Discovering young talent has been the most consistently rewarding aspect of Bluegrass Today. The opportunity to recognize a spark in its early stages, and watch it as it grows, is what keeps us hopeful for the future of acoustic string music.
Today’s example comes from Prescott, AZ, in the form of Sugar & The Mint. Formed through a series of auditions hosted by a local organization in 2011, the band has grown and matured through their teens into the focused musical unit who took first place in the 2017 band contest at Colorado’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Their sound blends contemporary bluegrass and acoustic folk into a very appealing hybrid.
With ages currently ranging from 16 to 20, they have just released their first music video. It’s an arrangement of Claude Ely’s Ain’t No Grave, sung by youngest member Kiva Rain Keith.
The group is completed by Matt Tatum on mandolin, Johan Glidden on guitar, Jason Howard on bass, Glory Glidden on fiddle, and Keenan Hammack on guitar.
Ain’t No Grave is included on the band’s debut EP, Grape Flavored, available online from CD Baby. They are working now on a second project which we look forward to seeing in 2018.