Leadbetter, Phil

PHIL LEADBETTER

  • From Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • One of the top Dobro™ players in bluegrass.
  • At age 14, performed before President Gerald R. Ford at the White House (1976).
  • His father played in a band with Bashful Brother Oswald (of the Grand Ole Opry).
  • Worked as an Intensive Care (ICU) nurse for 12 years.
  • 1975-1981, formed a band called the Knoxville Newgrass Boys.
  • 1982, formed another Knoxville group called New Dawn.
  • 1988-89, worked with Grandpa Jones.
  • 1990, worked with Vern Gosdin.
  • 1991, joined J.D. Crowe and the New South.
  • 1999, released Philibuster album (Rounder).
  • 2000, formed Wildfire with several other members of the New South.
  • 2004, Gibson released “The Phil Leadbetter Signature Gibson Dobro™.”
  • His son Matt is also a Dobro™ player who has worked with the Lonesome River Band, Valerie Smith, Marty Raybon, Brand New Strings and other bands.
  • 2005, won the IBMA award for Dobro™ Player of the Year.
  • 2005, released Slide Effects album (Pinecastle) which won the IBMA Award for Instrumental Album of the Year.
  • 2006, left WildFire to form Grasstowne with Steve Gulley (formerly with Mountain Heart) and Alan Bibey (formerly of BlueRidge).
  • 2010, left Grasstowne to form a new band called Rigsby, Leadbetter and Bennett, with Don Rigsby on mandolin, Richard Bennett on guitar and his son Matt playing bass.
  • 2010, joined The Whites.
  • 2011, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma (a form of cancer) which required Phil to take two years off the road for treatment.
  • 2013, joined the Dale Ann Bradley band.
  • 2014, released solo project The Next Move with guest artists Joe Diffie, Shawn Camp, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Steve Wariner, Marty Raybon, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, and others.
  • 2015, was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 2016, left the Dale Ann Bradley band.
  • 2016, formed Flashback, with Richard Bennett, Don Rigsby, Curt Chapman & Stuart Wyrick.
  • 2016, formed Phil Leadbetter And The All-Stars Of Bluegrass.
  • 2017, became the talent buyer for The Bill Monroe Music Park which includes the Beanblossom Bluegrass festival, and The Hall Of Fame Uncle Pen Days Festival.
  • 2019, won his third IBMA Award for Dobro Player of the Year (also won in 2005, 2014).
  • 2019, underwent more treatments for a recurrence of cancer. He is a five-time cancer survivor.
  • 2019, formed an ensemble called The All-Stars of Bluegrass and recorded Swing for the Fences album (Pinecastle).  Members include (at various times) Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, Claire Lynch, Robert Hale, Shawn Camp, Ken Mellons, Paul Brewster, Amanda Smith, Kenny Smith, Sierra Hull, Mike Bub, Missy Raines, Alan Bibey, Jason Burleson, Adam Haynes, Steve Thomas, Gena Britt and Matt Leadbetter.