The Earls of Leicester at the Carolina Theatre Friday, Oct 18
Greensboro, NC – The Carolina Theatre is pleased to announce the return of The Earls of Leicester to the Betty and Ben Cone, Jr. Auditorium stage on Fri., Oct. 18, at 8PM. Tickets will go on sale this Fri., May 3, at noon.
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, MAY 3, AT NOON
When the Earls of Leicester formed in 2013, their mission was ambitious but exact: to preserve and promote the legacy of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, in hopes of reviving the duo’s music for longtime admirers and introducing a new generation to their genre-defining sound. Within a year of releasing their self-titled debut, the Nashville-based six-piece far surpassed their own expectations, winning a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album and earning six awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association.
The band wholeheartedly channels the spirit of Flatt and Scruggs in their live performances, while allowing each member’s distinct charm and singular musicality to shine through.
“This is the result of years and years of trying out different instruments, different string gauges, different techniques to try to create these sounds,” Douglas notes. In that process, he adds, the Earls of Leicester eventually dug up decades-old instruments in order to achieve the ideal texture and tone they were seeking. “Everybody in the band plays something old,” says Jerry Douglas. “This music just sounds so much more true to form when it’s played on old instruments.”
For Douglas—a 14-time Grammy Award-winner who founded the Earls of Leicester and produces all their material—that approach builds on a lifelong dedication to studying the music of Flatt and Scruggs. Soon after hearing the Foggy Mountain Boys at age seven, he devoted himself to deconstructing their recordings, paying particular attention to the captivating Dobro work of Josh Graves. “I remember sitting by the record player and trying to figure out what Josh Graves was doing,” he says. “There was no one to teach me, so I just had to listen.”
Douglas attended a number of Flatt and Scruggs concerts as a kid, and later played with each musician on separate occasions. Although his own prolific career as a musician and producer has kept him more than occupied over the years—including appearing on more than 1,600 albums, recording with the likes of Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, and Elvis Costello—Douglas was unable to shake his vision of one day revisiting the music of Flatt and Scruggs. “I probably could have stayed focused on everything else I’ve got going on, but this just haunted me,” he says.
As Douglas points out, the most crucial factor in forming the Earls of Leicester was replicating the lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry that long fueled Flatt and Scruggs. “I looked for years to find the group I needed for the alchemy to work,” he says. In the end, Douglas landed on the lineup of Shawn Camp, Jeff White, Charlie Cushman, Johnny Warren (son of Foggy Mountain Boys’ Paul Warren), and Barry Bales—and found himself beyond floored by their immediate synergy. “I had to stop the band in the middle of the first song, because I was scared to keep going—it felt like Flatt and Scruggs were going to jump right out of the wall,” he says in reflecting on their first meeting. “I’d hoped it was going to be even half that good, and it ended up just taking my breath away.”
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 3, at noon, and are $50 for premium orchestra pit seating, or $40, $35, $30, or $23, depending on location. A $3 facility fee and NC sales tax will be added to each ticket. Tickets can be purchased online at CarolinaTheatre.com, by phone at 336-333-2605, or in person at the Carolina Theatre box office located at 310 S. Greene St in Greensboro, Monday-Friday from noon-5pm.