Session: The Toy Hearts

The Toy HeartsThe Toy Hearts follow an old tradition that runs through many a bluegrass band; the core players are all members of the same family, and they’ve been playing together for more than a decade.

The Johnsons honed their craft with a grueling tour schedule, which has taken them from the American Deep South, across Europe and round the far flung corners of the British Isles. Their brand of Americana channels old time swing, jazz and blues, conjuring a heady brew that is both refreshing and completely authentic.

Birmingham born sisters Hannah (lead vocal/mandolin) and Sophia (guitar/harmony vocals) front the band and, along with their father Stewart (banjo/dobro), make up the core of The Toy Hearts. Blood harmonies and bona fide slide guitar confirm their credentials as true country artists.

The Toy Hearts: StewartFor their latest studio album Whiskey, the Johnsons drafted in some musician friends to help complete the line up: double bassist John Potter, Dean Beresford on drums (drummer for Richard Hawley) and fiddle player Eamon McLaughlin, formerly of The Green Cards and now Nashville star Josh Turner’s violinist.

The Toy Hearts have a growing fan base that includes Bob Harris, Ronnie Wood and Imelda May, and their work has won them accolades across the UK, Europe and the US.

M went along to the album launch of Whiskey at the Old Queen’s Head, London, earlier this month and they kindly played us two songs after soundcheck – Mary Jane and Stutter Blues. You can watch them both below.

Earlier this year, we interviewed Hannah and Sophia for our January Blues Week.

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