After several months offline, The Toy Hearts are very excited to announce that their brand new and improved website is finally fully online at: http://www.toyhearts.co.uk/
This is the place to go for all the very latest news about the band, where they are playing and what’s going on! On the site you will find information on gigs and releases, reviews, biographies of band members, photographs, you can watch videos of the band, hear music samples, purchase both albums, sign up to the mailing list, and more‚Ä¶. Please check it out!
Since the release of their first album, ‘If the Blues Comes Calling’ in 2006 Birmingham (UK) based bluegrass and swing outfit, The Toy Hearts, have gained an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s hottest acts on the emerging acoustic scene; with a loyal ever-growing fan base who attend Toy Hearts concerts expecting an original, dynamic and innovative performance of modern bluegrass music.
Sisters Hannah (lead vocal/mandolin) and Sophia (guitar/harmony vocals) front the band, and along with their father Stewart (banjo/dobro) they carry on the established tradition of the family aspect within country music. Blood harmonies, original songwriting and arrangements, instrumental virtuosity and a deep love for that ‘high lonesome sound ‘means that despite being geographically removed from the bluegrass state, the Johnson family have successfully created their own kind of sound that encompasses both Bill Monroe in Kentucky with a dash of hot club straight from the Continent. In 2007 the band played across the UK at, the 16th annual Appalatian Music festival in Omagh Northern Ireland, Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival, The Cornish Bluegrass Festival, Wolverstock Festival, Americana International, The Shetland Folk Festival and opened for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
The Toy Hearts went on to have a fantastically successful 2008 following the completion and release of their critically acclaimed second album. This time comprising of entirely self penned material; ‘When I Cut Loose’, recorded in Leamington Spa UK, and mastered in Nashville TN, shows a significant development in songwriting that more firmly establishes their own individuality as writers and performers. The Toy Hearts have also made their mark on the international touring circuit; attending European World of Bluegrass in Holland in May, and then winning second place at the French World of Bluegrass in August. 2008 also included two trips to the USA, a tour of Texas, showcases at SXSW in Austin, and showcases at the IBMA in Nashville, Tennessee in October. As well as performing at The Transatlantic Bluegrass School, The Acoustic Festival of Great Britain, East Anglian Bluegrass Festival and Moseley Folk festival, the girls have been busy raising their profile and increasing their fan-base across their home country and beyond by opening for great acts such as Peter Rowan, Jack Lawrence, and Tim O’Brien.
The Johnson sisters’ tribute to Bill Monroe “The Angels Sing to Me” will be on this months Prime Cuts of Bluegrass release, if you haven’t heard The Toy Hearts yet, you have a treat in store! This is a band to watch out for in 2009!