Don’t let the name confuse you: Summer Brooke & The Mountain Faith Band is the same group that took TV’s America’s Got Talent by storm in 2015, making it all the way to the show’s semifinals, surprising many, given the show’s target audience. The band has re-branded under the new name and released two versions of their new album, Small Town Life. One is labeled as a Special Acoustic Version, but there seems to be little difference in the two offerings, aside from a few studio guests on the regular edition.
The band is fronted by Summer Brooke McMahan on fiddle and vocals and her brother Brayden on banjo. They are joined by Nick Dauphinais on guitar and Cory Piatt on mandolin. The group is based in tiny Sylva, tucked away in the North Carolina mountains, an area rich in traditional music. While they’ve been performing together for 17 years, it’s only in the last few years that they’ve gained notoriety, following up the TV contest by winning the 2016 IBMA Emerging Artist Of The Year Award.
“Umbrella” and “Lazy River” have been popular tunes with fans, and “Perfect Day” as well as the title track are solid as well. Bandmembers wrote or co-wrote seven of the eleven selections. (www.traviannarecords.com)MKB