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March 26, 2012

Pickin’ for Phil is a benefit concert to assist legendary Dobro player Phil Leadbetter with medical bills. The event will take place twice on Sunday, April 1st. In the spirit of the old “Pickin’ at the Paramount” shows, “Pickin’ for Phil” will follow suit with multiple artists from various bands performing with one another. Sunday April 1st, 3:00 & 7:30pm. Tickets, $20 Reserved. Please call 423-274-8920 for more information.

There are people who are quick to volunteer their help in a time of need. A person who is always willing to help a friend or even a stranger who is in need of help. One of these people is bluegrass/country musician Phil Leadbetter, he has been helping folks throughout his life as in his earlier years he was a trained head injury rehabilitation nurse. Phil,who left the nursing field and followed his life long dream to become a musician, has backed such artists as the late Grandpa Jones and Vern Gosdin. Phil has also been a member of J.D. Crowe & The New South, Wildfire and the group, Grasstowne and who of late was performing with The Whites,an American country music group.

Along the way he has been Grammy nominated and has several International Bluegrass Music Association(IBMA) nominations. He's had a #1 song on the bluegrass charts, a "Best Instrumental Album" by the IBMA and Phil was awarded "Dobro Player of the Year" in 2006 by that organization. He's performed at the White House and at other special events throughout the United States.

Phil Leadbetter, who is a musician, former nurse, a husband, a parent and a grandparent suffered flu like symptoms last year that wouldn't go away. Upon going to the doctor and having follow up visits with more doctors was diagonosed with Hodgin's Lymphomia in February 2001. A cancer found in the lymph nodes,spleen, liver and other sites. Phil is no stranger to cancer as he has lost a dad and a brother to the disease. Upon rounds of chemotheraphy his condition was thought to be under control and he was to enter a stem cell transplant program but a new drug that was given to aid in the process had a reverse effect and the cancer cells were growing one against each other — the same ones thought to be in remission. So, Phil is going through more rounds of chemotheraphy and tests and more medicine and hopes to be able to enter the stem cell transplant program.

But with all these treatments and meds come costs. Phil like a lot of people in the music industry and beyond has no insurance. Though doctors and hospitals have him in programs that are using experimental medicines and programs to help him cut costs the bill are piling up. That is why friends and fellow musicians have gathered together to perform benefits in his behalf in his hometown Knoxville area. There will also be a benefit in the Bristol,TN/VA area to help with these costs.

That benefit will be held at the Paramount Center in Bristol, Tennessee on April 01, 2012. There will be two shows, one at 3PM and the other at 7:30PM and tickets are $20.00. It will be a bluegrass all-star event and will be called "Pickin' For Phil" and will feature some of the brightest stars of bluegrass music. Members of some of the best bands in the genre who are coming together to help one of their own during this difficult time by lending their skills to this fund-raising effort.

Artists scheduled to appear are Tim Stafford, Dale Ann Bradley, Mike Bub, Michael Cleveland, Missy Raines, Kim Fox, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Jim Hurst, Julie & John Pennell, Don Rigsby, Steve Gulley, Larry Cordle, Donna Ullise, Rick Stanley, Justin Moses, Jerry Butler, James Allen Shelton, Wayne Taylor, Gena Britt, Darrell Webb, Jason Burleson, Rob Ickes and others who are some of the brightest and most gifted stars in that genre of music.

Tickets can be ordered by calling the Paramount Center at 423-274-8920, Tuesday through Friday 9AM — 5 PM or visiting www.etix.com and hope you will support this worthwhile cause. Bristol Rhythm and Roots is a supporter of this event.