Few things in music sound sweeter than the incomparable meld of sibling harmonies. When talented members of the same family get together to vocalize, the result is magical clarity and sweetness that’s impossible to manufacture or simulate.
North Carolina’s The Maggie Valley Band has this gorgeous quality at its forefront, with sisters Caroline and Whitney Miller bringing vocal alchemy to their blend of traditional and original folk tunes. On the band’s latest album, The Hardest Thing (due out February 9) Grammy-nominated producer David Mayfield (The Avett Brothers, The Black Keys) directed the group through a new collection of songs dedicated to preserving musical history and lifting hearts.
In addition to the harmonies, The Hardest Thing turns a fresh spotlight on the band’s assured competence with Appalachian music and retro touches such as midcentury ‘60s influences. Lovers of artists including Old Crow Medicine Show, Drive by Truckers, Trout Steak Revival and others will enjoy the craft behind this set — in addition to the Miller sisters (who provide multi-instrumental work as well as vocals), the record is ably carried by Al Moss on pedal steel, John Duncan on banjo and fiddle, Colby Guyer on drums, and Mayfield on Melatron.
Vocalist Abby Rose also joins for forays into five-part harmony, and the group’s flexible, experimental vibe even allows for surprises such as the clever inclusion of dub step on the track “Railroad.”
The Maggie Valley Band developed its chemistry at home. Growing up in a traveling family, the Miller sisters were anchored by daily piano practice; the discipline soon grew into a bona fide love and appreciation for music. The sisters tested their mettle first with years of busking in the streets, which eventually led to the development of their band. Their first EP, Bring Us Back, was released in 2015; with a second, Don’t Go, following in 2016; and their tours have taken them up and down the East Coast supporting artists ranging from The Indigo Girls to Black Lillies to The Misty Mountain String Band and more.
For more information, please visit www.themaggievalleyband.