Maggie’s Farm video from Indigo Roots Band

Of all the young family bands working the bluegrass circuit, few are as impressive as Indigo Roots Band, based near Nashville. Unusually gifted, highly creative, and extremely photogenic, this trio of Bethany, Victoria, and Daniel Kelley have grown way beyond the cute kid stage, and moved on into the mature artist phase of their careers.

If they look familiar, they have performed under two different names previously, originally as the Band of Kelleys starting about ten years ago, then briefly as Paper Dolls, until bassist Daniel began to feel a bit uncomfortable in that role.

Their latest single is the song that first brought this bunch to my attention seven years ago, a powerfully grassed up version of Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm. It’s also when I recognized the seriousness and dedication of the Kelley family to this music. I had discovered a video of them playing this song, but the opening of the performance was missing from the clip. I wrote to ask if they might have it in its complete form, and as they didn’t, they went out and shot a full new music video, complete with sweeping landscapes, in a few day’s time.

That commitment is still there, but the Kelleys are all grown up now, and their recut of Maggie’s Farm shows everything they have to offer to the music. On the top of that list is middle sibling Victoria, who plays mandolin and sings. A tremendously expressive vocalist, she has the chops to go the American Idol or The Voice route to success, but her love for bluegrass and acoustic music keeps her right where she is.

Big sister Bethany is a skilled and inventive fiddler, who has studied for some time with Jim VanCleve, and a fine singer as well, though we don’t get to hear her here.

Indigo Roots Band has also stayed strategically independent all this time, working without a label or publicity people. They built their own recording studio, Daniel has become an ace videographer, and Bethany and Victoria handle the rest of the work associated with being professional entertainers.

For Maggie’s Farm, Bethany is on fiddle, Daniel on bass, and Victoria on mandolin and lead vocal, with Seth Taylor playing guitar on the track (Jed Clark in the video), Rob Ickes on reso-guitar, and Ron Block on banjo. Josh Shilling provides harmony vocals on the recording.

Victoria says of this song…

“We’ve always treasured Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm, a love rooted in our childhood introduction to it, particularly through Mountain Heart’s rendition. Additionally, covering this song held special significance due to our shared Messianic faith with Bob Dylan.

The song’s lyrics strike a chord with us, resonating deeply as they likely do with others, showcasing the profound impact of strong writing. Maggie’s Farm symbolizes our commitment to asserting artistic freedom and retaining control over our musical identity. Navigating the music industry presents its challenges, making the moment of kicking that bucket in our music video all the more satisfying.”

There are a number of cameos in the video, so keep an eye out and see if you recognize anyone.

Bethany also shared something to watch for in the video…

“In the Maggie’s Farm music video, there’s a scene where Victoria writes down her dreams:

1. Play at the Opry

2. Produce our own music

3. Leave Maggie’s Farm

We’ve achieved everything on that list except playing at the Opry – it’s a big goal we’re working hard for! We hope that someday, we can make it come true.”

Check out the track, and the video.

Maggie’s Farm from Indigo Roots Band is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

The song will also be included on their next album, the first as Indigo Roots Band.

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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.