With nearly 40 albums to their credit, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have multiple Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA and SPBGMA Award nominations, and are 7-time winners of IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year. Lawson is reigning SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are the reigning Inspirational Country Music Association (ICM) Vocal Group of the Year, crowned in October 2012 at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, on the heels of Lawson’s induction into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame at the Ryman Auditorium on September 27, 2012.
A native Tennessean, Lawson was honored in February 2012 by Governor Bill Haslam and the State of Tennessee for his contributions to the state and America through his music (Senate Joint Resolution 467).
Lawson was heralded by journalist Craig Havighurst as “one of music’s lions” following his band’s performance at the 2011 IBMA Awards Press Conference in Nashville. Of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver’s performance — which garnered three standing ovations from a sold-out crowd in Nashville — Havighurst wrote: “There was no question who was going to close the show. Doyle Lawson is one of music’s lions at this point, and when he came out in perhaps the most beautiful western jacket I’ve ever seen… he was a holy vision. … When DLQ, in quartet mode, nailed the final chorus of the a cappella gospel song “He Made It All Right,” I swear we were mainlining the holy spirit. You know how the word awesome gets overused and misused? Here’s where it applies.” (http://www.musiccityroots.com/passionate-precision)
Legendary in the Bluegrass genre and called a “mandolin virtuoso” with “perfectly silken harmony” by The New York Times, Doyle Lawson broke new ground in 2011 with a benchmark Children’s Hospital and Arena Tour, the first tour of its kind in any genre, combining National Anthem performances at major sporting arenas with performances for boys and girls at Children’s Hospitals in the same cities or regions. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver performed for nearly 108,000 people during six games in 2011 alone — not including Live broadcast audiences for the NBA and NCAA games — as well as for countless children, families, and staff in visits to children’s hospitals. DLQ sang their first NASCAR Anthem in 2012, kicking off Sprint All-Star Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR’s second largest track with 165,000 screaming fans, as they performed the National Anthem for NASCAR’s Education Lottery 200 in May, with other superstars on hand for the weekend including Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton. Pretty impressive numbers and company from the little boy from Kingsport, who grew up to be a LEGEND.
I was born on April 20, 1944 in Ford Town, a part of Sullivan County, near Kingsport, TN, to Leonard and Minnie Lawson. I have two brothers, James and Les, and one sister, Colleen.
As far back as I can remember, I loved the sound of music. Just about everyone listened to The Grand Ole Opry, and our family was no exception. Though I listened to all the stars on the Opry, the group that impressed me most was Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys. His music was different, more intense. High lonesome is the term we used for it. I could hardly wait for Saturday nights to arrive so I could listen. I decided early on that I wanted to play that kind of music.
My father, mother, and sister all sang gospel music when I 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 I acquired my love of quartet music. My Father passed away in 1994, but my Mother still lives in Kingsport, TN,
When I was 11 or 12 years old I expressed an interest in learning to play the mandolin, so my Father borrowed one from one of the members of their quartet, Willis Byrd so I could try. I mostly taught myself to play by listening to the radio, a few records, and watching the occasional TV show. I eventually returned that mandolin to Mr. Byrd, and years later, he gave it back to me at one of the first concerts Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver played in Sneedville, TN. I still have it.
I met Jimmy Martin when I was 14 years old. He is from Sneedville, TN where we had moved to in 1954. Around that time, I made up my mind that I wanted to play music for a living, and realized that only playing one instrument was somewhat limiting, so I made it a point to learn how to play the banjo and guitar, too. Four years later, in February 1963, I went to Nashville and got a job playing banjo with Jimmy Martin. In 1966, I started working with JD Crowe in Lexington, KY. I first played guitar and later switched to mandolin. In 1969, I 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. I started with the Country Gentlemen on September 1, 1971 and stayed with them until March 1979. By this time, I had played in bands for more than 10 years, that had their “sound” before I joined them. I wanted to put together a group that would have “my sound”.
To that end, in April 1979, I formed a group that I first named Doyle Lawson & Foxfire but soon changed to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. I was looking for “our sound” and that first group tried many different types of songs. I 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 I laid the foundation for what has become the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver sound. The makeup of my band has changed many times in the last 27 years. I jokingly tell folks that Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is the “farm team” for bluegrass. I try to integrate each member’s special talents into my group, while not sacrificing the Quicksilver sound. While the sound changes a bit with the introduction of a new band member, it is important to me that people hear what they expect to hear when we take the stage, no matter who is in the group.
