition of American Christian music, The Needhams have released their latest work Burden Bearer, which is already a favorite among Needham fans. Burden Bearer comprises 10 original songs and features Dave, Diane, and Steve, and also an interview with David and Eileen and a bonus track from 1976.