The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band has announced the return of a former member. Eric Troutman, who played bass for the group from 2011 until 2013, is returning to his old spot.
The band was formed in 2004 when Bill Yates, who was a member of the actual Gentlemen with Charlie Waller for 20 years, put it together to keep the songs and sounds of the group alive following Charlie’s passing. He led the band and sang many of the classic songs from the Gentlemen’s repertoire until his passing in 2015. He was assisted at the beginning by guitarist Mike Phipps, whose singing voice bears an eerie resemblance to Waller’s.
The Tribute Band continues on without Bill, maintaining his mission of having these songs performed live for all time.
Phipps still leads the group in Bill’s absence, and tells us that Eric will fill the spot occupied recently by Mike Conner, who has departed in order to stay closer to home during his retirement.
“Mike has been with us since 2015 and, with the exception of the late Bill Yates, has been our biggest cheerleader and CGTB enthusiast. He will be missed.”
The Tribute Band’s stockpile of song hasn’t changed since he left, so Eric shouldn’t have too much homework to do before stepping back into his old job in September.
Other members include Dave Propst on mandolin, Rick Briggs on banjo, and Geoff Gay on reso-guitar.