Jerry Douglas’ Earls of Leicester Announce 2015 Tour
Jerry Douglas' band Earls of Leicester has announced a 2015 tour, including stops at some major music festivals.
The band -- made up of Douglas as bandleader and on dobro, Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar, Barry Bales on vocals and bass, Charlie Cushman on banjo and Johnny Warren on fiddle -- will be promoting their self-titled debut album, which has spent 17 weeks on the bluegrass charts since its release in September. (Tim O'Brien contributed vocals and mandolin on the record but will not be touring, as he will instead be on the road with Hot Rize.) The album is also up for Best Bluegrass Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards.
The group serves as Douglas' tribute to bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and he says he hopes to keep traditional bluegrass music alive with their performances.
"I've been in all kinds of bands, famous and not famous bands, done lots and lots of records around this town. I just see that it's time to re-introduce that sound back into bluegrass music or bring it back into the consciousness of the general public," Douglas tells Rolling Stone Country. "There's so many young bluegrass bands now that don't really know about Flatt and Scruggs. They know about Alison [Krauss], Nickel Creek and Yonder Mountain [String Band], bands like that, but they don't hear where all of that stuff came from and the real impetus and inspiration for what we play, where it came from. I thought it was a good time to re-apply that coat of paint again.
"It's hard music to play right," he adds, "but it's been a lot of fun."
But just because he's trying to bring traditional bluegrass back into popularity doesn't mean that Douglas doesn't enjoy bands that advance the genre as well.
"I am the next generation removed from Flatt and Scruggs. If there's guilt involved about advancing the music and trying to change it at all, I'm certainly guilty of that, and bringing other influences from other genres of music into it," he confesses. "[Flatt and Scruggs] left Bill Monroe and formed their own kind of music and didn't really like being called a bluegrass band. They didn't like that label. They had country hits. They were hitting the popular music charts."
The Earls' tour kicks off Feb. 26 in Rocky Mount, Va., and continues through July 26 with a performance at Floydfest in Virginia. See a list of dates below.
The Earls of Leicester, 2015 Tour Dates:
2/26 -- Rocky Mount, Va. -- Harvester Performance Center
2/27 -- Hopewell, Va. -- Beacon Theater
2/28 -- Washington, D.C. -- DC Bluegrass Union Festival
3/1 -- Tarrytown, N.Y. -- Music Hall
3/3 -- Fall River, Mass. -- Narrows Center
3/4 -- Boston, Mass. -- Paradise
3/5 -- South Orange, N.J. -- SOPAC
3/6 -- New York, N.Y. -- BB King’s
3/7 -- Philadelphia, Pa. -- Colonial Theater
3/8 -- Charlestown, W.V. -- Mountain Stage
3/12 -- Louisville, Ky. -- Clifton Center
3/13 -- Bloomington, Ill. -- Castle Theatre
3/14 -- Chicago, Ill. -- Old Town School of Folk Music
3/21 -- Savannah, Ga. -- Savannah Music Festival
3/28 -- McMinnville, Tenn. -- Bluegrass Underground
4/24 -- Wilkesboro, N.C. -- Merlefest
5/23 -- Pigeon Forge, Tenn. -- Dollywood
5/24 -- Pigeon Forge, Tenn. -- Dollywood
6/14 -- Manchester, Tenn. -- Bonnaroo
7/24 -- Lyons, Colo. -- RockyGrass
7/26 -- Floyd, Va. -- Floydfest