Doyle Lawson, an International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame member and leader of the band Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, is planning his retirement. The mandolin player will step out of the spotlight at the end of 2022.
Bluegrass Today reported Lawson's retirement plans on Monday (April 12). The artist and his band, who have been together for more than four decades, will release their 42nd album in June and will tour until the end of 2022, before Lawson officially retires. Lawson also mentions that he'd like to record another gospel album with Quicksilver, too.
"While my voice has held up well and my hands feel good, I want to leave while I can still feel proud of my performance onstage … It’s always been my desire to walk away while I felt good, while I could still play," Lawson says. "My health is good … I’m not quitting for any other reason that what I am saying here. I like producing people in the studio, and I may pop up on other projects if people want me."
Lawson, who will turn 77 on April 20, is a Fordtown, Tenn., native who first picked up the mandolin as a pre-teen. In 1963, he moved to Nashville to play banjo with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys; three years later, he began performing with JD Crowe and the Kentucky Mountain Boys, went back to Martin's group briefly and then returned to Crowe's band until 1971.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver formed in 1979 and released a self-titled album that same year. They are International Bluegrass Music Association Awards winners, and Lawson is a six-time Grammy Awards nominee; he joined the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
“I just want to pass the torch. You’ve got young bands coming on, and if I move away from the touring part of music that will open up things for others," Lawson reasons, adding with a laugh, "On the other side of the coin, they may be glad I’m out of the way!"
In retirement, Lawson says he still plans to produce and do "other things in music." Quicksilver, he adds, "want to continue on as a band" after Lawson's departure.