DACULA, Ga. – A staple of the modern-day Skillet Lickers, Fleet Stanley, longtime dobro player for the band, passed away on Monday. Known for his impeccable musical talent, his silk smooth voice, and infectious, warm, hospitable personality, Stanley was known as much for his presence off the stage as he was for his musicianship. This persona made Stanley loved with people of all kinds and attracted even the youngest of fans.

Stanley grew up in Dacula, attending Dacula High School and performing frequently with Phil Tanner and Larry Nash for over a half century. When his work with the FBI called him away from home, Stanley never lost touch with his friends or the music he loved, returning to Georgia frequently to perform with his old friends.

Songs such as “Maggie”, “Lorena”, and “Wabash Cannonball” will forever be synonymous with Fleet Stanley. His distinct voice, coupled with the smooth slide of his dobro will always hold a place in the hearts of so many.

Stanley was also a staple at the “Chicken House,” the site of the band’s weekly Friday night jam session which saw musicians of all kinds gathering together to perform classic Skillet Lickers songs and other favorites. For his two decades post-retirement, Stanley would drive an hour-and-a-half from his mountain home each Friday night to participate in the often-lengthy jams, which would often last well into the night.

One of Stanley’s more recent highlights of his musical career was performing in “Smoke on the Mountain” and “Sanders Family Christmas,” two musicals that took place at the Cumming Playhouse from 2015-2018. Not only was he known to love the wholesome productions himself, but his greatest memory was the camaraderie and fellowship among the cast of the show every night.

Stanley’s love for music would only be surpassed by his love for his wife of over 57 years, Kay Stanley. The two were nearly always seen together at shows, supporting one another with a love that was unrivaled.

Plans are currently in the works for a special, extended virtual tribute show. More details will be announced in the coming days on SkilletLickers.org and the Skillet Lickers Facebook page.

In the meantime, current members of the band have issued the following statements on Stanley’s passing:

“Of all the people who have been a part of the “Skillet Licker Family” no one loved music more than Fleet. He’s the guy that was willing to drive 12 hours to play a 30 minute show. We are all really going to miss him. He had the ability to take an old song and sing it in a way that made it new every time you heard him sing it. Whether it be a gospel song or country ballad Fleet had his heart in every song he sang. He was just one of those people who make you feel what he was singing, not just hear it. Thank you Fleet for your years of friendship and music. You made us all better.” – RUSS TANNER

“So saddened to hear of Fleet’s passing. He was the first dobro player that I ever played with and had his own style. A lot of good musical memories over the past 50 odd years. He will definitely be missed. Rest in peace, my friend.” – LARRY NASH

“I have enjoyed Fleet’s friendship and playing music with him for the last twenty years. His absence has left a void in our music and fellowship since the time he became unable to perform. So long old friend. We’ll see you on the other side.” – JOEL ADERHOLD

“We’ve been long time friends from high school, our families were so close, and we enjoyed our many times together playing music. I will always hold those memories close.” – PHIL TANNER

The Skillet Lickers have announced the launch of a new, limited-edition podcast, “Fiddles and Friends: The Skillet Lickers Story”. Hosted by patriarch Phil Tanner, the show will tell the story of Country music’s longest running band and first supergroup in chronological order, from the early 20th century to the modern day.

The podcast, which will be available on Apple Podcasts and SkilletLickers.org, will officially launch on Wednesday, March 17th with new episodes every two weeks. The current schedule of shows is as follows:

MARCH 17Episode 1: Gid Tanner’s upbringing, Riley Puckett, and the pre-Skillet Lickers days

MARCH 31Episode 2: The Original Skillet Lickers (1926-1930) and the rise to fame

APRIL 14Episode 3: Original Skillet Lickers band member profiles

APRIL 28Episode 4: San Antonio Sessions and the million-seller that changed Country music

MAY 12Episode 5: Gid Tanner’s later years

MAY 26Episode 6: Gordon Tanner and the Junior Skillet Lickers

JUNE 9Episode 7: The “Chicken House” and the Dacula legacy

JUNE 23Episode 8: Modern Day Skillet Lickers (feat. Russ Tanner)

HIAWASEE, Ga. — Join the Skillet Lickers for their one and only show of 2020, taking place at the Mountain Home Music Theater in beautiful downtown Hiawasee, GA on Halloween night!

