Despite their youth, Summer & Bray have been familiar faces on the bluegrass scene for more than a decade.
Many of us watched siblings Summer and Brayden McMahan grow up in their family band, Mountain Faith, when they were just teenagers. Led by their father, Sam, they started as a Gospel bluegrass group, and gradually moved towards recording and performing secular material as well, working both church and festival shows across the southeast. Television came calling in 2015, and the band appeared several times on America’s Got Talent, where they won over audiences with their clever bluegrass arrangements of pop music hits.
Summer and Bray are now poised and professional young adults, and dad no longer years for the travel life, so the two of them are pursuing a career as a duo, with band accompaniment. Recording for Mountain Fever Records, they saw great success last year with singles Heartbeat and Never Gonna Let You Down.
Now they have a new release, written together, with a new take on their signature positivity called Wildlands. It shows just how these two manage to blend a pop sensibility with their bluegrass roots.
Summer says it also draws from the wild areas near their home in western North Carolina.
“Brayden brought some of the lyrics to this song to me one morning, and I fell in love. He’s an outdoorsy mountain guy, so he’s lived this song! It makes me think of our hometown nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We hope y’all enjoy!”
Summer takes the lead vocal, supported by Bray on banjo and harmony vocals, Bryan McDowell on fiddle, Jeff Partin on reso-guitar, Shaun Richardson on mandolin, Seth Taylor on guitar, Aaron Ramsey on bass, and Nick Falk on percussion. Katie Fortner completes the vocal trio.
Have a listen…