The Spinney Brothers to quit the road

Rick Spinney, banjo player for the Nova Scotia, Canada-based band, The Spinney Brothers, recently announced that he is to leave the band at the end of the summer season.

Formed in 1991 as The Spinney Brothers & Close Company they became a full-time touring band in 2010. Prior to that they were consistent winners of awards from the Eastern Canadian Bluegrass Music organization and, gradually, they gained international recognition as a very talented band.

For the past 25 years the Spinney brothers have been entertaining fans all across north America. They have performed in every province in their home country of Canada, and in over 40 states in the U.S.A. from the first show at their local high school to the prestigious stage at the IBMA Awards show in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the main stage at MerleFest to the Station Inn in Nashville, TN, and countless performances at Bill Monroe’s iconic Bean Blossom festival in Bean Blossom, IN.  

During their career they have released 12 albums, on four of these – those recorded for the Mountain Fever label – they have gained a total of four #1 hits (one from each CD). 

As well as winning nearly every award possible in the eastern region of Canada, they have been nominated for three IBMA awards, including Emerging Artist and Song of the Year for Grandpa’s Way of Life (written by Brink Brinkman).  

As young musicians mature, get married and have children, their priorities change and, while for quarter of a century they have been living the dream, both the boys have decided that they are getting off the road.

Rick Spinney, who made his intentions known first, is in a typically reflective mood ……

“The road has been good to us, so has the music, the people however have been OUTSTANDING. We have made so many friends and fans through this humbling and incredible genre of music. We have met great new musicians, worked side by side our own personal hero’s and maintained our personal goal, which was to put forth solid traditional bluegrass music and do it with respect, appreciation and dignity, which we have always felt the music and its creators deserve. As a Canadian band, we feel that we have been accepted with open arms and with the greatest of hospitality from our Southern neighbors, for that, we are overwhelmingly grateful.

It is vitally important that each one who takes the time to read this, knows how important of a role each of you play in the growth and sustainability of the music we believe in, a role in supporting not only the bands, the venues, the promoters, and the essence of the music itself. We have been able to fulfill and live a dream that most can only imagine and we have carried each of our fans, friends and family members with us every single mile of the journey and owe a great deal to those who have supported us, from the beginning to the present.

The list of people to mention is 25 years long… but let me note that without the belief in us from influential people like Mark Hodges, owner of our record label, Mountain Fever Records, and Kyle Cantrell with SiriusXM radio our international recognition and achievements may not have happened. For me, it is imperative that I step away from the music and put as much effort in being the best father and husband I can be. That can’t be done when I’m on the road over 200 days a year. It is with every bit of mixed and deep emotion that I announce this.

I hope to see some of you in a jam somewhere and to remind the readers that just because we’re not touring, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to get CDs from our website

Thank you once again to Bluegrass Today and all media outlets for your continued support.”

Older brother Allan Spinney acknowledges the special chemistry that comes with brothers singing and playing music together and contemplates what the future holds for him and his wife ….   

“As you know, my brother Rick has decided to cease full time travel as the Spinney Brothers bluegrass band. Family and home is an important part of life, and being that he has a wife at home and two fine young boys to raise he has decided to come off the road. We have accomplished a lot together musically and I’m appreciative of having had the opportunity to do all that we have done as a duo brother act.

As for myself, I am planning on spending some quality time with my wife Lynn, resting up a bit from our extensive traveling schedule, think about where to go from here and then who knows what!! I guess we will have to wait and see what is in the future for me. I would also like to mention that I am very grateful for the support from all the promoters, DJs, and many fans who have been so kind and generous to the Spinney Brothers. Without question bluegrass people are among some of the finest on the planet.”

All the staff at Bluegrass Today thank Allan and Rick for their profound contributions to the bluegrass music genre and wish both of them and their respective families a blessed future as they bond and grow together.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.