Bill Yates announces new members

Bill Yates, long time bass player with The Country Gentlemen now tours with a special tribute show that honors the Gents. They book as Bill Yates & the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band, and you can find a list of their show dates online.

Though not an original member, Yates played with the Country Gentlemen for 20 years, working alongside founder Charlie Waller through the 1970s and ’80s. During this time he played with a number of other bluegrass legends, including Bill Emerson, Doyle Lawson, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas and more.

Bill has a couple of new members in tow this year. Banjo player Kevin Church and bass player Terry Pearson are moving on, with Rick Briggs taking the banjo spot and Eric Troutman the bass. They join current members Dave Propst on mandolin, Mark Clifton on resonator guitar and Mike Phipps on guitar.

Yates serves as MC, and sings with the group, but much of the singing is handled by Phipps, noted for his remarkable ability to mimic the great Charlie Waller.

Kevin and Terry will depart after the Tribute show on February 26 at the Old Schoolhouse in Lucketts, VA. On behalf of the band, Propst shared this statement:

“The Bill Yates & the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band would like to wish Kevin and Terry the best of luck on their new ventures for the future, and at the same time welcome Rick and Eric aboard. With the addition of these two fine musicians to the band, the honor, integrity and sound of The Country Gentlemen legacy will definitely be most adeptly continue on in fine tradition.”

We aren’t sure what Pearson’s future plans may be, but will have details shortly on Church’s next move.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.