Phil Leadbetter health update

All of bluegrass rejoiced with the news that Phil Leadbetter, celebrated reso-guitarist, had defeated his cancer after a successful stem cell transplant two years ago. And we were all crestfallen when he announced in June of this year that the cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, had returned.

We caught up with Phil over the weekend to see how he is doing.

Phil Leadbetter“I will be starting my 3rd round of chemo on September 2nd. I am doing 1 round each month which consists of 3 days, followed by a 28 day recovery cycle.

So far, I’m doing pretty good. This new chemo combined with the rounds I had 2 years ago beat me down a little more each month, but I’m working hard just to try to keep living my life as much as I can. I’m still playing with The Dale Ann Bradley Band, but she has been kind enough to let me be off on the long trips, or the weeks that I’m just not feeling up to par.

I will be getting a scan this week on August 28th to let me know how the new meds are working. I’m praying that the scan will show a decrease in size, and possibly partial remission. My doctors at Vanderbilt are planning 6 rounds (6 months) of this new chemo drug, and then another bone marrow/stem cell transplant if possible.

I have a new website up at: www.unclephilonline. You can read my cancer story there if you have any interest. It may help to inspire you.

Thanks everybody for all your support and prayers for me and my family during this 2nd cancer battle in 2 years.”

The Next Move - Phil LeadbetterDuring his first set of treatments, which ran for 18 months, Phil kept his spirits up by making plans for a new solo album should he ever recover. He thought of who he would like to have record with him, and which songs he would like to include. When he received clear scans back in 2012, he contacted Pinecastle Records and got to work in earnest.

The Next Move is scheduled for an October 14 release, and Phil is accepting pre-orders now online. All of these orders will received an autographed copy of the CD, several weeks before the official release date. I can’t imagine a better way to show support during this rough patch.

Assisting on the album are Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Mike Bub, Shawn Camp, Steve Wariner, Joe Diffie, Marty Raybon, Sierra Hull, Sam Bush, Kenny Smith and several others.

Let’s hope for good news from Uncle Phil soon!

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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.