Lonesome River Band takes Manhattan

Sammy Shelor and Lonesome River Band spent yesterday afternoon at the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway in New York’s theater district, taping a segment of The Late Show with David Letterman which will air tonight (11/11).

The band spent Wednesday evening at Martin’s NY apartment for dinner and rehearsal, and headed over to CBS on Thursday morning.

The guys say that they get a nice bit of couch time with Dave on the show. Steve Martin comes out first, who then brings out Sammy and the band for the official presentation of the check for Sammy’s 2011 Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music.

They won’t spill the details, but say that they did a funny bit with Steve during their segment. Later in the show, he joins the guys for a spirited rendition of Molly from their 2008 Rural Rhythm release, No Turning Back. Sammy said that he and Steve worked up a twin banjo break for the occasion.

Martin told us last night that LRB was on fire for the taping.

“Great night for bluegrass as Lonesome River Band kills it on Letterman tonight. Honored to play with them and the great Sammy Shelor.”

Rural Rhythm publicist Penni McDaniel said that while the audience loved their performance, she was particularly struck by the reaction of the staff musicians. Penni tells us that after the show, Paul Schaffer and several members of the CBS Orchestra approached the band to say how much they had enjoyed their song. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame was sitting in with Schaffer and the Late Show band Thursday night, and he congratulated the guys on a great performance as well.

Penni sent along a few photos she snapped backstage and during rehearsal.


The show airs tonight (11/11) at 11:35 p.m. (ET/PT). Be sure to tune in, and tell a friend!

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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.