It’s been nearly one year since the band took the stage in front of a live audience, and at long last, they will finally be back! Necessary precautions related to COVID-19 will be taken to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed.

Admission is $8 at the door, children 10 and under are free. The night begins at 7pm with the house band, followed by the Skillet Lickers shortly thereafter. This is the one and only opportunity for you to catch the band live and in person in 2020 so don’t miss out!

The show marks the band’s first in-person, physical performance (aside from the band’s weekly virtual shows), since their sold-out show in nearby Blairsville in late October 2019.

Additional information on the show and venue can be found at mthomemusictheatre.weebly.com.

*The band and venue asks that if you are in a high-risk category related to COVID-19, are susceptible to the virus, have any pre-existing conditions, or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 to please stay home and instead, enjoy the band’s virtual show on Sunday night, November 1.

DACULA, Ga. – For the next eight weeks, ‘Skillet Lickers Live,’ the band’s weekly digital concert series is presented exclusively by the Efstration for House, Inc., the campaign to re-elect Rep. Chuck Efstration to the Georgia State House.

“Chuck has been a great friend of ours through the years and has done tremendous work not just for our community here in Gwinnett, but for the state as a whole,” said Russ Tanner of the Skillet Lickers. “We are grateful for his support and friendship through the years and are proud to not only support him, but also grateful to have him be the presenting sponsor of our digital shows for the next two months.”

Efstration, a Dacula native, represents portions of eastern Gwinnett in the Georgia House, including Dacula, Hamilton Mill, Hoschton, Lawrenceville, and Auburn. Election Day is slated for Tuesday, November 3.

‘Skillet Lickers Live’ presented by Efstration For House returns on Sunday, September 13th at 7pm. All shows are available live and on demand via the Skillet Lickers Facebook page. For more on Rep. Efstration’s campaign, visit www.chuckforhouse.com.

ATHENS, Ga. – The annual North Georgia Folk Festival, a longtime tradition typically held in front of hundreds on a fall weekend in Athens, has moved entirely digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the 36th annual festival won’t be taking place in person, organizers are preparing for a rousing, three-part festival, streamed via YouTube featuring some of the region’s best folk and Americana acts, including the Skillet Lickers, who have appeared at the festival multiple times throughout the years.

“While we’re saddened not to be able to experience the festival in person in Athens, this was the right decision and we’re glad to be a part of this unique event from our home studio in Dacula,” said Russ Tanner of the Skillet Lickers.

The festival will take place in three episodes, culminating with a documentary from Art Rosenbaum in the third and final episode. Episode one will debut on Sunday, September 26, 2020.

The Skillet Lickers are slated to perform for approximately ten minutes. To purchase festival merchandise and to learn more, click here.

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Skillet Lickers and Bear on the Square event organizers announced the band’s return to the legendary North Georgia folk festival on Sunday, April 28, marking the band’s first performance at the event – and first visit to Dahlonega – in four years.

“Bear on the Square is the premier folk festival in North Georgia and has been for years,” says Russ Tanner of the Skillet Lickers. “It’s an honor to once again be included in the very talented lineup of some of the region’s greatest talent.”

While it’s been a few years since the Skillet Lickers last took part in the event, the band has a long history performing at Bear on the Square. This year, the band is slated to perform on the main stage on Sunday, April 28, the second day of the two-day festival, from 3:45-5:00 p.m., the final performance of the weekend.

Phil and Russ Tanner will also be leading a workshop on old-time fiddling prior to the band’s performance at 1 p.m. Anyone with an interest in fiddling is encouraged to attend this free workshop. There will be personal instruction and a live jam session.

Other bands performing at Bear on the Square in 2019 include the Georgia Crackers, Ugly Cousin, Jeff Mosier, Crooked Mile, Underhill Rose, among many others.

A full list of Bear on the Square performers can be found here.