DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER, “Lonely Street,” Rounder. 12 tracks.

Doyle Lawson turned 65 last month. He’s been playing bluegrass for 46 years now — joining Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys in 1963. And he’s been leading his own band — Quicksilver — for 30 years.

So, you’d think Lawson would be on autopilot by now — just playing the old stuff.

But you’d be wrong.

Lawson & Quicksilver have been named vocal group of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association for an unprecedented seven years — because they are that good.

Quicksilver, however, has been a finishing school for bluegrass musicians, who move on to other groups. Darren Beachley, lead singer on six tracks on this album, has already left to form his own band — Darren Beachley & Legends Of The Potomac.

There are several covers of older country songs — Carl Belew’s 1959 “Lonely Street,” Porter Wagoner’s 1968 “Big Wind” and Marty Robbins’ 1954 “Call Me Up And I’ll Come Callin’ On You.”

But it’s the lesser known songs that make the album shine.

“Monroe’s Mandolin,” the album’s first track, is an uptempo salute to the late Bill Monroe, “the father of bluegrass music.”

The harmonies on “Yesterday’s Songs” are as good as ever. “When The Last of Our Days Shall Come” is hard-driving, gospel-quartet singing at its best.

Another strong album from a master of bluegrass.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.rounder.com.

Keith Lawrence, 691-7301,klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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