Doyle Lawson & Quicklsilver
Men of faith have many ways of showing their love for God. They may preach, sing or express themselves through works of art. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver fuse the three together in their musical mission, Light On My Feet, Ready to Fly.
Doyle Lawson is an esteemed figure in the bluegrass and gospel communities. Growing up in East Tennessee, Lawson obsessed over the Grand Ole Opry and, at age 11, began self-learning the mandolin. He worked as a support musician in numerous groups for more than 15 years, before breaking out as a lead man with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver in 1979.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is the hardest working group on the bluegrass gospel circuit. The group has released an album, sometimes two, nearly every year since their inception. They also manage more than 60 tour dates a year, as well as the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival in Denton for 25 years running.
Lawson is much more of a gospel artist than secular, and he openly admits his goal in music is to lead others to Christ. Lawson continues to spread the word with Light on My Feet, Ready to Fly, a collection of traditional and new religious-themed songs.
Lawson chose the right vehicle to recruit, as Ready to Fly draws anyone who has a penchant for sonorous harmonies and passionate picking. Quicksilver members do double duty: Not only are they required to excel at playing their instruments, but they must be the cream of the crop when it comes to singing capabilities.
With acapella arrangements like "My Lord's Gonna Move This Wicked Race" and "Zion Medley," it's understood why Quicksilver are seven-time winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association Vocal Group prize. Though with their voices they could stand alone, Quicksilver's strings add an element that could rise a revival tent off the ground.
Lawson has changed the lineup of Quicksilver many times over the years, and Light on My Feet, Ready to Fly features yet another edition. Of the five members whom Doyle employs, banjo player and bass singer Dale Perry, has the longest history with the group. The remaining four members were just recruited in the last year.
As Doyle is the namesake of the band, he's been the only permanent player in Quicksilver's history. His lush baritone and veteran mandolin playing are sometimes front and center on Ready to Fly, but more often than not, he opens the platform to his support, especially Corey Hensley.
When Hensley is not complimenting Lawson with his soothing tenor and guitar, he is singing the lead. He does so on nearly half of the songs on Ready to Fly. Lawson even saw fit to use two of Hensley's songs on the album, the title track and "The Hammer of Sin." Hensley has a future in gospel music, whether or not he remains in Quicksilver.
The members of Quicksilver now range in ages mid-20s to late-40s, with Lawson at 66, being the Grandaddy of the crew. Doyle is sprightly as ever, keeping up just fine with the young'uns he's hired for his group.
Many try to reach the masses with a Christian message through music, but few do it well. Much of what is coming out of Christian rock and similar facets do nothing more than crucify the ears.
Alternately, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's Light on My Feet, Ready to Fly is an aural blessing.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is online at DoyleLawson.com. They will perform Nov. 13 at the Stone Family Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkesboro.