Doyle Lawson affirms that “Life is a Story”

I have been honored to know one of the most admired bluegrass performers whose work has contributed an endless string of talented performers who trained as part of his band and later went out to establish a career on their own. Doyle Lawson’s ability to reach his audience is unparalleled and he reaches out to them again with his upcoming CD “Life Is a Story.” 
Doyle describes is as a mix of Bluegrass styles “from the middle of the road to the very traditional,” the album never strays from the heart of the genre. 
“So much of what makes good Bluegrass and Country music compelling comes down to great songwriters – and the stories told in their songs,” Lawson said. “Life itself is really a continuous story that embraces the beginning, the middle and inevitable ending.”  
For those not familiar with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, with nearly 40 albums to their credit, the group has won numerous major awards, including seven International Bluegrass Music Association Vocal Group of the Year honors.  For his contributions to cultural heritage as a musical trailblazer, Doyle received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award in 2006, and was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2012.  DLQ is an influential force in today’s Bluegrass world, and their last two releases (In Session, Burden Bearer) received back-to-back Grammy nominations in 2016 and 2017, respectively. 
“Life is a Story” was produced by Lawson and recorded in Sparta, Tennessee for Mountain Home Music Company, the new album features patriarch Doyle’s signature Lead and Baritone vocals, Mandolin and Mandola, and includes members: Josh Swift (Resophonic Guitar, Acoustic Lead Guitar and Percussion); Joe Dean (Banjo and Guitar); Dustin Pyrtle (Lead and Tenor vocals, Guitar); Eli Johnston (Lead and Baritone vocals, Bass) and Stephen Burwell (Fiddles).  
The circular nature of life is highlighted in the lead off track, “Kids These Days,” which Dustin Pyrtle sings in a nuanced tone that reflects on innocence, lyrically invoking the perfect memories of childhood.  “Little Girl,” a #1 Country hit for John Michael Montgomery written by the late Harley Allen, was a crew favorite that made the project because Doyle heard it sung so often at sound check.  “They love that song,” recalls Lawson.  “And the more I listened, the more I loved it too.”  The inspiring “Life to My Days,” the offering’s first “great-track,” was written by friend and fellow hit songwriter Jerry Salley. 
Band members Joe Dean, Eli Johnston and Dustin Pyrtle co-wrote “Life of a Hardworking Man” while the group was in the studio recording the new project.   
“We already had the album title,” Lawson said.  “The guys wanted to create a character within the narrative – and so they crafted this hammer-banging, big machine thumping tale of a typical working man.”  
No life story would be considered complete without a bit of heartache, so Doyle and frequent co-writer Paul Humphrey sat down to write a song acknowledging that reality.  The result is the fiddle-laced traditional Bluegrass “I See a Heartbreak Comin’.”
Fans can pre-order the digital release HERE. For more information, visit

New music from bluegrass legends Lawson and Williams

Two masters of bluegrass bring their next installment of the music that helped make them legends. Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams present Chapter 3 from Mountain Home. It’s the style they first learned together as members of Jimmy Martin’s influential band years ago before labels were differentiating Country, Western and Bluegrass music and songs of heartbreak stood side by side with inspirational Gospel numbers
It’s classic Country and Gospel Music with the natural blend of unsurpassed brother style vocal harmonies. Songs of longing over lost love and of hope found by looking to the hereafter. Nearly all from the pen of a single writer, making them deeply personal, and each reminding us of what Country music, in terms of style, used to be.

The lead-off song is a vintage Dolly Parton number, “Til Death Do Us Part.” A cautionary message about vows of love. Next, comes Bluegrass with “I’ll Still Write Your Name in the Sand” and a banjo kick from guest, Joe Mullins, a man skilled in this classic style of the early form. It gives Williams the lead vocal duties and demonstrates that he is still in his prime at 83.

The album continues with selections handpicked by Doyle Lawson from his mental vault of curated rare gems he has always kept in mind for a special recording like this. Duet style vocal arrangements like in the gospel song “I Feel Better Now” and unique rhythmic phrasing heard in “Big Fool of the Year” give these heart-tuggers a treatment that makes evident they were chosen for emotional impact and because they are a natural fit for these two.
It also boasts three tracks written by Williams including the recently penned “What I’m I Gonna Do with This Broken Heart” which shows how naturally this classic style comes to him.

It takes a studio band that can capture the soul of the Classic Country intention and the players here do just that. Tim Surrett on bass, Josh Swift on resonator guitar and drums, Stephen Burwell on fiddle, David Johnson on pedal steel and the aforementioned Joe Mullins on banjo. Lawson and Williams command the two instruments they have mastered, guitar and mandolin respectively.

Chapter 3 is a continuation of a legacy series of recordings that began with Old Friends Get Together (2010) and was followed by Standing Tall and Tough (2014) which included Lawson, Williams, and now retired banjo legend J.D. Crowe. This new release pays tribute to the music that shaped the style as well as the careers of these men. It is this early style that gave form to so much of what today’s Bluegrass and Roots Country music is. Rest assured the story is not over, just beginning a new chapter.


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