Doyle Lawson marked April 1, 2009 as his 30th Anniversary as a band leader.
That was the date in 1979 when he rehearsed his first band, Doyle Lawson & Foxfire, which soon was changed to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. That seminal band featured Doyle on mandolin, Terry Baucom on banjo, Jimmy Haley on guitar and Lou Reid on bass.
Their first, self-titled record helped define modern bluegrass music as much as any other this past thirty years, and sounds as fresh today as when it was first recorded. Over this period some of today’s most critically acclaimed artists have passed through Doyle’s band, and left their mark on his more than 30 recordings of bluegrass and Gospel music.
In addition to the original members listed above, Doyle has hired, tutored and said goodbye to such noted players as banjo pickers Scott Vestal, Jim Mills and Dale Perry, lead vocalists/guitarists Russell Moore, Steve Gulley, and Jamie Dailey, fiddlers Shawn Lane and Mike Hartgrove, and bass players Ray Deaton and Barry Scott. He counts 39 musicians in total who have worked as a member of Quicksilver.
Doyle tells us that this past 30 years have also seen him go through six buses and a motor home, with 17 different bus drivers (including himself). He has released records with six labels, containing 494 songs.
Before launching his solo career, he had memorable stints with JD Crowe’s Kentucky Mountain Boys and The Country Gentlemen. That is a strong enough resume to retire on, but Doyle is showing no signs of slowing down with a busy 2009 schedule posted on line.
May 5 will see the release on Rounder of Lawson’s 34th album, Lonely Street, recorded with his current band: Joey Cox on banjo, Carl White on bass, Josh Swift on resonator guitar, Jason Barie on fiddle and Darren McGuire on guitar.
UPDATE 4/7: As Jon Weisberger pointed out in his comment, Darren Beachley is on guitar on the new Doyle Lawson CD and Brandon Godman is on fiddle. We just got our copy today.