I first discovered Southern Raised in 2014 through a video of their song “The Scarlet Cord” and was totally blown away. I had never heard anything like this in bluegrass before. A couple of months later I traveled to Tennessee to see them perform and since then have had the honor of having them at our church twice. Seeing them perform live is like a slice of heaven on earth. It is always a great time of worship.
Southern Raised is a family group consisting of 3 sisters and a brother – the Reith family. They are Lindsay (bass), Sara (banjo), Emily Grace (mandolin/fiddle and lead vocals) and Matthew (guitar). The group originally were classically trained musicians and later migrated to bluegrass. Lindsay discusses their history and how God brought them to where they are today (full interview here):
We honestly thought it would just be fun to get some (bluegrass) instruments and sit on our front porch and really go no further than that. We thought we’d have fun with it together, never saw ourselves doing more with it. But God definitely had different plans. And the story goes way back. When we were very young before even our classical music begin, our parents had heard a message on the power impact of a family ministry together. And so at that point in our young lives they started praying and asking God to show them what we could do together as a family, what kind of ministry could we have together. And they never dreamed at the time honestly that it would involve music. They thought maybe we’d drive a van around delivering milk to people who couldn’t get out or something like that.
On their first performance as a bluegrass band:
We quickly worked up some songs. We worked up an hour of instrumentals. And I always laugh because we didn’t know how to sing, we were classically trained musicians. We did not grow up harmonizing and singing. It was all musical training on instruments. So we played an hour of instrumentals and bless their hearts they listened to it all and got done and their was a pastor there that invited us to his church…and doors just kind of started opening at that point. And we all laugh and remember the moment our Mom looked at us and told us that ‘you know y’all gonna have to learn how to sing.’ And God brought people into our lives that taught us how to sing, how to harmonize. And God has continued to open doors. And to this day we’re excited about the doors he’s opening. Looking back we believe in our hearts He answered that prayer. It’s not something we decided to make happen…we believe this is what he had planned all along and that classical music was laying the foundation for what lay in store for us many years down the road. It’s something we couldn’t see at the time but He knew what He was doing and we’re grateful to Him.
They have released their 7th project called “Another World” and continue to demonstrate why they are one of the top bluegrass bands and vocalists. The material on the new album will lead you to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Some highlights of the CD:
- “Up all night” gives us comfort that God never slumbers or sleeps so that we CAN and that we should not let worry and doubt keep us up.
- “Instead” is a wonderful song about Jesus’ taking the burdens and punishment for our sins – instead of us.
- “Beautiful moments in time” takes us back to the simple things in life – mom’s apple pie, the star spangled banner on the 4th of July, sittin’ on the porch and Church on Sunday. Something we could all use in our hectic daily lives.
- “Another World” has a Celtic feel as Southern Raised reminds us that heaven awaits those of us who believe in Christ: “Another Place, another time. I am bound for this I know. Another World will soon be mine. For now I journey here below.”
- “When Jesus came down” features the great baritone voice of Matthew Reith. The song transports us back to the era of the Western songs. You can almost see the cowboys (and cowgirls) singing this around a campfire.
- Southern Raised displays their classical expertise on “Beethoven’s Fifth”. It never sounded so good as it does on banjo and fiddle. A truly unique and excellent cover of this classical favorite.
- On the cd finale, they put their own wonderful style to the George Beverly Shea hymn “I’d rather have Jesus”. A sweeping arrangement of harmonic vocals and instrumentation that will move you to worship.
Southern Raised states, “Jesus is the reason we sing, the passion that burns, the cause we carry and the One we love! We thank Him for allowing us the honor to share His message with the world!”
You can find out more about the group and purchase the cd at their website.