Mountain youth are making their mark in Appalachian sounds

I have been honored to be part of encouraging the talents of young people throughout my entertainment career even when I was a youth myself helping to open opportunities to share their gifts. Through the Share America Foundation, Inc. I have hosted over 100 concerts combining the talents of youth with established legendary artists from several genres – country, bluegrass, comedy and gospel music.
The goal of the concerts ultimately besides providing a public platform for the youth’s music and a mentoring opportunity is to fund the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship for youth sharing the Appalachian musical arts.
I have been very pleased to watch many of the youth I once performed with on our stage achieve greater opportunities and see some of their aspirations bring them to the attention of people from around the world. Two talented North Carolina youth who came to our Share America stage with their father Sam in 2008 are vocalist/fiddler Summer Brooke McMahan and banjo stylist Brayden McMahan on banjo with their band Mountain Faith.
America got a close up look at them on 2015 “America’s Got Talent” as they made their way to the semi-finals and since that time they have appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2016 Emerging Artist of the Year, appearing at professional sports stadiums across the country performing the National Anthem, and they were named the Atlanta Braves 2016 Band of the Year.
The group now records with Mountain Fever Records as Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith BandSam still plays bass with the band and Summer and Brayden are joined by Nick Dauphinais on guitar, and Cory Piatt on mandolin.
“The band name changed a little bit because Summer has not only been the focus of our sound with her lead vocals for years, but she’s also been doing more of the emcee work lately,” Sam said. “The whole band decided a name change would be the best thing for the future as we grow and progress.”
Their latest song “Umbrella” is the first single from the upcoming album, Small Town Life, due for release this summer. “Umbrella” was written by the band’s friend, Dean Berner along with Laura Veltz and Ben Cooper sharing a desire to shelter a loved one from all of the world’s outside problems, “Umbrella” is a happy little number that is delivered with poignant perfection by Summer Brooke.
“When we heard the demo, we all had the same wide-eyed look,” Summer said. “It’s one of the most well-written songs we have ever heard! We knew we had to record it and we hope everyone loves it!”
I am so proud of Summer and Brayden and I want to encourage you to learn more about these talented young people in their musical hopes. Fans may download “Umbrella” and those who pre-order Small Town Life will receive an instant download of “Umbrella.” For more information on Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band, visit For more on Mountain Fever Records, visit
If you would like to support Share America’s continuing efforts to encourage youth in Appalachian musical arts, visit and donate today. Like Share America Foundation on Facebook also.