Their combined ages barely exceeds the age of one member of the Rolling Stones, yet when Cumberland Blue performs suddenly age, musical labels and everything else dissolves into a formidable wall of sound unlike anything else in contemporary music. Their unique blues/rock vibe is captured on the band’s debut EP Awakening.
Formed in 2012, the six-piece band calls Nashville home, but like Jack White, King of Leon and Sheryl Crow; Cumberland Blue is expanding the perception of Music City. “We are literally rooted in the blues, but our sound has come far from there,” says lead vocalist Chloe Kohanski. “It’s taking the blues, but definitely putting a more modern twist on it with an emphasis on rock and a little bit more of a gritty sound. We started with blues and we’re changing and evolving.”
“We never wanted to stereotype ourselves into one genre,” adds guitarist Hank Compton, “because we never want to really attack one age of people or one class of people. We want to appeal to a very wide spectrum. Music is an art, but it’s also a second language for us, so we want to be able to speak to everybody.”
With one listen, it’s obvious the members of Cumberland Blue are exceptional communicators. Anyone who hears Cumberland Blue expects to encounter a sextet of seasoned musicians with decades of experience. The truth is a different story. At 20, Kohanski is the eldest member of the group and the only female. Rounding out the Cumberland Blue sonic attack is bassist Rocky Block (17), keyboard prodigy Yates McKendree (13), drummer Duncan King (20), guitarist Hank Compton (16) and Grant Smith (16) on fiddle and mandolin.
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