20150209

Earls of Leicester Win Best Bluegrass Album at 57th Annual Grammys!

Image635590560353017476The Earls of Leicester took home the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.

The band’s self-titled release serves as their tribute to bluegrass artists Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

The six-man group is made up of bluegrass stars in their own right, including Jerry 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.

“We’re very humbled by this,” Douglas said during his acceptance speech. “These guys worked with me — I’ve wanted to do an album like this since the first time I picked up a musical instrument … This is what it’s all about — Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.”

The band/album 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.

“Flatt and Scruggs were the major influence on me when I was growing up,” said 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.

Other  Grammy nominees in the category included Naom Pikelny, (Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe); Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, (Cold Spell); Bryan Sutton, (Into My Own) and Rhonda Vincent, (Only Me).

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