Family Bluegrass Favorites

What originally started out as simply a way for the Harris family to enjoy music together, has now become one of the top touring family bands on the bluegrass scene today. Originally known as the Harris Family Band, the now well known Trinity River Band has landed several top songs and several industry awards.

Sarah Harris, the oldest of the siblings, plays mandolin and sings a majority of the lead vocals. She is joined by Mom Lisa on bass guitar, dad Mike on guitar and vocals, brother Josh on banjo and dobro, and 16 year old sis Brianna on fiddle.

“It started out as bonding time for our family,” Sarah told us recently. “Music was something that we all loved so much, and it really was just for us in the beginning. But doors kept opening up for us, and people kept asking us to come play. And we reached a point where we had to make a decision to jump all in and go full time, or stay part time.”

Mike had to give up a construction business which wasn’t as hard as mom, who had been a school teacher for almost 20 years. “We dove in headfirst,” Sarah said, “and we haven’t looked back.”

Recently though, like many bands who stand the test of time, and music evolves, you either go stale, or evolve with it. For the gang in Trinity River, it was really an easy jump to branch the music a bit into some broader instrumentation by including some keys and percussion. Not enough to alter the music, but just enough to broaden the sound, and thus broaden the audience along with it.

For their latest release, Unbroken, they reached into their bag of songwriter resources and recorded songs penned by Donna Ulisse, “Then She Cried,” which became a quick chart success, as well as writers like Jim Hurst, Mark Brinkman, and others, along with in house writes from both Mike and Sarah. It might be a departure, but it’s still classic TRB.

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