Doyle Lawson Gears Up for Busy Touring Season

Doyle Lawson- for the Grateful Web

Some men celebrate their 63rd birthday by starting a countdown to retirement, but for bluegrass legend - and road warrior - Doyle Lawson, April 20th was a milepost on the way to one of his busiest and most successful seasons yet.

Fresh off taping an episode of GAC's Edge Of Country with Kylie Harris (air dates June 23rd & June 25th) that focuses on his newest release, More Behind the Picture than the Wall (Rounder), Lawson paused to break some big news before heading back on the road.

"I'm happy to announce that the new member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver will be Ron Spears," he said.  "Ron will be playing bass and handling lead and harmony vocals.  Ron is a longtime student and fan of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and he understands the style - when we got together, the vocal blend with the trio and quartet was extremely pleasing to my ear.  I'm looking forward to his vocal input as well as having another songwriter in the band."  Spears, who penned "Ocean Of Teardrops" on Lawson's latest release, will start his new duties with Quicksilver on a yet-to-be-determined date.

In the meantime, the veteran bandleader is gearing up for a dizzying round of coast-to-coast performances and honors including stops at California's gigantic Stage Coach country music festival (5/6); Lawson's own bluegrass festival in Denton, NC (5/10-13) and Brooklyn, NY's Southpaw for a Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts performance on June 1st.  Tucked into the busy itinerary is a May 5th stop at Bristol, TN's King College, where Lawson will deliver this year's commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Offsetting the rigors of road life is More Behind The Picture Than The Wall, which is bidding to take its place among Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's most successful releases.  The disc debuted at #2 on Billboard's Bluegrass Album chart week of release (March 27), with first week scans up more than 30% from the group's previous album.  Critics are raving about its "timeless message" (Barnes & Noble) and the quintet's "expert harmonizers" (L.A. Daily News).  "Quicksilver hears as clearly as ever the sound of traditions reborn," says No Depression of More Behind The Picture Than The Wall, and when they catch Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver in concert, this summer's fans will hear it, too.


5/12    Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival   Denton, NC

5/13    Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival   Denton, NC

5/18    Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass    Sevierville, TN

5/19    Community Theatre    McKee, KY

5/25    Twitchell Auditorium    Spartanburg, SC

5/26    Zellwood Corn Festival    Zellwood, FL

6/01    Southpaw    Brooklyn, NY

6/02    Graves Mountain Festival of Music    Syria, VA

6/03    Ram's Head On Stage    Annapolis, MD

6/08    McDukin Civic Center    Cullman, AL

6/09    GA Mountain Fair    Hiawassee, GA

6/16    NC State Bluegrass Festival    Cherokee, NC

6/20    Chatuaqua Festival    Wytheville, VA

6/21    River of Music    Owensboro, KY

6/22    Music in the Mountains    Summersville, WV

6/23    Renfro Valley Entertainment Center    Renfro Valley, KY

7/06    Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival    Conway, MO

7/07    Shadow Valley Gospel Music Fest     Fayetteville, TN

7/12    Ryman Auditorium    Nashville, TN

7/13    N Georgia Bluegrass Festival    Cleveland, GA

7/14    Watermelon Park     Berryville, VA

7/19    Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival    Ancramdale, NY

7/21    Walton Park     Mineral, VA

7/25    MACC Festival    Columbus, OH

7/26    Porter Center for Performing Arts   Brevard, NC

7/28    Rocky Grass Festival    Lyons, CO

7/29    Rocky Grass Festival    Lyons, CA

8/04    Podunk Bluegrass Festival    East Hartford, CT

8/10    Stonehedge Bluegrass Festival    Gray, ME

8/11    Windmill Bay Farms    Alburg, VT

8/17    Cherokee Bluegrass Festival    Cherokee, NC

8/24    Grand Ole Gospel Theatre    Chocowinity, NC

8/25    Andy Griffith Playhouse    Mt. Airy, NC


Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver- for the Grateful Web

Once again displaying the vocal magic that has earned them the IBMA's (International Bluegrass Music Association) "Vocal Group of the Year" award for the past six years, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver release More Behind the Picture Than the Wall for Rounder Records.

Out today, More Behind the Picture... is the secular follow-up to the group's critically-acclaimed You Gotta Dig A Little Deeper (Rounder Records, 2005), and shows - once again - that while these boys have no peers when it comes to raising the roof on Sundays, they've also got the muscle, finesse and know-how to take care of and elevate the more day-to-day concerns that fill the long week between Sabbaths.

Lawson, whose near-mythic path includes career-shaping stints with such legends as Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys, J.D. Crowe & the Kentucky Mountain Boys and - most notably - ten sterling albums in eight years with the Country Gentlemen, formed Quicksilver in 1979.

The group's unfailing instrumental prowess and pristine harmonies have merged fireball bluegrass, classic country and jubilee gospel for almost 30 years. Lawson & Quicksilver have long since cemented their place among bluegrass's enduring elite.

In September of 2006 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Lawson was presented with a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award (which recognizes artistic excellence in cultural authenticity and contributions to one's field), joining an extremely select group of bluegrass artists - Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley and Jerry Douglas - who have also been honored.

doyleAs with previous albums, More Behind the Picture Than the Wall shows off Quicksilver's dependable balance between sweet, in-the-tradition originals and exemplary covers that seem tailor-made for the group's exquisite vocal interplay - and for the otherworldly high-lonesome sound of principal lead singer Jamie Dailey in particular.

Lawson and Dailey share writing credits on three of the album's tunes - the kinetic, early-DL&Q styled "Mississippi River Let Your Water Flow," the buoyant, self-explanatory "Just Lovin' You" and the vintage, in-the-tradition chestnut "When The Blues Are Movin' In" - and Lawson's nimble digits whittled a brand-new instrumental showpiece for the band (the sparkling "Tulsa Turn-A-Round") on his mandolin.

Lawson contributes a memorable pair of lead vocals, tenderly exploring the wrenching heartaches that a father/son relationship can foster, on Harley Allen's "The Phone Call," and bringing a kind of spiritual mystery to the Buddy Cannon/Bill Anderson/Don Miller penned title track.

The opening version of Connie Leigh's "Sadie's Got Her New Dress On" is every bit as fresh, bright and frolicsome as the title suggests. The group's three-part harmony on Leon Payne's thought-provoking "The Selfishness of Man" is as delicate and finely-tuned as any you're likely to hear anywhere, and Lawson and Dailey close the disc with not one, but TWO versions of Dixie and Tom T. Hall's haunting, old-timey "Can You Hear Me Now" - the second version gets a roll-back-the-clock, 'retro 1938' sonic treatment that's guaranteed to raise goosebumps on anyone with fond memories of vintage AM radio days.

Expert, sublime and illuminated throughout by a palpable inner-glow, More Behind the Picture... is almost cinematic in its vivid evocations of the unadorned, rustic life - NEVER as simple nor easy as it seems outwardly, but all the more rewarding for the hard work, passion and dedication that were brought to bear to make it all happen.