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Pickin' For Phil Sunday at The Paramount

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Phil LeadbetterOur favorite bluegrass uncle, Uncle Phil Leadbetter is battling to get a handle on his Hodgkins Disease -- a form of cancer. Doctors are still doing surgery and trying to find a cocktail that will bring this disease under control. The rising medical costs are putting a great burden on him and his family. To help with this, a grand benefit program featuring many of the top bluegrass artists today will take place Sunday at The Paramount in Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee.

Blue Highway is the latest group to join the star filled cast of performers that also include Dale Ann Bradley, Larry Cordle, Michael Cleveland, Steve gulley, Missy Raines, Don Rigsby, Jim Hurst, Gena Britt, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Justin Moses, Julie & John Pennell, Kim Fox, Mike bub and many more guests are also being added.

Pickin For Phil posterAdmission is only $20 to get to see a massive lineup of talent and the contributions go to an even better cause. There are people who are quick to volunteer their help in a time of need. A person who is always willing to help a friend or even a stranger who is in need of help. One of these people is bluegrass/country musician Phil Leadbetter, he has been helping folks throughout his life as in his earlier years he was a trained head injury rehabilitation nurse. Phil,who left the nursing field and followed his life long dream to become a musician, has backed such artists as the late Grandpa Jones and Vern Gosdin. Uncle Phil, as he is affectionately known, has also been a member of J.D. Crowe & The New South, Wildfire and the group, Grasstowne and who of late was performing with The Whites,an American country music group.

Along the way he has been Grammy nominated and has several International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) nominations. He's had a #1 song on the bluegrass charts, a "Best Instrumental Album" by the IBMA and Phil was awarded "Dobro Player of the Year" in 2006 by that organization. He's performed at the White House and at other special events throughout the United States.

Phil Leadbetter, who is a musician, former nurse, a husband, a parent and a grandparent suffered flu like symptoms last year that wouldn't go away. Upon going to the doctor and having follow up visits with more doctors was diagonosed with Hodgin's Lymphomia in February 2001. A cancer found in the lymph nodes,spleen, liver and other sites. Phil is no stranger to cancer as he has lost a dad and a brother to the disease. Upon rounds of chemotheraphy his condition was thought to be under control and he was to enter a stem cell transplant program but a new drug that was given to aid in the process had a reverse effect and the cancer cells were growing one against each other - the same ones thought to be in remission. So, Phil is going through more rounds of chemotheraphy and tests and more medicine and hopes to be able to enter the stem cell transplant program.

But with all these treatments and meds come costs. Phil like a lot of people in the music industry and beyond has no insurance. Though doctors and hospitals have him in programs that are using experimental medicines and programs to help him cut costs the bill are piling up. That is why friends and fellow musicians have gathered together to perform benefits in his behalf in his hometown Knoxville area. There will also be a benefit in the Bristol,TN/VA area to help with these costs.

That benefit will be held at the Paramount Center in Bristol, Tennessee on April 01, 2012. There will be two shows, one at 3 PM and the other at 7:30 PM and tickets are $20.00. It will be a bluegrass all-star event and will be called "Pickin' For Phil" and will feature some of the brightest stars of bluegrass music. Members of some of the best bands in the genre who are coming together to help one of their own during this difficult time by lending their skills to this fund-raising effort. If you can't make it, please donate anyway by visiting

Artists scheduled to appear are Tim Stafford, Dale Ann Bradley, Mike Bub, Michael Cleveland, Missy Raines, Kim Fox, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Jim Hurst, Julie & John Pennell, Gena Britt, Don Rigsby and others who are some of the brightest and most gifted stars in that genre of music.

Tickets can be ordered by calling the Paramount Center at 423-274-8920, Tuesday through Friday 9AM - 5 PM or visiting and hope you will support this worthwhile cause. The Paramount Center for the Arts is located at 518 State Street in Bristol, Tennessee.

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