Historic Downtown eNews  |  Archive

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver's Christmas Show at the Paramount Center

December 01, 2010

Seven time international Bluegrass Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver will return to the Paramount Center for the Arts in downtown Bristol, TN/VA for their annual performance On December 4th at 7:30PM. Always a crowd pleaser, this show brings the best of Bluegrass to Bristol. Cementing themselves among Bluegrass Music’s finest, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver are known for their immaculate harmonies combined with mix of bluegrass, classic country and gospel unmatched in the industry.

As far back as he can remember, Doyle Lawson loved the sound of music. Just about everyone listened to The Grand Ole Opry, and our family was no exception. Though he listened to all the stars on the Opry, the group that impressed him most was Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys. His music was different, more intense. High lonesome is the term we used for it. Doyle could hardly wait for Saturday nights to arrive so he could listen. He decided early on that he wanted to play that kind of music.

His father, mother, and sister all sang gospel music when he was young. They were members of trios and quartets that sang a cappella music in churches and at revivals, and such. No doubt, that was where he acquired his love of quartet music. When he was 11 or 12 years old he expressed an interest in learning to play the mandolin, so his Father borrowed one from one of the members of their quartet, Willis Byrd so he could try. He mostly taught himself to play by listening to the radio, a few records, and watching the occasional TV show. He eventually returned that mandolin to Mr. Byrd, and years later, Mr. Byrd gave it back to him at one of the first concerts Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver played in Sneedville, TN. And he still has it!

Lawson met Jimmy Martin when he was 14 years old. He is from Sneedville, TN where he had moved to in 1954. Around that time, he had made up his mind that he wanted to play music for a living, and realized that only playing one instrument was somewhat limiting, so he made it a point to learn how to play the banjo and guitar, too. Four years later, in February 1963, he went to Nashville and got a job playing banjo with Jimmy Martin. In 1966, he started working with JD Crowe in Lexington, KY. He first played guitar and later switched to mandolin. In 1969, he was back with Jimmy Martin for about six months playing mandolin and singing tenor but then went back with J D Crowe until August of 1971. He started with the Country Gentlemen on September 1, 1971 and stayed with them until March 1979. By this time, he had played in bands for more than 10 years, that had their "sound" before he joined them. Lawson wanted to put together a group that would have "his sound".

To that end, in April 1979, Lawson formed a group that was first named Doyle Lawson & Foxfire but soon changed to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. He was looking for "our sound" and that first group tried many different types of songs. He wanted a strong quartet like the ones my dad used to sing with. In the next few months, Terry Baucom, Jimmy Haley, Lou Reid and he laid the foundation for what has become the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver sound. The makeup of his band has changed many times in the last 27 years. He jokingly tells folks that Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is the "farm team" for bluegrass. He tries to integrate each member's special talents into the group, while not sacrificing the Quicksilver sound. “While the sound changes a bit with the introduction of a new band member, it is important that people hear what they expect to hear when we take the stage, no matter who is in the group.” Lawson says.

“The gospel music that we record and perform on stage has always been important to me” he says. “ Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have made many more gospel recordings than secular ones. It is apparent to me that the folks who buy our music and come to our concerts feel, as I do, that there is no better message than the message of Jesus Christ.”

Reserved tickets are $25.