Doyle Lawson recently shared some thoughts on his forthcoming release, Burden Bearer. Available from Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on July 8, 2016, the unique collection boasts 20 tracks: 10 with instruments, and 10 a cappella.
“I listen to my fans,” Lawson says. “We always include Gospel numbers, but I often hear that fans want to hear more a cappella music.”
The Bluegrass Hall of Famer grew up listening to a cappella music, which is powerful vocal harmony unaccompanied by musical instruments. Lawson’s own father was a member of an a capella quintet, and Lawson has had a lifelong love of this musical artform.
Well known for high standards in every aspect of his musical career, Lawson’s Burden Bearer is the latest example of the exquisite precision in vocals, harmony and musicianship of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. The album is reminiscent of a traditional “call to a camp meeting,” celebrating the musical legacy of faith, hope, struggle and victory of the spirit.
His recorded and live performances move seamlessly from straight-up Bluegrass to Traditional Country, but Doyle Lawson is undeniably the master of Bluegrass Gospel. Burden Bearer includes traditional convention songs “The Touch of His Gentle Hand” and “Get Right With God,” and remarkable Bluegrass driven songs like “God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign.” Newer compositions include the title cut and “Best Friend,” which Lawson says is one of his favorites on the album.
“It’s a wonderful story,” Lawson says of the song. “We had to put some thought and work into it in order for it to flow as a slow song. It required some restructuring and it’s a little different from the songwriter’s version, but it all came together beautifully.”
Lawson’s exceptionally talented band, Quicksilver, is comprised of Dustin Pyrtle, Eli Johnston, Josh Swift, Joe Dean, Stephen Burwell and Lawson himself.
“This band has been with me a long time,” Lawson says. “They are all naturally talented, but they marvel at how much more they understand about harmony structure since they joined. They learned a great deal on this project as well.”
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have nearly forty albums to their credit, are seven-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year winners, with enough Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA, and SPBGMA nominations and awards to fill a chalkboard. Lawson was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
“This album is a mix of newer songs and some I’ve done all my life,” says Lawson, who grew up listening to a cappella music, often performed by his own father’s quintet. “We worked hard on this project, tried different arrangements and worked out a lot in the studio. I’m very happy with it.”