Bluegrass folks line up for Dalton Harper

Dalton HarperLast Spring we shared happy news from Missouri’s The Harper Family, when they signed with Crossroads Music’s Pisgah Ridge label. Changes, their first album for Pisgah Ridge, was released in August 2012, and the band has been touring in support since that time.

Now we have far less cheery news. Dalton Harper, the 19 year old guitarist with the family group, has received a diagnosis of stage 2B Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the immune system. Given his age and otherwise good health, the doctors are confident that he will make a complete recovery, but a full 6 month course of chemotherapy will be required to defeat the cancer, which is fortunately limited to the left side of his neck and upper diaphragm.

A real trooper, Dalton decided to shave his head ahead of the chemo, and his brother Dillon and several of his friends are doing the same in support.

The Harper Family hopes to continue performing as best they can given Dalton’s treatment schedule (every 2 weeks for 6 months), as it it the sole source of family income. The Harpers have sought no help from family and friends, but they have stepped up all the same.

Long time friends Bull and Tammy Harman have set up a donations page at, and a benefit concert is being planned for August 18 in Salem, MO. In just a few days, 40% of the GiveForward goal of $10,000 has been pledged. These funds will be donated to the family to help with lost income, uninsured medical expenses, travel costs for treatment, and the like.

All friends of the Harpers, or of bluegrass and Gospel music in general, are invited to assist by making a pledge at, or by planning to attend A Day For Dalton in August. Should you want to inquire about performing or volunteering at the benefit who, you should contact Tammy Harman by email or phone (314-368-4418).

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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.