When Andy Ball joined Lonesome River Band in early 2007 to play mandolin and sing tenor, he told band leader Sammy Shelor that he wasn’t sure he could stay more than a year. Andy was living in Detroit and attending college, and didn’t expect that he could handle the band travel while keeping up with his studies for long.
Well, he stuck it out for 4 years, but will make his departure after LRB’s January 8 show in Berryville, VA. Andy is still working in Detroit, and is studying now in Windsor, ONT. He tells us that band work has finally hit his threshold of doability.
“I could not be more grateful for the opportunity I have had to work in the LRB for the past 4 years. It has not only been a treat to perform great music with a good bunch of guys, but it has also been wonderful to have met so many wonderful people throughout our travels.
But things have gotten to the point to where I have so much on my plate at home right now and I just can’t foresee another season on the road. Besides my work doing commercial real estate appraising in the Detroit area, I also am a full time graduate student in philosophy at the University of Windsor, and am working to complete my master’s thesis this Spring. I also am applying to several PhD programs throughout Canada, which most likely will lead me to be moving sometime this summer to Toronto. That being said, I just don’t have the time to do anymore touring.
I have the utmost respect and appreciation for Sammy Shelor who has been a good band leader and also has become a close friend. I appreciate his willingness to work with me the past few years regarding my living so far from the majority of our work dates, as well as his overall patience in putting up with a workaholic Yankee! I also will miss working with Brandon, Grove, and Barry. These guys are true pros and friends for life.
I don’t foresee myself getting back into professional music for quite a while, but it has been a good ride thus far. I hope for great things for the band in the future! I am honored to have been a part of LRB and I hope that I have been able to contribute something of value to its legacy. I also hope to cross paths again someday with so many of our wonderful fans.”
In his search for a new mando man, Shelor is asking that anyone interested in the gig please contact him through the band web site. The successful candidate will be a strong mandolinist and tenor vocalist with a quick familiarity with the band’s material.
Lonesome River Band has almost reached the status of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, where each time someone leaves the band, they come back stronger than ever. We can’t wait to see who Sammy takes out in 2011.