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Cleveland loses a Flamekeeper

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – Michael Cleveland has one less Flamekeeper in his band.

Banjo player Glenn Gibson is leaving after three years with the band. His final gig will be Oct. 16 at the Festival of the Riverboats in Louisville, Ky.

"Making a living as a performer is a challenge in any genre of music," said Gibson. "To that end, I spoke to Michael several months ago and shared the difficult decision that this would be my last season with Flamekeeper. The music we made and the album, 'On Down The Line,' are highlights in my music career. The last three years provide fond memories that I will cherish and the camaraderie shared with band mates and the Flamekeeper team has been awesome.

"As for me, songwriting, recording and performing regionally will continue as my schedule allows. Working with Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper is an honor and privilege, and I look forward to hearing the great music that Michael and the band will be making in the future."

Cleveland praised Gibson's work. "For the past three years, Glenn has been a big part of our sound, both live on stage and on our latest album. He put his own stamp on the music of Flamekeeper and also took the time to learn solos and backup from the other great banjo players we've had in the past. We will all miss Glenn both musically and personally. He's one of the finest people I've ever had the pleasure to work with, and all of us wish him well."

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper have already begun auditioning for Gibson's replacement and plan to announce the newest member over the next few weeks.

More news for Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper

CD reviews for Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper

On Down the Line CD review - On Down the Line
Unlike previous Flamekeeper releases, there are few bluegrass household names associated with "On Down the Line." Only co-producer Jeff White has been with Michael Cleveland since the 2002 Rounder Records debut that gave Cleveland's band its name. "On Down the Line's" personnel reflects an evolving band that has solidified over three years. Glenn Gibson (banjo and reso) has been with Cleveland for three years, while both Tyler Griffith (bass) and Nathan Livers »»»
Fired Up CD review - Fired Up
Some CDs labeled "bluegrass" are like powdered eggs and turkey bacon: they just don't hit the mark. If it's a Michael Cleveland CD then you know it will be the real deal. "Flamekeeper" is centered on Cleveland and his fabulous talent on the fiddle (and other instruments, too). Other Flamekeeper members are Tom Adams (Blue Highway, Johnson Mountain Boys) on guitar and lead vocals, Marshall Willborn (Lynn Morris Band) on bass, Jessie Brock on mandolin and Jessie Baker »»»
Leavin' Town CD review - Leavin' Town
Fans of hard-driving bluegrass with some modern country influences will really like Michael Cleveland and Famekeeper. It's a no-bones-about-it, in-your-face bluegrass effort with tight rhythms and fast picking. The CD kicks off with the fast driving "Sold Down the River," which is joined by "Troubles 'Round My Door" and the title track. These tunes showcase a fast paced traditional bluegrass sound with tight instrumentals and clear lyrics. "My Blue Eyed »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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