Unspoken Tradition

“An unspoken tradition is not a written law. It’s a deep understanding shared between people, rooted in the past, and grown by human connection and emotion. One forms through experience and creates a way to pay homage to what’s come before, while allowing for forward motion,” reads the opening lines to a press release from Western North Carolina’s bluegrass band, Unspoken Tradition. Their new CD, Myths We Tell Our Young, is out now on Mountain Home Music.

Audie McGinnis returned home after college and reconnected with a few music buddies who had recently become interested in bluegrass music. “I’d been listening to and playing bluegrass my whole life,” Audie told us. “So we got together as just a casual group of guys picking in the basement. The bass player suggested that maybe we should try making money doing this,” he laughed. “Over time it just developed organically where we said, if we’re going to do this anyway on a Friday or Saturday night, why not? Why not try to do it in front of people? One thing led to another, and well, here we are.”

While everybody in the band still works a full time job providing for families, Audie says he considers himself very lucky to do something that makes extra money that he’s so passionate about. “A lot of people have to pick up side jobs that they hate – I could be serving coffee at the Starbucks – but it wasn’t really about that (money) to begin with. While there have been times where I needed the money, it’s been really good to be able to do something I love so much and be able to put my heart into it, and have other people enjoy it to.”

The new CD, while steeped in tradition, also intends to bring a message. “It’s a message about our changing communities in the southern mountains. Music that is based in heritage will always be a reflection of where you’ve been, but we also wanted to muse on where we are going, both as a band and as a culture,” Audie said.

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