Flatt Lonesome says bye bye, for now

Flatt Lonesome has surely been among the most influential and entertaining bluegrass acts of the past decade. From their debut performance at SPBGMA in 2011, this talented group based around the Robertson siblings from Florida, have won raves for their four recordings and live performances all over the US.

But now comes word that the band intends to go on hiatus after the 2019 season to focus on all the changes in their young lives. All scheduled dates through next year will be honored, but no new ones will be accepted beyond 2019.

It all started with Kelsi Robertson picking and singing with her parents as a young teen, along with her twin siblings, Buddy and Charli. Their dad was a traveling preacher who often took the family along to liven up a service, and the kids grew up singing bluegrass music from an early age.

As they grew up, their polished singing caught the attention of the music industry, and the three young Robertsons moved to the Nashville area. They added friends Paul Harrigill, Michael Stockton, and Dominic Illingsworth for the initial SPBGMA contest, where the band placed third. In 2012, Flatt Lonesome won the SPBGMA competition, and were soon signed by the Mountain Home label.

Their love for bluegrass turned to romantic love as mandolinist Kelsi and banjo man Paul announced their engagement and wed in 2013, and the whole band rejoiced when their first child, Carter, was born in 2017. Now Buddy, who plays guitar, is set to be married this fall, plus Dominic, the bass player and Charli, on fiddle, are recently engaged as well – but not to each other.

These are all bluegrass marriages, so the music will surely continue, but the various members have decided to step away from the touring life for a bit to focus on new relationships and new families.

While Flatt Lonesome fans will surely be disappointed to lose their favorite entertainers, Kelsi asks them all to share in the joy of the various members who are embarking on new adventures.

“The Bible says, in Psalms, ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ God has given us the specific desires of our hearts and so much more! We have enjoyed the past eight years and love all of the friends and fans we have made along the way! Right now is a busy time in all of our lives and it is time for us to shift our priorities a bit as we enter new seasons of life with new families, spouses, and children. We are so blessed and want to thank all of the promoters, radio programmers, fans, and our families for making this an incredible journey. We love you all!”

The band has made no commitments to reforming at some point in the future, but they do describe this change as an indefinite hiatus, not a break up. Perhaps reunion shows will be possible over the next few years, and even a return to loper forming again at some point.

They will be working through 2019, so there will be plenty of chances to see them live again before they shut things down.

Watch out Michael – you’re next!

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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.