The Earls of Leicester, Feat. Jerry Douglas, Tim O'Brien and More, to Play the Boulder Theater, 10/12
Jerry Douglas and the Boulder Theater are proud to present The Earls of Leicester featuring Jerry Douglas, Tim O'Brien, Shawn Camp, Barry Bales, Johnny Warren & Charlie Cushman to the Boulder Theater on Sunday, October 12th, 2014. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, August 8th at 10 AM for $20.00 for general admission, $25.00 for reserved seating and $27.50 for gold circle seating.
"This record is something I've been waiting my whole life to do," veteran Dobro master Jerry Douglas says of the self-titled debut by the new all-star dream team combo that he has assembled, organized and produced.
The six-man band encompasses Douglas plus acclaimed writer, producer, and solo artist Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar, renowned Nashville banjoist Charlie Cushman on banjo and guitars, veteran songwriter, multi- instrumentalist and Hot Rize member Tim O'Brien on vocals and mandolin, second-generation fiddle phenom Johnny Warren, and Barry Bales, Douglas' longtime bandmate in Alison Krauss and Union Station, on vocals and bass.
The new group is the product of Douglas's lifelong passion for the music of bluegrass pioneers Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and their band the Foggy Mountain Boys, whose seminal work in the '50s and '60s created the template for what we know as contemporary bluegrass, and transcended traditional genre barriers to popularize the music with an unprecedented mass audience.
The punningly-titled The Earls of Leicester revisits 14 timeless favorites from the Flatt and Scruggs songbook, infusing such rousing numbers as "Big Black Train," "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," "Shuckin' the Corn," "Dig A Hole in the Meadow" and "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke" with fresh energy, while maintaining the same emotional authenticity, instrumental expertise and vibrant creative spirit that made the original versions such enduring classics.
"Flatt and Scruggs were the major influence on me when I was growing up," recalls Douglas, who was first inspired to pick up his instrument by Flatt and Scruggs' legendary Dobroist Josh Graves. "I was around seven years old when I first saw them, and there were two or three more times after that. It had a huge impact on me. I remember the warmth of the auditorium, I remember the smell of the popcorn, I remember the outfits they were wearing. It's still all very vivid to me, and it's still influencing me 50 years later.
Douglas had long dreamed of rounding up a band to perform Flatt and Scruggs material, but held off until he could gather musicians of sufficient caliber to do justice to the material. His plans finally began to take shape when he played on a session with fiddler Johnny Warren-the son of Fiddlin' Paul Warren, a longtime mainstay of Flatt and Scruggs' band-and Johnny's longtime banjo- playing partner Charlie Cushman.
"The banjo, the fiddle and the Dobro came together in a way that sounded exactly what I'd heard so many years ago, the first time I saw Flatt and Scruggs," Douglas recalls. "Right then, it dawned on me that this was my chance to complete that dream, and I didn't want to let it go by. So I called Tim O'Brien and Barry Bales. The hardest part for me was finding the right lead singer, but then my wife suggested Shawn Camp. We got everyone together one night and had a rehearsal, and I realized that we had to do this."