Ain’t No Grave video from Sugar and the Mint

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.

You can keep an eye on Sugar & The Mint at their web site or Facebook page.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • William B Jones

    The future of Bluegrass & Acoustic Folk will remain intact, as long as young people with such amazing talent continue to show up on the scene. Thanks for sharing. WBJ, Free Willy Band

  • peter leonard

    sugar and the mint
    that is not bluegrass.
    at the best it is pop
    peter leonard

  • Mitchell Reynolds

    The influence of a band with no guitar or mandolin, namely Crooked Still, still resonates. They were the first of the Boston music school trained bands to break out in a big way. They also dug into really old songs, like and sources like “The Sacred Harp.” Obviously a huge influence on this talented bunch. And that’s a good thing.