Doyle Lawson (left) and his band harmonize during the 2006 NEA National Heritage Fellows concert.
April 20, 1944 |
Sullivan County, Tennessee
Doyle Lawson (born April 20, 1944) is an American bluegrass and gospel musician. He is best known as an accomplished mandolin player, vocalist, producer, and leader of the 5-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Doyle Lawson was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Doyle Lawson was born in Ford Town, Sullivan County, Tennessee, near Kingsport, the son of Leonard and Minnie Lawson. The Lawson family moved to Sneedville, Tennessee in 1954, around the time that Doyle acted upon his love for music.
Doyle grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights. This is where he became inspired by Bill Monroe, the "founding father" of bluegrass, and his band the Blue Grass Boys. His own instrumental piece, "Rosine," is a tribute to Monroe's birthplace and features, among other things, strains from the singer's 1967 instrumental "Kentucky Mandolin."
Doyle became interested in playing the mandolin around the age of eleven so his father borrowed a mandolin from Willis Byrd, a family friend and fellow musician. Doyle taught himself how to play the mandolin by listening to the radio and records, and watching an occasional TV show. His love for music grew and Doyle decided to learn to play the guitar and banjo as well.
Doyle’s perseverance and hard work style has shown through over forty albums since 1977 and through his band’s schedule, which includes over sixty concerts in one year. His hard work and high expectations for his band seem kind of humorous to some with Doyle’s recollection of one practice when he "instructed each member to go to a separate room in the house and continue singing. If the individual members were no longer in pitch when they rejoined their leader, they'd start over again. ‘Of course, they thought I was crazy,’ he told John Wooley in Tulsa World, ‘but I told 'em that if it'd work for the banjo, it'd work for vocals. What it does is, it gets you to do things without being conscious of it, because we all were being programmed the same way.’" Doyle expects a lot from his band and it shows with numerous awards and nine nominations for this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association Awards.
He has one son, Robbie,and two daughters Suzi and Kristi. Kristi gave birth to the Lawson’s first grandchild, Spencer, in July 2007.
Doyle rededicated his life to Christianity in May 1985 and is a practicing member of Cold Spring Presbyterian Church.
Doyle went back to play the mandolin and sing tenor with Jimmy Martin in 1969 for six months. After he left Martin’s band he went back to play with Crowe until August 1971.
On September 1, 1971, Doyle started playing with the Country Gentlemen and remained part of the band for almost eight years, when in March 1979 Doyle left the band.
Doyle states that at that time in his career he wanted to make his own sound and that he has done.
In April 1979 Doyle formed his own band and called them Doyle Lawson and Foxfire, which quickly changed to Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.
In 1981, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver released the critically acclaimed "Rock My Soul," an album that would become a landmark bluegrass gospel project.
In 1989 they won IBMA song of the year for "Little Mountain Church House."
in 1996, "There's a Light Guiding Me" was nominated for a Grammy.
In 1998 Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver became the first bluegrass band to perform at the National Quartet Convention.
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver provided the background vocals to the song "Dazzling Blue" on Paul Simon's 2011 album "So Beautiful or So What."
Original and current lineup of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
- Terry Baucom-Banjo, Vocal
- Doyle Lawson-Mandolin, Vocal
- Jimmy Haley-Guitar, Vocal
- Lou Reid-Bass, Vocal
- Jason Barie-Fiddle
- Joe Dean-Banjo
- Doyle Lawson-Mandolin, Vocal
- Dustin Pyrtle-Guitar, Vocal
- Josh Swift-Dobro, Vocal
- Eli Johnston-Bass, Vocal
|1979||Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver||Sugar Hill|
|Quicksilver Rides Again|
|Rock My Soul|
|1985||Once and for Always|
|1986||Beyond the Shadows|
|1987||The News Is Out|
|1988||Heaven's Joy Awaits|
|Hymn Time in the Country|
|I'll Wander Back Someday|
|1989||I Heard the Angels Singing|
|1990||My Heart Is Yours|
|1991||Merry Christmas from Our House to Your House|
|1992||Pressing on Regardless||Brentwood|
|Treasures Money Can't Buy|
|1995||Doyle Lawson with Bobby Hicks & Jerry Douglas||Koch|
|Never Walk Away||Sugar Hill|
|1996||There's a Light Guiding Me|
|1997||Kept & Protected|
|1998||Gospel Radio Gems|
|Winding Through Life|
|2000||Just Over in Heaven|
|2002||The Hard Game of Love|
|1994||Hallelujah in My Heart||Music Mill|
|2005||You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper||4||Rounder|
|2006||He Lives in Me||4||Crossroads|
|2007||More Behind the Picture Than the Wall||2||Rounder|
|2008||Help Is On the Way||4||Horizon|
|2010||Light On My Feet, Ready to Fly||11||Horizon|
|2012||Sing Me a Song About Jesus||9|
|2013||Roads Well Traveled||14||Mountain Home|
|1990||The Gospel Collection 1||Sugar Hill|
|1999||A School of Bluegrass||9||Crossroads|
|Once and for Always/The News Is Out||Sugar Hill|
|2007||Best of the Sugar Hill Years|
- Liner notes by Dave Freeman on Tennessee Dream. CD. Rebel REB-CD-1778
- Liner notes by Tim Stafford on The Original Band. CD. Sugar Hill SHCD-2210
- Strings, newsletter of the Pineridge Bluegrass Folklore Society, May/June 2001