Joe Walsh, Gibson Brothers part ways

Joe Walsh - photo by Ted Lehmann Joe Walsh, whose rock-solid mandolin chop helped give the Gibson Brothers one of the top rhythm sections in bluegrass for the last four and a half years, is moving on.

Joe announced the move on his Facebook page, saying he plans to record soon with Darol Anger, Grant Gordy and Karl Doty. Darol and Grant both played with David Grisman and Karl honed his bass chops playing jazz and has a rock background, so the new project is likely to stray from the classic bluegrass brother duet sound that is the foundation of the Gibson Brother’s music.

He also said a CD he recorded with Darol, Courtney Hartman, Lukas Pool and Shannon Gilchrist is finished and will be released in the near future.

“I’ve been a lucky man to get to know, play, travel and work” with Leigh and Eric Gibson, Clayton Campbell and Mike Barber, “and am proud of the music and records we’ve made, and the awards and accolades we’ve won in these past four and a half years,” Joe wrote.

The change comes as the band is touring in support of They Called It Music, the recent Compass release that quickly moved to the top of the charts.

“It’s not something that we planned on happening, but we’ll be OK and Joe will be OK,” Eric Gibson said. “Joe’s a great player. I wish him nothing but the best, and I’m sincere about that.”

The band isn’t ready to announce Joe’s replacement yet, but Eric and Leigh have a few folks in mind, so there’s no need for auditions. Until then, they’ll use stand-ins on upcoming tour dates.

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.