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Doyle Lawson

Biography

Not only is Doyle Lawson revered as a prodigy of the mandolin, but he is also credited with popularizing the integration of gospel-style vocals in bluegrass music. He grew up singing gospel and taught himself how to play banjo, guitar and mandolin at the young age of 11. In the early 1960s he picked banjo for a stringband known as Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys before picking up his mandolin and joining J.D. Crowe & the Kentucky Mountain Boys a few years later. The early '70s brought Lawson a near-decade tenure with the Country Gentlemen, a stalwart traditional bluegrass outfit. In 1979, only he formed Quicksilver, a bluegrass outfit that was even more steeped in gospel tradition; by then Lawson had proclaimed himself saved by the Lord and was inflamed with a sense of mission. His love for God put a noticeable amount of feeling and power into his pristine harmonies, as heard on 1998's Gospel Radio Gems, which focused more on gospel and much less on bluegrass. The cool thing about that album is that it was recorded using the traditional approach of playing and singing live into only one (vintage) microphone. Lawson continues to record and perform spiritual-laden bluegrass with Quicksilver and also hosts the annual Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver bluegrass festival in Denton, North Carolina.

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