The Family Sowell is unique among bluegrass family bands. Like most, the group began when the various Sowell siblings were quite young, with each new one joining the band as soon as they were old enough to do so. But what makes them stand apart from the rest is that they are continuing on as the members reach young adulthood, and determined to make bluegrass music their career together.
The Sowells also have a decidedly professional attitude about their business, with each of the six siblings handling some aspect of the many details that a touring act requires. It is a fully self-contained unit, with everything from tour management, audio engineering and recording, to marketing and publicity handled within the group. And with very little day-to-day input from their parents.
Their seriousness and dedication hasn’t been lost on the wider bluegrass industry, with numerous key members of our world taking note.
Kristin Scott Benson, banjo picker with The Grascals, is a fan.
“The Family Sowell has made the rare transition from a budding family band into a professional group that should be taken seriously. If I described the group in one word, it would be ‘Team.'”
Jacob is the oldest on banjo, with Joshua on guitar, Naomi on bass, Abigail on mandolin, John-Mark on fiddle, and Justus on reso-guitar. Their ages range from mid-20s to 15, and the group now writes and arranges their own material.
The latest example is their new single, Love Changes, from the band’s Story To Tell album, their first consisting wholly of family originals and co-writes. It was written by Sue C. Smith, Abby Rose Sowell, Cindy Sowell, and Jacob Sowell. The full project releases on April 2, and a music video for Love Changes is being premiered here today.
Abigail sings lead on this thoughtful song about how love breeds love, and hurt breeds hurt. If you haven’t heard The Family Sowell in a few years, you may be surprised by how much more cohesive they have become as a band.