Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

October 23, 2013

Don Rigsby to appear on Letterman, perform at Carnegie Hall


Oct. 23, 2013 — Don Rigsby will demonstrate his acclaimed, “high lonesome” tenor singing voice for a national television audience on Tuesday, Oct. 29, during an appearance with country music superstar Alan Jackson on the David Letterman Show on CBS.

The night before, Rigsby will be singing harmony with Jackson during a performance at famed Carnegie Hall.

Rigsby sings on each cut of Jackson’s first-ever Bluegrass CD entitled “The Bluegrass Album” which was recently released.

The 45-year-old musician from Isonville in Elliott County will be performing with Jackson on about 30 dates over the next several months.

Rigsby himself has an international following in Bluegrass music.

In addition to singing and playing the mandolin, he also performs on the fiddle, guitar and dulcimer.

He worked his way through Morehead State University playing music with Charlie Sizemore, emerged onto the national scene as a member of The Bluegrass Cardinals, played with JD Crowe and The New South, and was a member of the award-winning Lonesome River Band.

The two-time Grammy nominee and two-time SPBGMA Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year shared two IBMA Awards while performing with Longview and sang on a Grammy-winning album by rocker John Fogerty.

Rigsby served eight years as the first full-time director of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at MSU.

He has released five solo albums. His first, “A Vision,” won the Association of Independent Music’s “Gospel Album of the Year” award and was nominated for an IBMA Award. He received the 1999 Bluegrass Now Magazine Fans’ Choice Award for Vocal Tenor of the Year and the 2001 Governor’s Kentucky Star Award.

“Empty Old Mailbox,” the title track from his third album won the 2001 Song of the Year Award from SPBGMA.  This project was followed up with “The Midnight Call”, “Hillbilly Heartache”, and “The Voice of God”. 

In 2005, Rigsby was awarded two IBMA awards for his role as producer of the Larry Sparks project “40” for Recorded Event of the Year and Album of the Year.

In 2006, Rigsby and company received another award for Recorded Event of the Year for participating in the “Celebration of Life” project for St. Jude’ Children’s Hospital.

He continues to provide instruction both privately and in various camps across the U.S. and even abroad. He recently released his first mandolin instructional video as well.