For someone who has kept a close eye on the growth of bluegrass music this past 45 years, there is nothing quite so gratifying as watching teen artists grow into iconic figures in our music. That time has seen Alison Krauss go from a startling young prodigy to among the most influential vocalists of our era, Nickel Creek evolve from cute young grassers to pop music heroes, and Mark O’Connor grow from a teen-aged fiddle champ to a major figure in modern classical music, and now back again to the bluegrass fold.
Bluegrass has always welcomed young pickers and singers, especially in the venerable family band setting of mom, dad, and the kids. Popular current performers like Ron Stewart with the Boxcars, Courtney Hartman with Della Mae, BJ, Molly, and Skip Cherryholmes with their respective groups, and Rhonda and Darrin Vincent all learned their craft in this setting, training which has propelled them to touring careers in our music. Similarly, Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley did their internship with Ralph Stanley during their high school years, and their later boss man J.D. Crowe did the same with Jimmy Martin a generation earlier.
We train our own here in the land of bluegrass, with our very own private farm system.
Such is also the story with The Snyder Family, a pair of North Carolina teens who had spent the past few years touring as a trio, with their dad on bass. Zeb has played guitar and mandolin, with younger sister Samantha on fiddle, showing an impressive command of their instruments at such a young age. But the two have now grown up, with Samantha a lovely young lady, and Zeb a proper gentleman, and on their upcoming album, The Life We Know, we see them as mature musicians as well.
Samantha’s voice is fully developed, and it has a sincere, expressive quality that serves their new single well. The song is Far Away, one she wrote, available now to radio programmers from Airplay Direct. Zeb supports her with guitar, mandolin, and banjo, with their father, Bud, on bass.
Look for The Life We Live coming March 10 from Mountain Home Music.