We told you back in June that Doyle Lawson was to be the recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts this year. That award was presented yesterday, and Doyle reported being plainly humbled by the experience.
“It’s an awesome feeling when you’re up there, and to know that I’m in the company of so many of my heroes. It really didn’t hit me until I got a look at the award given to the lady sitting next to me, while I was waiting for my turn to come – and then the full impact finally did hit me emotionally. I was glad I didn’t have to go up next!”
These fellowships are seen as a lifetime achievement award, and previous recipients in the bluegrass realm have included Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson and Jerry Douglas.
Reflecting further on the award, and the success he has had recently with his own group, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (including multiple IBMA nominations), left him in a thoughtful frame of mind.
“It’s been a banner year, so much so that sometimes I just have to sit and really ponder. The IBMA represents the world that I thrive in, and it’s such a great honor to know that you’ve made the final cut in so many categories. And then to top it off with the Fellowship, I’m overjoyed beyond words. When you spend your lifetime in music, it’s not about awards, it’s about love of the music, and I’ve been fortunate just to make a career playing the music I love. But at the same time, when somebody does show the appreciation for the art that you do that has been shown to me, it makes me want to try even harder.”
We recorded an interview with Doyle recently, which will be released soon on The GrassCast. We explored many of these same themes in greater depth, and expect that his many fans will enjoy hearing him speak about them when the interview is published early next week.