When I toured the Southeast as a bluegrass guitar player, I’d come across mega-talented youngsters like this every now and then.
Some five-year-old kid would show up to a jam or a show with his instrument and knock everyone dead with his picking ability — in some areas of North Carolina I’m pretty sure they hand your a mandolin when you come out of the womb.
However, you don’t come across young bluegrassers very often up in the Northeast, which is one of the reasons why this trio of young pickers is so special.
These talented youngsters hail from New Jersey, but they might as well be from the hills of Caroline. Known as the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, the trio consists of Johnny Mizzone, 12, Robbie Mizzone, 16, and Tommy Mizzone, 17.
Three years ago they appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. This video of their performance on the show has been viewed more than nine million times. Watch them burn down the barn on national television.
The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys have performed on some of the most notable stages in the music business, including the Ryman Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, Capitol Hill and the Newport Folk Festival.
When asked by a reporter why three New Jersey kids would pick up bluegrass, the trio’s eldest brother Tommy spoke from the heart: “We love the idea of writing and performing powerful songs all driven by the pureness of acoustic instruments.”