Last fall, the bluegrass world said farewell (for now) to Flatt Lonesome, a band who had burst onto the scene making a massive impact in just a few short years. We all knew it wouldn’t be long before we saw some of the band’s talented members back on stages in some capacity. Now, bluegrass AND country fans worldwide will be able to enjoy the talent of Flatt Lonesome alum, Paul Harrigill, who is touring on the road with country superstar, Josh Turner! Paul will continue to play his trusty banjo with Turner, in addition to picking guitar and providing harmony vocals.
Josh Turner has consistently produced country radio hits, including Long Black Train and Your Man. He is also an unashamed Stanley fan as well! He recorded a few different songs with Dr. Ralph Stanley over the years, including his award-winning collaboration, Me and God.
I caught up with Paul to get the scoop on his new gig with Josh.
Daniel Mullins (DM): How did this new opportunity come about?
Paul Harrigill (PH): This opportunity kind of fell out of nowhere. I was in the studio when I got a text from Josh Trivett, asking if I would be interested in a guitar/banjo gig. I told him that I wasn’t looking to travel much, but send me some details, and we can go from there. His response read, “Josh Turner.” Instantly, I wanted to start traveling again!
DM: How did Flatt Lonesome prepare you for a job like this?
PH: The experience of traveling with Flatt Lonesome helped a lot with this transition. How to contribute musically, and also the day-to-day life of traveling with a band. Even though there are differences between the two, not everything was new.
DM: How exciting was it getting back to performing on stage after Flatt Lonesome left the road?
PH: Music has always been a huge part of my life. I knew that I would end up doing something on stage again, but I didn’t know it would happen this soon. I’ve never wanted to be a front man. Being a support guy is what I enjoy the most, so I feel right at home with this gig.
DM: Has it been fun to be singing again as well, since your musical role with Flatt Lonesome was primarily instrumental in nature?
PH: It is a lot of fun singing again. I’ve never been a lead singer, but I love to sing harmony. My harmony singing wasn’t essential to Flatt Lonesome, for obvious reasons! Josh is a great singer, and his low range makes it easy for me and Shawn [fellow bandmate] to sing to.
DM: What are some of the biggest differences between working in a major country band and being a part of a popular bluegrass band?
PH: There are quite a few differences between the two. My first week out, I was loading in my own gear and one of the crew members said, “You know we will get all of that for you.” So I was spoiled right out of the gate! Having a crew that helps with those things allows me to focus my attention on the show.
Another difference is going wireless on my instruments. It took some getting use to but it allows so much freedom onstage, and the fans like the interaction that comes with that.
DM: What might bluegrass fans find surprising if they came to see you perform with Josh Turner?
PH: The biggest surprise bluegrass fans will notice is my killer dance moves!!! In Flatt Lonesome everyone was very stationary due to the nature of the setup. So now I have the opportunity to show my true skills!
Look for Paul Harrigill on the road with Josh Turner, to enjoy not only his musical talent, but his dance moves as well! Congratulations, Paul!