Suzanne, my wife, and I were married June 24, 1978. We have three children, Robbie, Suzi and Kristi. We spend much of our spare time playing with our grandson, Spencer. I collect western memorabilia of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, etc. I also enjoy looking at old cars, and I own a 1946 Ford Coupe. It has been restored from the ground up. I’ve found I don’t have enough time to ride around town in it and it’s For Sale.
We are all members of Cold Spring Presbyterian Church and while Suzanne and Suzi are there almost every Sunday, I miss a few when I’m out on the road. I love golf, and play every time I have the opportunity.
I have been hosting the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver festival in Denton, NC for more than twenty-five years. A few years ago we started a golf tournament on Thursday, the week of the festival. I’d like to be able to say we were defending our title every year, but we aren’t. (Just wishing)
The gospel music that we record and perform on stage has always been important to me. 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. On the first Sunday of May, in 1985, I rededicated my life to our Lord Jesus. It is my fervent hope that my “musical mission” will lead others to Him.
National Heritage Fellowship – National Endowment for the Arts 2006
Honorary PhD of Fine Arts, King College, 2007
IBMA Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year, “He Lives in Me” 2007
IBMA Vocal Group of the Year 2007
IBMA Song of the Year for “He Lives In Me” 2006
IBMA Vocal Group of the Year 2006
IBMA Vocal Group of the Year 2005
IBMA Vocal Group of the Year 2004
IBMA Vocal Group of the Year 2003
IBMA Vocal Group of the Year 2002
IBMA Vocal Group of the Year 2001
IBMA Song Of the Year 2003, “Blue Train Of The Heartbreak Line”
IBMA Song of the Year 1990, “Little Mountain Church House”
IBMA Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year 2003, “The Hand Made Cross”
IBMA Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year 2000, “Winding Through Life”
IBMA Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year 1996, “There’s A Light Guiding Me”
SPBGMA Bluegrass Band of the Year – 1984-1988 (5 years)
SPBGMA Vocal Group of the Year – 1989-1993 (5 years)
SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year – 1986-1990, 2013 (6 years)
SPBGMA Bluegrass Album of the Year – 1987-1991 (5 years)
SPBGMA Gospel Bluegrass Band – 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992 (5 years)
SPBGMA Overall Gospel Group – 1992, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 (7 years)
SPBGMA Male Vocalist of the Year – 1984, 1988, 1989, 1995 (4 years)
SPBGMA Traditional Gospel Group of the Year – 2011
Inspirational Country Music Association (ICM) Vocal Group of the Year 2012
Grammy Best Bluegrass Album, There’s A Light Guiding Me, 1996
Grammy Best Bluegrass Album, Winding Through Life, 1999
Grammy Best Bluegrass Album, Just Over In Heaven, 2000
Grammy Best Bluegrass Album, The Hard Game Of Love, 2002
Dove Best Bluegrass Gospel Album, Light On My Feet, Ready to Fly, 2011
Dove Best Bluegrass Gospel Album, Help Is On the Way, 2008
Dove Best Bluegrass Gospel Song, “Help Is On the Way,” 2008
Dove Best Bluegrass Gospel Album, Kept & Protected, 1997
Dove Best Bluegrass Gospel Album, Just Over In Heaven, 2001
Josh was born on September 25, 1986 to Randy and Rhonda Swift. His dad was and still is a phenomenal musician so Josh loves music naturally. At 6 months old, Josh was making noises with his mouth in time with music he was hearing. He started playing drums when he was 2 years old and eventually started traveling with his family on the Southern Gospel circuit.
When he was 16, Josh was playing a session when he saw a dobro for the first time. He just HAD to have one! About a year later, Gibson Guitars gave him his first dobro. At 17, Josh played with a local group called Set Apart. He fell in love with Mountain Gospel while traveling with those guys. At 18, he became a part of Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain.
At 19, he had left CHHR and was filling in with some friends in Gatlinburg, TN when Doyle Lawson rounded the street corner and listened for nearly a half hour. Little did he know that he would soon be invited to jam with DLQ and that that jam turned out to be a showcase at IBMA. Doyle asked him if he knew a song of his and Josh replied “I’ll know it by the time it gets to me.” Doyle hired Josh that night on October 5, 2007.
