The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band, formed by long time Gent Bill Yates while he was still living, has announced the imminent departure of reso-man Mark Clifton. Mark will be retiring at the end of 2017 and leaving the road and his good friends in the band.
Clifton was an original member of the Tribute Band when Bill started it in 2005. Yates wanted to have a vehicle to keep the great songs recorded by Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen alive on stage, and found a number of talented grassers who could recreate the sound of classic Gents. After Bill passed in 2015 at 78, the band decided to continue performing in his honor.
Prior to joining up with Yates, Mark played dobro with Cliff Waldron, and served 24 years in the US Army as a trumpeter.
Guitarist Mike Phipps, who plays the Charlie Waller role in the Tribute Band, wishes Clifton well in his retirement.
“Mark has been with us from the beginning and will be sorely missed. He is a great guy to work with and is a fabulous dobro player and we wish him all the best.”
Other current members include Dave Propst on mandolin, Rick Briggs on banjo, and Mike Conner on bass.
The band will begin holding auditions soon for Mark’s replacement.