Phil Leadbetter: The Next Move

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Andy's picture

I'm listening to Sirius Radio's "Track By Track" presentation of Uncle Phil's new album, The Next Move. Phil has been through some serious health issues (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011) and is currently facing additional trials, but right now he's doing what he does best: painting a big smile on my face with his music! In addition to his chops on the dobro (his intonation and timing are simply amazing), Phil knows how to put albums together. He brings material and performers together as well as anyone, and the results (including Instrumental Album of the Year award for Slide Effects in 2005) are top notch.

This album is as good as the others, with great guests from all over bluegrass including John Cowan, Dale Ann Bradley (Phil's current boss), Steve Gulley (one of his best friends and collaborators), Marty Raybon, Sierra Hull, Sam Bush, Shawn Camp, Charlie Cushman, Mike Bubb, Don Rigsby, Steve Wariner...and some guys named Douglas and Ickes (they all play dobro on one of my favorite Uncle Josh tunes "Just Joshin'"). And these folks are playing and singing some great tunes!

In addition to making fine music, Phil is as good a person as there is, and an example of how to stay positive and grateful through the ups and downs of life. I was with Phil at the Joe Val Festival (he was playing with the Whites) in 2011 when he discovered he was sick. When a healthy Phil returned to the stage, it was again at Joe Val (with Dale Ann in 2013), and the crowd went crazy over having him back. Everyone, it seemed, knew Phil's story and was rooting for him. I'm rooting again right now!

I don't know the release date, but I'll be in line to download it on iTunes. Airplay Direct has one song up already at: http://www.airplaydirect.com/music/philleadbetterthenextmove/

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