We’ve been following the mega-talented Summer McMahan and her equally talented brother, Brayden, since 2011 when they were teenagers playing in their dad’s bluegrass Gospel group. At that point, they were certain comers in our field, and we watched as they went from Mountain Faith, to the Mountain Faith Band, to Summer Brooke & Mountain Faith, and now to Summer & Bray.
Pop (Sam) has taken his leave, leaving the two singing siblings to run the group on their own. Throughout, the McMahans have produced clever original material featuring Summer’s lovely singing voice, in stylistic settings ranging from down home bluegrass to Gospel, Americana to positive acoustic country.
But without regard to the format, it was always sincere, soulful music played with respect for where they had gown up, in Sylva, NC, far from the bright lights of the big city. The group made quite a run on the television series, America’s Got Talent, in 2015, winning them a whole new audience who responded to their acoustic/bluegrass covers of current pop songs.
Now, with Summer a fashionable young lady and Brayden a bearded banjo picker, they are focused on their career as a duo, Summer & Bray. A new album under that name is expected soon from Mountain Fever Records, with a second single released today, Never Gonna Let You Down. The song had appeared on Colbie Caillat’s 2014 album, Gypsy Heart, and was written by Caillat with Bret James, James Reeves, and Kenneth Edmonds.
Summer gives it a fine reinterpretation in an all-acoustic setting, supported by Bray and Katie Fortner on harmony vocals, Bryan McDowell on fiddle, Seth Taylor on guitar, Aaron Ramsey on mandolin and bass, and Jeff Partin on reso-guitar.
Have a listen…