Sleepy Man Banjo Boys Expand Band.

Cory Piatt Joins the Sleepy Man Banjo BoysWord from the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys’ camp is that another new band member has joined the ranks.

Not more than just a few months back, Blake Pitney joined the Mizzone brothers on bass.  Today we have word that Cory Piatt will be handling the mandolin duties for the SMBB.

“Please welcome Cory as he officially joins us as our permanent mandolin player. He is an amazing addition to the band, and we’re so excited. Please give him a warm welcome!” – posted on the boys Facebook band page.

We don’t have much information as yet on Cory but according to his Facebook page he’s still in his late teens.

The amazing story of the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys is a great testament to the continuous evolution of the music business. . Comprised of brothers Tommy, Robbie, and Jonny, (and now Blake and Cory)  they have quickly made a name for themselves as one of the quickest rising acts in Bluegrass or Roots music.

That is a huge accomplishment when you take into consideration the brothers hail from Lebanon Township, New Jersey – not exactly a hotbed for instruments like banjos and fiddles. “New Jersey is not what you would call a Bluegrass state. That’s one of the fascinating parts about our story,” said Tommy. “There are definitely Bluegrass fans here, but maybe we’re making a few new ones, which is kind of cool.”

When asked why the brothers became so enamored with the style of the music, Tommy says “Probably because it’s so unique. There’s really not any other kind of music that is similar to it. We also like the pureness of the acoustic sound – there’s no way to hide behind effects or distortion pedals so you have to be proficient on your instrument to play this music well.”

The Mizzone brothers were influenced by the masters, such as J.D. Crowe, Ralph Stanley, and Clarence White. They also – just like countless others before them – became influenced by the revolutionary five-string banjo playing of Earl Scruggs. However, going back to the evolution of music, they weren’t listening to Grandpa’s 78 RPM collection. They picked up the music of Scruggs the way that many others their age are discovering the classics. “We discovered Earl Scruggs through YouTube and fell in love with the music,” said Tommy.

YouTube has been very instrumental in getting the name of the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys out to the public. They have accounted for over 17 million views on their YouTube channel (YouTube.com/sleepymanbanjoboys). In addition, their Facebook page has an impressive 40,000 likes – and is growing at the astonishing rate of 1,000 fans per week. In fact, the Internet is where they made their initial splash.

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, June 2013“That’s one of the coolest parts about everything,” said Robbie. “We have had several of our bedroom practice jam videos go viral and that’s what really kind of took off and helped get us out there.”

Younger brother Jonny is rapidly making a name for himself as one of the most magical banjo players in the business. When Jonny was just nine, banjo legend J.D. Crowe was so impressed with his talent that he called him “An old midget,” saying there was no way a kid could play the instrument with such prowess. His proficiency on the banjo also has helped the band land a couple appearances on the stage of the world famous Grand Ole Opry. Jonny remembers his debut on the show, when he was introduced by the legendary Larry Gatlin. “It was incredible, because I never thought I would do anything that big so soon,” he says. The boys recently returned to the Opry for a second appearance and received two standing ovations and an encore performance.

The band has recorded a pair of albums – America’s Music & Farthest Horizon – which charted at No. 8 and No. 3 respectively on the Billboard Bluegrass Album chart. Their music -again, keeping with the term evolution – has exceeded all expectations on such online sites as AmazonMP3 and iTunes.

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