What a difference a baby makes

Heather, Rae and Shannon SlaughterShannon and Heather Slaughter had a big year in 2013. Their debut CD, One More Road, was released in March, and saw significant chart action and critical acclaim. Then in August, their first child, Rae was born.

For a husband/wife performing duo, a young family presents unique logistical challenges where touring is concerned. In the Slaughters’ case, they don’t want to leave the baby at home when they go out on the road, so they have made a few changes to the band.

They have hired a full time mandolin player, Jesse Daniel, to free Heather from that role, but Shannon says she’ll still be there on their shows.

“Heather is stepping back with the birth of Rae, but we are looking at it as an opportunity to take Rae everywhere we go. Heather will still get up and play and sing since we’re gonna have an extra member in the band.

We are very committed to raising Rae around family, friends, and the bluegrass community, so this will allow us that option. We were concerned with taking Rae on the road and finding someone to watch her while Heather played on stage, but with the addition of Jesse, Heather can care for Rae and occasionally come on stage and sing the songs that County Clare has made recognizable.”

They are hoping that they will be able to find someone to help watch her at shows, but are looking into bringing the baby up on stage when necessary. Too bad Rae isn’t old enough yet to run the merch table!

In addition to Daniel, a veteran of both the Randy Kohrs Band and Volume Five, Cliff Bailey, a senior at Auburn University, is playing bass.

Other current members of the band include Casey Foster on banjo and Stephen Burwell on fiddle. They have been in rehearsal of late, and Shannon is overjoyed by the sound.

“We are very excited about these new members — they are GREAT people and GREAT musicians and singers! And they are really excited to be a part of the band and that is awesome news to us.”

Keep an eye out for Shannon & Heather Slaughter and County Clare this season.

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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.