Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, fronted by the longtime member of progressive bluegrass pioneers the Country Gentlemen, is a bluegrass ensemble that has made both gospel and secular recordings since its inception in 1979. (Though, as Lawson is a devout Christian, the numbers tip in favor of the gospel.) The group has had numerous members move through its ranks over the years, the one constant being Lawson, who jokingly refers to his group as a "farm team" for professional bluegrass.
Doyle Lawson was born on April 20, 1944, in Ford Town, TN, near Kingsport. As a kid, he drew early inspiration from bluegrass father Bill Monroe, and decided early on that he wanted to play that kind of music. Other inspiration came from the church, where his father, mother, and sister were in gospel groups that sang a cappella. He learned the mandolin at a young age, and a chance meeting with the legendary Jimmy Martin when Lawson was still a teen convinced Lawson he had to make music for a living. To demonstrate his seriousness and to expand his horizons, he learned banjo and guitar. In 1963, Lawson landed a job playing banjo for Martin. He also played guitar and mandolin for J.D. Crowe. In 1971, Lawson joined the Country Gentlemen and remained in the group until 1979, when he decided he needed his own group with his own sound. In April 1979, he laid the foundation for the unit that would become Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Over the decades, the group has served as host of the long-running Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival in Denton, NC. ~ Erik Hage