A Stellar List of Friends Make Bucket List Dreams Come True
It’s a remarkable commentary on the character of a man when he can call upon friends and associates with the answer repeatedly being a resounding “yes.”
After being diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011, Phil Leadbetter feared that his 37-year career as a touring and performing musician may be over and yet, recognized the immense blessing of having enjoyed that career. The 2005 IBMA Dobro Player of the Year winner sat down and made a “bucket list” of friends and idols in the music business with whom he’d always wanted to record, or simply wanted to play with once again… if his health would ever allow a return to playing the music he loved.
In 2012, the cancer went into remission and slowly, as the effects of the chemo drugs left his body, Phil found himself strong enough to pick up the resonator guitar once again. He also returned to that dream list of musicians and friends. Phil felt ready for the next move.
With almost more Grammy, IBMA, and Country Music Association Award winners than one can count, The Next Move (Pinecastle Records) is the culmination of Phil’s dream; a bucket list of artists who all said, “yes.”
In The Next Move, Phil shows his amazing gift for creativity, arrangements, and brilliant picking with a stellar lineup of his friends and favorite artists. The list of guests reads like a Who’s Who of award-winners from Bluegrass, Country and Acoustic music, including: Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Mike Bub, Shawn Camp, Steve Wariner, Joe Diffie, Marty Raybon, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Ken Mellons, Kenny Smith, Cory Walker, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, John Cowan, Jake Stargel, Matt Leadbetter, Jim Hurst, Steve Thomas, Paul Brewster, Con Hunley, Charlie Cushman, Jarrod Walker and more.
Critics are already aflutter in anticipation of Phil’s latest project. Commenting on the song “I’m a Ramblin’ Rolling Stone,” Gracie Muldoon of Worldwide Bluegrass Radio calls the reso-guitar player “A Champion of Champions, that Phil Leadbetter,” and adds “After defeating the dreaded C, and picking up his instrument of choice, which has become more like an appendage to his person, Phil doesn’t miss a smooth, gliding, sparkling lick on his dobro.”
Recorded after his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma went into remission, Phil has since learned that the cancer has returned. He is valiantly waging a second fight with cancer while releasing his dream album. The Next Move is a reminder to never give up and always remain positive.
“Cancer can take a lot from you,” Leadbetter admits, “but it can’t kill your dreams.”
Although he’s currently undergoing treatment, Phil continues to perform with the Dale Ann Bradley Band and recently made an appearance on the world famous Grand Ole Opry.
Pre-order The Next Move on iTunes now.