Karl Shiflett has announced that David Long has returned to play mandolin with The Big Country Show. Long has a well-earned reputation as a master of traditional and early bluegrass mandolin styles, and is resuming a position with Karl he had held previously.
He is filling the spot recently vacated by C.J. Lewandowski, who left to take a job with The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys working at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, TN.
As he departs, Lewandowski shared a few words about his time with Shiflett’s band, and where he is going from here.
“I played my last show with Karl at The Uncle Pen Festival this past month. I have been with Karl since June 2010 and started at Bean Blossom, ironically. I hadn’t played mandolin in almost three years when he asked me to help him out that day. Dillon Scott, Karl’s banjo player at the time, suggested to use me on mandolin. (We had been friends for years and had a band together previously.) I borrowed a mandolin and a suit and the rest is history.
Karl has taught me so much as a musician and entertainer. There is no finer man to work for in the industry. Not only can he entertain, but he is a good man. He is the same on and off stage. A true gentleman with an awesome sense of humor. He has taught me just as much off stage as on stage. Everyone in our business should sit with Karl and talk with him one time and you will find out quickly he is serious about his music and it is a true passion. I will miss the traveling and the brotherhood that the band has, but I know it won’t go away. I have developed friends for life in KSBC.
As with a lot of musicians, I am having to concentrate on my day job. I will be working weekly at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, TN and their newest location in Pigeon Forge TN, The Ole Smoky Barn at The Island. The great thing is I will still be playing the music I love, traditional bluegrass!
The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys started off as an additional house band for Ole Smoky, but is quickly becoming popular. PRB’s are not planning anything huge, we are going to entertain the visitors of the Great Smoky Mountains and have a good time! We are planning a European Tour for later in 2015, and a recording session as soon as the busy season dies down a bit in East Tennessee. The Facebook page is going strong and website is being designed as we speak.”
You can follow Karl Shiflett and his tour schedule online.