Family band releases bluegrass album

Wed, 01/09/2008 - 9:53am
By: The Citizen

By Jack Slagle Special to the Citizen

Family band releases bluegrass album

Most people associate the sweet, melodic sounds of bluegrass with the far-off mountains. The truth is that you can find a little slice of bluegrass heaven right here in Fayette County. The Musselwhite family, of Peachtree City, has released their debut album, “Handing Down Tradition,” a phrase that rings true with this family of six.

Cindy Musselwhite, a.k.a. Mom, grew up surrounded by bluegrass music. She even performed with her own family, The Hoyles, at local bluegrass festivals. But when she married, she thought she had forever put bluegrass – or at least playing it – behind her.

Some years later, her eldest daughter Morgan picked up the fiddle, and found a natural gift for playing it. Molly, the next-eldest, began to learn the banjo, and the two formed their own act.

Soon enough, the rest of the family had joined in to create The Musselwhite Family Bluegrass Band, with Luke on mandolin, John on bass and Cindy providing guitar and vocals. After playing a few shows in the U.S., the family moved to Germany where they searched high and low for a bluegrass scene.

Eventually, they found themselves at the European World of Bluegrass festival in Hradec nad Moravici, in the Czech Republic.

“In bluegrass festivals here, musicians get together and pick (improvise-play). Over in Europe, they don’t do that so much,” explained Cindy Musselwhite. The family made a great many fans in Europe, as evidenced by the third place award they won at the World of Bluegrass festival.

They returned to the United States in 2005 and decided that an album of their favorites would be a great project. For that they turned to Full Circle Music Group, a recording studio in Lawrenceville, Ga.

“They really provided the family environment we were looking for,” Cindy said. “At other places, you’ve got a lot of smoking and cursing and such. [Full Circle] really provided a good atmosphere for us. It was really a good fit.”

The new album has 12 tracks, each one filled with traditional melodies and beautiful solos. Perhaps most stunning are the vocal harmonies, syncing up perfectly with one another.

“There’s nothing quite like a family harmony. When everyone’s voice has a similar tone, it just comes out beautifully,” said Cindy.

As for now, the Musselwhites are just enjoying themselves, celebrating their new album and looking for more festivals in which to perform.

While their future remains uncertain with the prospects of college for the kids, their music is truly timeless and will doubtless entertain and inspire generations to come.

“Bluegrass just gets in your blood and stays there,” added Cindy Musselwhite.

For more information on The Musselwhite Family Bluegrass Band, visit their website at

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