One of the favorite style of acts among bluegrass fans these days is sibling harmony and family bands. Knoxville, Tennessee is the home base for one of those up and coming groups; The Family Sowell. The brother/sister ensemble ranges from ages 23 down to 13. Jacob, Joshua, twin sisters – Naomi and Abigail, John-Mark, and Justin all share in the playing and singing for this highly talented, and multi-award winning band.
This acoustic roots group is a favorite at churches, theaters, and festivals in the US and Eastern Europe. They were the 2017 Jeff & Sherri Easter Talent Search Winners; 2017 KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Winners; and the 2019 SPBGMA International Band Champions. Several of their previous albums and singles have landed high in various charts.
They are currently working to release their next recorded project, Same Kind Of Different, which was produced Ben Isaacs. Ten of the 13 tracks on this album will be penned directly by the band, and they are hoping for a February 2020 release.
The group’s first gig was in 2010 as a Dixie Land Jazz ensemble – the result of a fill in request for an act that couldn’t make a daytime nursing home appearance. The kids, being home schooled and already working on learning music together, were available and eager to step in. “The word got around and people started calling us,” said John-Mark.
“We were learning music as our extra curricular activity together,” Abigail said. “There was a Dixie Land Jazz orchestra in Texas where we lived at the time, and the teacher offered free admission and free lessons to the group. We just thought it was great way to learn music and play with other people.”
It was a Silver Dollar City appearance by Rhonda Vincent that lit a fuse in older brother Jacob. “When we discovered bluegrass we fell in love with it, and transitioned soon as we could,” Abigail said. “We’ve been full time since 2013.”
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