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 6-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Lawson was inducted into the Internat...
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 6-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Lawson was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Doyle Lawson was born in Fordtown, Sullivan County, Tennessee, the son of Leonard and Minnie Lawson. The Lawson family moved to Sneedville in 1954, around the time that Doyle acted upon his love for music. Lawson 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".
Lawson 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.
Lawson hosts the annual Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver Festival in Denton, North Carolina. 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.
In 1963, aged 18 or 19, Lawson went to Nashville to play the banjo with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys. In 1966, he started playing with J.D. Crowe and the Kentucky Mountain Boys (later called the New South) in Lexington, Kentucky. He went back to play the mandolin and sing tenor with Jimmy Martin in 1969 for six months. After he left the Sunny Mountain Boys, he returned to play with Crowe until August 1971.
On September 1, 1971, Lawson started playing with the Country Gentlemen and remained part of the band for almost eight years until March 1979 when he left. He stated that at that time in his career he wanted to make his own sound and that he has done. In 1977, he backed up U.S. Senator Robert Byrd on his "Mountain Fiddler" album. In April 1979, Lawson formed his own band and called them Doyle Lawson and Foxfire, which quickly changed to Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. "No one since the late great Bill Monroe melds bluegrass with gospel music quite like the former Country Gentlemen member Doyle Lawson..." Memphis Commercial Appeal.
In 1981, 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, Lawson and Quicksilver became the first bluegrass band to perform at the National Quartet Convention.
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver performed in Ontario, Canada at the Tottenham Bluegrass Festival in June 2001 and again in June 2015. Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver provided the background vocals to the song "Dazzling Blue" on Paul Simon's 2011 album "So Beautiful or So What". In 2015, "In Session"was nominated for Best Bluegrass Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Original and current lineup of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver