Family traditions play an important part in bluegrass and country music. Brother duets and family bands are common in the genre.
Traditions and values are sustained, shared and developed when you work, play and sing together with your family. You teach, and you learn.
Besides heritage and silent knowledge being passed on, there is something special in the air when you make music with your relatives. The timing and phrasing comes naturally, not mentioning how the timbre of the voices fit.
I remember when in 2009 I got to record the bluegrass version I had written of the song “The Ghost Of Laura Wilkins” – a Finnish poprock/folk classic song by J.Karjalainen (“Laura Häkkisen Silmät” ,1998) – and I asked my daughter Veera to come and sing harmonies with us. We only had time to practise the harmonies one day before recording the song, but still the recording session went amazingly well, a couple of takes and it was there! A peculiar thing to add to the history of that song is that she was exactly the same age as I was when I did my first recording – 17 years old.
After that it was even more obvious for me that I in the future would encourage my children to join into my songs and my bands music when possible.
They might have grown in a very different musical culture than me, singing and playing many other genres – genres an old bluegrass man like me might not have even heard of before! – but their immense talent and their musical abilities surprises me each time we work together. While the world changes around us, in both good and bad, in music we can share.
On the gospel album “There’s No Greater Message”, from 2013, I was blessed to work with Veera, Hertta and Aarne on the song “Mama Always Had A Song To Sing”, but also I am glad to have my son Aarne singing with me on this old brother duet number.
One you can not find us singing anywhere else on YouTube!
The Blue Sky Boys – Earl and Bill Bolick – did this song in the 40´s. They didn’t just sing about the Sunny Sides Of Life – this song tells a the story from the perspective of a child.
A child that has to pass away, how the child consoles the parents and trusts in God’s love. Teaching that sometimes a parent has to let go in love and trust.
Like we with our children in music too, have to trust their wings carry their own flight.
Here is “Garden In The Sky” as a duet with my son Aarne on the lead and guitar, and me singing tenor and playing mandolin.
Video by ertrudsgn. The song “Garden In The Sky” was written by Eva Conn also known by the name Louisiana Lou.