Summer and Brayden McMahan have dedicated most of their young lives to music. Starting as teens performing with their father and cousins as Mountain Faith, they captivated the bluegrass market with their fresh sound and Summer’s emerging vocal prowess. As the Mountain Faith Band they won acclaim as contestants on America’s Got Talent in 2015, applying bluegrass arrangements to pop favorites. Though they did not ultimately win the competition, Summer wowed audiences around the world and the band latched on to that success and began working to a new segment of the market.
Now, as young adults, it’s Summer & Bray, a brother sister duet team, who continue to record for Mountain Fever Records, with a sound that mixes all their many influences – bluegrass, Gospel, and acoustic country.
Their latest single follows the pattern that served them so well on AGT, converting pop songs into a bluegrass hybrid style. This time out, it’s their version of Kyrie, recorded by American rock group Mister Mister in 1985, and released at Christmastime that year. It became a #1 hit the next spring and found fans rocking out to the words of an ancient Christian prayer. The repeated phrase in the song, Kyrie Eleison, means Lord Have Mercy in Greek, and is the beginning of a prayer used to this day in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox faith. It is also used in other liturgical Christian churches, either in the original Greek or translated into the vernacular.
Written by John Lang, Richard Page, and Steve George, it takes the form of a prayer asking the Lord if He will follow along wherever the narrator might go.
Summer tells us that she and Bray found it to be a perfect fit for their sound.
“We heard the song Kyrie by Mr. Mister while on our way to a family cookout. When we got to the house, we jammed that song a few times on the front porch. We fell SO in love with this song. We always say, ‘we were born in the wrong era,’ because we all love classic rock, so we decided to try it out on the new album! We hope y’all love it!!”
With Summer singing and Bray on banjo, Bryan McDowell plays fiddle, Shaun Richardson is on mandolin, Seth Taylor on guitar, Aaron Ramsey on bass, and Nick Faulk on drum. Brayden and Katie Fortner sing harmony.