Russell Moore on the mend

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme OutRussell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out have been busy little bees this past few months, and it has taken its toll on one of the most gifted vocalists in bluegrass.

If you caught any of their shows in February, you will have noticed that Russell was unable to sing or speak during IIIrd Tyme Out performances. With such a high profile artist, so many loyal fans, and several weeks of stage silence, rumors have begun to fly about his condition.

To quell the rumors and set the record straight, Moore gave us the low down on his voice, and what he’s doing to get it back.

Russell Moore performs at the 2011 IBMA Awards show - photo © Roy Swann“In January of this year, we were blessed with many show dates for the band, PLUS the opportunity, and obligation, to promote our latest, and exclusive to Cracker Barrel CD, Timeless Hits From the Past…Bluegrassed. This included many appearances, interviews and performances associated with a ‘media blitz,’ or ‘tour’ in Atlanta and Nashville.

Unfortunately, after the first weekend in January, I came down with a head cold, or something similar in nature. I continued to perform, to the best of my ability, during the week of media engagements and wound up with a case of laryngitis. I continued to engage my voice in our performances for the next several weeks, resting it during the week and then singing on the weekends, which included several appearances and songs at select Cracker Barrel stores.

By the end of the second week in February, having given in to the struggle, I lost my voice to extreme laryngitis. After a visit to an ENT specialist, I’m happy to report that there are NO nodules, cysts or polyps on my vocal chords….they are clean. BUT, they were beat up really bad and extremely swollen. The specialist is confident that my voice will return 100% providing I abide by his instructions, which basically involve total vocal rest. In light of his instructions, Edgar Loudermilk stepped up to the plate and worked very hard at learning the lead lyrics to several of our recorded songs to help with the situation.

Also, with Steve Dilling’s help in contacting and coordination, I acquired the help of another singer, Dustin Pyrtle. Dustin is also a great vocalist and worked very hard learning our material and for the last three weekends, he has traveled with us. Between he and Edgar, most of the songs we’re known for were still presented to our enthusiastic audiences!

I can’t thank the guys in the band enough for working hard at the different vocal arrangements for our songs, especially Edgar and Dustin who worked harder than anybody, and I will forever be grateful to all of them AND to the promoters and our fans and friends in the industry who continue to support us ‘in sickness and in health!’

We now have a week off and I am continuing with vocal rest. The laryngitis is getting better everyday and I’m looking forward to the next time I go on stage and have a vocal microphone standing in front of me!”

Get well soon, Russell… a lot of us are hoping to hear your voice for many years to come.

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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.