Sleepy Man Banjo Boys have announced that Cory Piatt, a young mandolinist from Tennessee, will join their band. Piatt has been performing of late with Kenny & Amanda Smith, and had released a strong debut solo project, Daydreams, late in 2012.
This latest move is part of the plan by New Jersey’s Mizzone brothers, the three teen and pre-teen pickers who comprise the Sleepy Men, to make the transition from a cute kid act to a serious performance vehicle in bluegrass music.
Cory said that he was sad to cut ties with the Smiths, but psyched to be more than a sideman with Sleepy Man Banjo Boys.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to help shape a new sound. It’s fun for me to be part of the creative process.
These are the kind of guys I would hang out with if we weren’t playing music, so I know this is going to be fun.”
Sleepy Man Banjo Boys first came to prominence unexpectedly in 2011, when their dad posted a video on YouTube of Jonny, the youngest of the trio, tearing up Scruggs’ Flint Hill Special on banjo when he was 8 years old. That video soon had over 1,000,000 views and the boys found themselves invited to appear on national television, which only elevated their appeal, as have many subsequent videos online.
The Boys have a pair of albums to their credit, with the two older brothers Tommy (16 – guitar) and Rob (15 – fiddle) now taking on the larger role of writing and arranging material for their show. Jonny, now 11, is also writing original tunes for the band. In June they hired 19-year-old Blake Pitney on bass, and with 17-year-old Cory on board, they have a complete group of young professionals ready to grow as a unit.
Understanding the realities of the music business, the Mizzones are working on vocals and writing songs as well as tunes. A new recording is being planned now.
Though they haven’t yet starting recording, Piatt says to expect a new sound when the next project is released.
“This new album will be more than fast songs. It will really show off their musicianship. They are really gifted and talented people, as this record will show.”
The band currently plays a limited schedule to accommodate the educational needs of the young musicians, but will be expanding that as the years go by. You can keep up with their comings and goings online.