Locks for Likes with Flamekeeper

Michael Cleveland and the members of Flamekeeper practice their moves for a shearing of their mandolinist, Nathan LiversThe tales of road antics from bluegrass musicians are many, from J.D. Crowe putting toy cars in Phil Leadbetter’s dobro to Keith Whitley impersonating the late Lester Flatt over CB radio to Earl Scruggs’ tour bus. Similar situations often arise onstage, as the musicians interact with audience members between tunes. At a recent show in Lucketts, VA, Nathan Livers, mandolin player for Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, stumbled his way into one of these interesting situations.

Livers, whose shoulder-length hair has frequently been the subject of stage jokes, made the offhand comment that he would get a haircut when the band reached 10,000 likes on Facebook. However, his fate was quickly sealed as the rest of the band (and their fans) took to the idea. Good-naturedly, Livers has decided to hold up his end of the deal and has agreed to not only get his hair trimmed, but will also let Michael Cleveland make the first cut. He has even chosen to donate his hair to Locks of Love, an organization which provides hairpieces to children who have lost their hair due to medical reasons.

Interestingly, Livers’ new haircut may come just in time for his upcoming wedding, which will take place June 9th at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. During a recent phone conversation I had with Livers, his fiancée Steffani Shreve, and Cleveland, Shreve joked that the fate of her wedding pictures was now in the hands of bluegrass fans.

With shows at such places as Warren’s on Route 60, a barbershop and music venue in Middletown, KY where Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper played this past weekend, Livers might want to keep a close watch on his fellow band members. They passed along this photograph to give fans a look at things to come.

For more information and upcoming show dates, visit the band’s Facebook page or website at flamekeeperband.com.

Make sure to keep those likes coming!

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About the Author

John Curtis Goad

John Goad is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, with a Masters degree in both History and Appalachian Studies from ETSU.