Karl Shiflett cancels 2019 shows due to hand problem

Sad news today from one of the standouts in the tradition al bluegrass field. Karl Shiflett, of Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show, announced that he has cancelled all his remaining 2019 performance dates to undergo and recover from surgery.

He is suffering from Dupuytren’s Contracture in his left hand, making it extremely difficult for him to play guitar. This condition exists when fibrous tissue grows in the palm of the hand, and attaches to the tendon sheaths that control movement of the fingers. Recovery can last up to several months following surgery.

Karl says that he is taking the better safe than sorry approach.

“I have been dealing with Dupuytren’s Contracture in my ring finger of my left hand for several years now. The disease pulls the finger down toward the palm of the hand and makes everyday chores very difficult. Up until now it has not hindered me from playing guitar, but the condition is now at the stage that surgery is needed to straighten the finger. Not knowing how long it will take to recover I decided it would be best to allow several months for healing.

My plans are to be off the road for the remainder of the 2019 festival season. As with any surgery there are risks involved, and it will be a kind of wait and see approach to see if the corrective surgery will allow me to resume playing guitar, and return to touring.

Your thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated over the next few months.”

Let’s all hope to hear much better news soon after Karl recovers from surgery. Get well soon!

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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.