Though most of the group’s members still go to high school during the week, Kentucky Sassafras’ knowledge and skill within the traditions of bluegrass music remains astounding even to musicians whose careers span decades. Equally unique, the group’s tightly knit yet easy-going formula, delivering time and again a powerful musical focus within a light hearted and playful love of bluegrass.
The group’s founder Chloe Blayne started the band while studying old time music at Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. Chloe’s childhood within her church community and bluegrass family (her mother Kim has performed in various groups) nurtured her natural talents as a singer and banjo player. In July of 2006, the band shared a stage with Jean Ritchie, who, in reference to Chloe’s singing, commented, “She has a lovely clear tone, and such a sweetness in her presentation.”
Chloe’s virtuosic abilities at several instruments and styles, only intensifies the talented group of young musicians rounding out the line-up, including powerhouse bassist Amelia John, Scruggs style banjo picker Tyler Mullins, award-winning mandolin player Turner Hutchens and remarkably gifted fiddler Maggie Lander. Together and individually, the group has won countless awards and the respect of many bluegrass elders including Ricky Skaggs, Jean Ritchie, and Leroy Troy.
This artist appears in Jubilee #710: Bluegrass 101/Kentucky Sassafras.