Old-school bluegrass super-group the Earls of Leicester will record its third album live at the CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum over two nights, February 24 and 25.
In its short life, the band has earned a Grammy Award and been named Entertainers of the Year three consecutive times by the International Bluegrass Music Association. The new disc will follow on a self-titled 2014 release and 2016’s Rattle & Roar.
For many tradition-minded bluegrass fans, the emergence of The Earls of Leicester is the most inspiring and exciting thing to happen in the genre in many years. Jerry Douglas, the legendary innovator on the dobro, organized the band in 2013 to revive the sound and repertoire of Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys.
Douglas called the upcoming concerts and live session, “the culmination of five years of work in our mission to re-educate, and in many cases, reveal this body of work for the first time.”
“It was gone. It had disappeared off the landscape,” said Douglas of the Flatt & Scruggs sound in a recent interview for WMOT’s The String.
“That was the original reason to do it - to bring it back up to people who didn’t know what it was. Younger people were going what is that? And older people were going ‘I didn’t think I’d ever hear that again.’ And that’s the ultimate compliment.”
The six-piece band includes Shawn Camp on lead vocals, singing the parts sung for years by Lester Flatt. Charlie Cushman plays banjo. Jeff White, who has toured for years supporting Vince Gill, plays mandolin. Fiddler Johnny Warren is the son of original Flatt & Scruggs fiddler Paul Warren. Barry Bales the bass player is a regular colleague of Jerry Douglas in Alison Krauss and Union Station.
Douglas says he hopes the two night stand at the CMA Theater evokes two history-making live recording dates from the career of Flatt & Scruggs - Carnegie Hall in 1963 and Vanderbilt University in 1964.