He says, “This gig is an absolute BLAST and I am honored not only travel with DLQ, but to find myself constantly learning life’s lessons. God has been so so so good to me and I give him ALL the glory.”
On July 24th 2008, Josh married his first love, Tobi. They are expecting their first child in 2011. Josh and Tobi live in middle Tennessee and go to church at Cookeville First Assembly. They have two dogs, Henry and Peanut. Josh spends lots of time with his family when not on the road and he loves to play golf. Italian food is his favorite.
Josh’s favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Josh plays a multitude of instruments…dobro, lap steel, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, drums, and piano. He uses D’Addario strings… EXP42′s, EXP17′s, and EXP74′s.
Jason was born on October 14, 1979. He started playing fiddle when he was ten years old, at Buckhorn Elementary School. By the time he was 12 or 13, he started bluegrass fiddle lessons at the Bluegrass Parlor in Tampa, FL. He formed his first band, the Jeff Jones Band, at 14. He landed his first touring job with the Sand Mountain Boys and played with them from the day he graduated from high school, at age 17, in 1997, until the end of 2000. Jason says that, without a doubt, the greatest thing to happen to him during his tenure with the Sand Mountain Boys was the day that he asked Jesus Christ in to his life. Jason then worked with Carolina Road until 2005. During 2006, he played with the Churchmen and Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top Express. Larry Stephenson hired him in 2007. During his stint with LSB, Pinecastle Records released my CD entitled, “The Past Is Present”, a cd which garnered his first ever IBMA nomination for “Instrumental Album of the Year.” He played with Larry until January of 2009, when he joined Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.
Jason met his wife Sarah, at the California Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley, CA in 1997. They married in 2002 and have two beautiful children, Isaac and Adalynn. They live north of Nashville, where Sarah is a school teacher. When he has a bit of time off, Jason likes to fish and hunt, and enjoys wood working and instrument repair.
First Grand Ole Opry appearance in September 2001 (with Jim & Jesse)
Six-time Florida State Fiddle Champion
Three SPBGMA Fiddle Player of the Year nominations
IBMA Instrumental Album of the Year nomination for “The Past is Present” (Larry Stephenson Band)
Current fiddle purchased from Steve Ratcliff in Elliottsville, KY
Great-grandfather’s fiddle, an old German copy of a Jacobus Steiner
Joe Dean was born on July 18, 1989 to Joe Dean Sr. and Tammy Dean of Granite City, IL. His parents soon realized he had an interest in music when Joe saw The Eagles perform on televison at 4 years old. Joe told his parents he wanted to be just like Don Henley and play in front of people and write songs. He received a guitar for his 5th birthday and from there learned to play mountain dulcimer, mandolin, and finally banjo by age 12. Joe spent his teen years playing at local bluegrass festivals in and around the St. Louis area. In 2006, he joined Barry Scott and Second Wind and played on their Grammy Nominated gospel release “In God’s Time.” After graduating high school in 2007, Joe landed a job with Dailey and Vincent as the founding banjo player and bass singer, and spent 5 years there. In April 2012 Joe was asked to be part of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Along with being a multi instrumentalist and vocalist, Joe has been developing his craft as a songwriter over the last couple years penning songs with Mike Rogers, Tom Botkin, Kevin Denney, and Walt Gabbard.
Joe met his wife Ashley in 2009 backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and they have been together ever since. They reside in Cookeville, TN and attend Smithville Freewill Baptist Church. In his spare time, Joe enjoys the outdoors. Hunting and fishing are his two main activities. He is also an avid hockey fan.
Joe Endorses Huber Banjos and D’Addario strings.
Dustin Pyrtle was born July 25, 1990 to Anthony and Lisa Pyrtle of Westfield, NC. Born into a musically talented family, Dustin took interest in music at age 8. His dad taught him to play the guitar. It wasn’t until around age 10 that his family noticed he loved to sing and was pretty good at it! It took a couple years and a lot more self-confidence before Dustin recognized the scope of his talent.
