Dobro ace Ledbetter dies of COVID
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Dobro ace Ledbetter dies of COVID

Friday, October 15, 2021 – Dobro master Phil Leadbetter died on Oct. 15 of COVID-19.

Leadbetter was a member of J. D. Crowe and the New South and a founding member of Wildfire and Grasstowne.

Leadbetter was born on March 31, 1962 in Knoxville, Tenn. and started playing the resonator guitar at age 12. In 1975, he became a founding member of the Knoxville Newgrass Boys, who at the time were one of the youngest bluegrass bands in the U.S. In 1976, this band was invited to the White House to perform for U.S President Gerald R. Ford during the Nation's Bicentennial.

After eight years working full-time as a head injury rehabilitation nurse, Leadbetter decided it was time to make his move and try to get into the music on a full-time basis. He played with the The Grandpa Jones Show in 1988. The following year, he joined The Vern Gosdin Band.

Leadbetter was a member of J. D. Crowe and the New South from 1990-2001.

The following year, he started Wildfire, which he was with until 2006. Grasstowne found Leadbetter in the band with Steve Gulley and Alan Bibey until 2010. At that point, he joined The Whites for two years before taking a two-year break from music after being disagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

He returned by joining The Dale Ann Bradley Band from 2013-16. He also founded Flashback in 2016, a short-lived band lasting only in 2017.

That same year, he formed Phil Leadbetter And The All-Stars Of Bluegrass with whom he played through this year.

During his career, Leadbetter released three solo albums.

In 2005, 2014 and 2019, he was voted International Bluegrass Music Association "Dobro Player Of The Year". He also won the 2005 "Instrumental Album Of The Year" for his CD "Slide Effects."

More news for Phil Leadbetter

CD reviews for Phil Leadbetter

CD review - The Next Move Phil Leadbetter is one of the best resophonic guitar players in bluegrass and country music. He's played with Grandpa Jones, Vern Gosdin, JD Crowe, Wildfire, Grasstowne and, most recently, Dale Ann Bradley. He was the 2005 IBMA Dobro Player of the Year. Sidelined for over two years by cancer, and now fighting a second battle with its return, he managed to record a CD between bouts of illness that was a dream project for him: recording with a list of some of the best in bluegrass and country. ...
CD review - Slide Effects Wildfire is one of bluegrass' hottest new bands and their resophonic guitar picker is recognized as one of the best in the business. While this CD is Phil Leadbetter's solo effort he's joined by some of his bandmates (Darrell Webb and Robert Hale) as well as some of the most recognizable names in bluegrass (Leftwich, Gulley, Raybon, Bowman and Duncan to name just some of them). The instrumental side of this CD is as good as you'll hear anywhere including old favorites like "Remington Ride" and ...
Many bluegrass instrumental recordings lack the spontaneity and soul of thiswork by dobroist Phil Leadbetter, a bluegrass sideman with Vern Gosdin, Grandpa Jones and now J.D. Crowe's New South. Leadbetter is joined here by bandmate Curt Chapman on bass, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin, Scott Vestal on banjo, Richard Bennett on guitar and Rickie Simpkins on fiddle. Crowe also appears on two tracks. There is a looseness to this session, a feeling that these guys are having the time of their lives ...

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