This is the debut installment of LocalGrass, a new feature on Bluegrass Today. LocalGrass will twice-monthly provide information about bands and artists who are working primarily on a local or regional basis. We hope to be able to provide an early look at acts that may eventually make it to the national level, plus highlight some of the weekend warriors that keep the music alive in communities around the world.
LocalGrass is a contribution from Linda Wright and Kenneth Berrier, who host a weekly radio show by that name on 90.7 FM WEHC in Emory, VA.
Young Men; Old Soul – The Moore Brothers Band
When you first see the newest release from The Moore Brothers Band, Pick It Brother, a first glance will have your mind processing a picture of three young men, all less than “legal age,” with bluegrass instruments. Your initial impression may be of “just three kids,” but once you rip off the cellophane and pop it in the player, you’ll know this CD holds talent well beyond the years of the three young men on the cover.
Hildebran, North Carolina brothers, Jacob and Isaac Moore, had a very early exposure to the music world through their parents. Patti and Jeff Moore frequently took the boys to local, live music shows when they were toddlers. With a good saturation of music already under their belt by the time each of them reached 6 years old, both boys began playing music, each cutting their musical teeth on the mandolin.
By the time Jacob was 7, he was enrolled in the Suzuki program in Hickory, NC, and studied there until age 9. Jeff recalls “Jacob quickly mastered fiddle in the program, and expressed a desire to ‘play a little bluegrass’.” Moore found instructor Alan Johnson who signed on as Jacob’s instructor, and the family made a bi-monthly trip to Linville, NC for lessons.
On the weeks between, brother Isaac was taken to Boiling Springs, SC to the home of Wayne Benson for mandolin lessons. Benson eventually assisted in the production of the brothers’ first self-titled CD, The Moore Brothers, released in 2009. Benson played bass, and his wife Kristen Scott Benson (The Grascals) played banjo on the CD with the brothers. The first CD featured a good mix of traditional and gospel bluegrass, and a strong show of talent on a blues song, called Good Morning Blues which the brothers performed at live events donning sunglasses, and getting great audience response by breaking out into a bluesy and soulful rendition of the song.
Good Morning Blues: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/Good_Morning_Blues.mp3]
As the brothers developed their music talent, they began to play local venues, with Dad on guitar, and Mom being a guest singer on selected tunes. With continued support and encouragement from their parents, stage appearances also included visits to elementary schools where they used their talent to introduce students to bluegrass, and hopefully inspire them to pick up an instrument and explore the bluegrass genre for themselves. The boys quickly gained a following and began playing more frequently, including larger festivals where they began hosting many music workshops geared toward children. Patti recalls, “It’s always great to see how intrigued kids are, especially with the ‘little guitar’ (mandolin) and see their expressions, and hear the many questions they have at these workshops.”
The brothers were chosen from child performers across the country to participate in the Kids on Bluegrass Program at IBMA for several years running, and continue the good work promoting and encouraging children to explore an interest in the music. The Moore Brothers’ participation at IBMA has built some strong and lasting relationships, including one that landed the brothers a new bass player and vocalist, Daniel Perry, who is currently playing with the band. Daniel’s family owned Perry’s Bluegrass Barn, and grew up listening to live bluegrass on the weekends. Like the Moore Brothers, Perry too, began playing mandolin at an early age, and has made a fine addition to the band.
2012 will be a very busy year for the young Moore Brothers Band, with a current appearance schedule that includes more than 35 live shows. They have already performed at MerleFest, and have shows coming up at Dollywood, the MACC, and two appearances at IBMA. The band will also be promoting their recent CD release, appropriately named Pick It Brother, recorded on Music Row in Nashville. A great maturity shines through each track on the CD, and the impressive musicianship couples with a pleasantly surprising songwriting talent of brother Jacob who wrote Osmosis, and Crossroads from the CD.
Dad, Jeff, wrote the title track from the CD.
Pick It Brother: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/pick_it_brother.mp3]
The recent CD showcases the exceptional multi-instrumentalist talent of the young men in the band, with Isaac on guitar, mandolin, and banjo; Jacob on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and banjo; and Daniel Perry on bass, guitar, and mandolin. All of the young men contribute vocally.
From those first days of performing in 2007, to present, The Moore Brothers have evolved into crowd pleasing entertainers, become capable multi-instrumentalists and have truly embraced brother harmony.
Visit the Moore Brothers on their website at moorebrothersband.com to catch up on more news about the band, and find out how to follow them socially.