Steve Dilling parts ways with IIIrd Tyme Out

Steve DillingSteve Dilling, who has spent the past 21 years playing banjo with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, told the band this past weekend that he wants to give up the road life, and handed in his notice.

The band typically takes the time between Thanksgiving and New Years off, and Dilling will continue with them through the end of this year’s touring schedule, or until a suitable replacement can be found. Their last show for 2013 will be on Thanksgiving Day in Myrtle Beach, SC.

When we spoke with Steve today, he said that it was a hard decision to make, but that the road life had become untenable since he developed some health issues earlier this year.

“I’ve had a bad bout with diverticulitis. The pain of these attacks is severe, and I’ve even had to be hospitalized out on the road. I need to change my lifestyle, and I’m hoping with that I can avoid surgery.

It’s hard to leave man, but it’s what I had to do. It’s just what I had to do for me.”

Going forward, he will be working with his friend and fellow North Carolinian Lorraine Jordan.

“I’ll be helping out with her two festivals, and booking her band, Carolina Road. Plus, she just bought an old drug store here that had gone out of business, which she’ll be reopening as a coffee shop next year. We’ll be doing bluegrass shows every Thursday night, and maybe some on weekends. She made me a very good offer to help her out with all this.

Russell was surprised but very supportive, wishing me the best. Telling him I was leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Steve said that he hopes to play a few more shows with Sideline, a side project he has with Darrell Webb, Jason Moore, Skip Cherryholmes and Justen Haynes. Dilling is a big sports nut, and also hopes to catch a few more ball games.

On behalf of IIIrd Tyme Out, Russell Moore shared these words…

Russell Moore at the 2011 IBMA Awards - photo © Roy Swann“For the past 20 years, Steve Dilling has been playing banjo, singing harmony and, while sharing the duties since joining the band, for the last six-plus years, has been IIIrd Tyme Out’s prominent emcee during our live shows. This past weekend, while the band was on the road together performing, Steve told us of his intention to leave the group, citing health reasons as the main catalyst. Although his announcement was a bit of a surprise, we, within the group, have known of Steve’s health issues and battle with focal dystonia for several years now and we all realize the toll that the ‘road’ can take on a body’s well-being.  It takes a lot of hard work and focus just to maintain the health you have when you start traveling extensively, and, sometimes, even that’s not enough. As Steve’s friend(s), I/we understand and have pledged our support for him with his decision and hope that retiring from the road proves beneficial to his needs, wants and desires.

As for ‘Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out’, we will soon have a new banjoist in place and, as we have for the past 23 years, we look forward to entertaining all who will lend an ear as we go forward! We are currently reviewing demos and hope to get in the studio soon to record a new CD that will be available sometime in 2014! Also, we would like to publicly apologize to all our loyal fans and constituents for not being the first to report the news about Steve’s departure. Our intentions were to make a ‘flagship’ statement today from our own camp, but the story was made public yesterday before we had the opportunity to put it all together.

Lastly, I would like to, personally, thank all of you who have followed the band, at one point or since its inception, and have given us the opportunity to do something we love to do to pay our bills, raise our families and, basically, support ourselves! We look forward to seeing YOU somewhere on the ‘bluegrass trail’ in 2014!!”

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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.