Mitchell Van Dyke, banjo player this past five years with Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, has tendered his resignation. That follows on yesterday’s word from bass player Randall Hibbitts that he would be leaving the band as well.
Though Stanley made his name in bluegrass as a banjo player, he has been unable to play the banjo this past several years, though he does still sing in their show.
Van Dyke says that he wants to be home with his family more than the road life allows.
“To stand on the Grand Ol’ Opry stage and play the banjo next to the Legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley, has been my life long dream. I would like to say Thank You to Dr Ralph Stanley for this opportunity. After 5 years of traveling with Dr Ralph I’m sad to say that I have come to the end of my journey. Thank you to my friends and family who have cheered me on and supported me. It’s time now for me to focus on my family. My son Alex, will be going to college in the fall, and starting a new journey of his own. I will miss being a Clinch Mountain Boy, but will never forget all the wonderful memories and people I have met through out this journey. Thank You Dr Ralph Stanley!!!!”
Speaking for his grandfather, Nathan Stanley wished both Mitchell and Randall good luck in the future.
“We want to thank Randall Hibbitts and Mitchell Van Dyke for their time spent with the Clinch Mountain Boys. They are going to pursue other things and we wish them the very best in all of their endeavors. However, Clinch Mountain Boy veteran of 11 years, Dewey Brown will still remain with us. We look forward to seeing all of you folks somewhere at one of our concerts.”
You can keep up with their concert schedule online.