On his 14th birthday, Dustin received his first guitar, a Martin D2R, which he continues to play today. With the help of his uncle, Randy Pyrtle, and family friend, Kent Smith, Dustin learned to play upright bass. This was the instrument he played with bands Broken Wire, No Speed Limit, Riverview and The Josh Williams Band.
Dustin’s music career took a turn when the teenage band, Broken Wire (which consisted of Nick Keen, Houston Caldwell, Asa Gravely and Courtney Burroughs), heard him at The Rex Theatre in Galax, VA. Later that year, they invited him to the Galax Fiddlers Convention and this is when he was invited to play in their band. These members and their families have been very supportive of Dustin and his career. And for this Dustin will be forever grateful.
Other bands Dustin has played with include Amber Collins and No Speed Limit, Ashlee Blankenship and Blades of Blue, Riverview, Grasstowne, and The Josh Williams Band. Influences have been Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Keith Pyrtle, Lou Reid, Doyle Lawson, Tony Rice, Adam Steffey, Lonesome River Band, Ronnie Bowman, Blue Highway just to name a few.
Dustin has had the opportunity to meet so many friends along this journey and looks forward to meeting so many more. With God’s grace, he has been so blessed to be able to follow his dreams.
He resides in Danbury, NC and plans to wed Nicole Clark in the fall of 2013. He attends Minnie’s Chapel Wesleyan Church in Stuart, VA. With his spare time, Dustin likes to duck hunt, deer hunt, turkey hunt, fish and spend time with his family.
(In loving memory of Houston Caldwell and Randy Pyrtle. Gone but not forgotten.)
Eli Johnston was born to Alycia and David Johnston on March 1, 1986, and raised in the Tri State area of southeast Kansas. His parents now live in the Branson, MO area, and he has two younger brothers, Adam and Isaac. Eli started playing and writing music at the age of 15, when his Grandpa gave him his first guitar. Soon he began playing bass and banjo, and tagged along with his Dad to many bluegrass events in the area.
After high school, he pursued his music career by playing with several bands in the area. When Eli was 21, he took a job in a theater production show called the Tennessee Shindig, and stayed there for about five years. In the last few years, Eli has been performing with Midnight Flight, Monroeville and Firewater Junction, and in Gatlinburg, TN. Eli cites J. D. Crowe, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Tony Rice and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver as his musical influences.
Eli is currently living in Hartford, TN. In his spare time, he loves to write songs and fish. Eli enjoys movies (Happy Gilmore, Beverly Hills Ninja) and especially likes a good fish fry.
Eli is more than excited to start a new chapter in his career with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. He says, “I’ve never had the opportunity to play with this caliber of players and singers. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is a well-oiled machine and I’m honored to be part of the group!”
2013 – Roads Well Traveled
2012 – Sing Me A Song About Jesus
2011 – Drive Time
2010 – HR-12762 – Light On My Feet, Ready to Fly
2009 – Round-11661-0635-2 – Lonely Street
2008 – HR-11552 – Help Is On the Way
2007 – Round – 0588 – More Behind the Picture Than the Wall
2006 – HR-10752 – He Lives In Me
2005 – Round – 0557 – You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper
2004 – CRO-5472 – A School of Bluegrass
2002 – SSK-003 – Thank God
2002 – SH-3949 – Never Walk Away
2001 – SH-3936 – Gospel Parade
2000 – SH-3911 – Just Over In Heaven
1999 – SH-3886 – Winding Through Life
1998 – SH-3879 – Gospel Radio Gems
1997 – SH-3867 – Kept & Protected
1996 – SH-3845 – There’s A Light Guiding Me
1994 – B–5398 – Hallelujah In My Heart
1993 – MME-71012 – Pressing On Regardless
1992 – B-5303 – Treasures Money Can’t Buy
1991- SSK-002 – Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House
1991 –SSK-001 – Only God
1990 – SH-9104 – Gospel Collection, Volume 1
1989 – SH-3774 – I Heard The Angels Singing
1988 – SH-3765 – Hymn Time In The Country
1988 – SH-3769 – I’ll Wander Back Someday
1987 – SH-3760 – Heaven’s Joy Awaits
1986 – SH-3753 – Beyond The Shadows
1983 – SH-3735 – Heavenly Treasures
1981 – SH-3717 – Rock My Soul
1985 & 1987 – Once & For Always/The News Is Out
1979 & 1982 – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver/Quicksilver Rides Again