Darin & Brooke Aldridge
Brooke and Darin Aldridge play and write bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music, carrying forth their families’ Avery County roots. The husband and wife duo tour with a gifted band of musicians, including fiddler Carley Arrowood, and they have gained national attention with their music topping lists on Americana/Roots, Sirius XM, Bluegrass, and Gospel charts.
Brooke grew up in Avery County, graduating from Avery County High School before attending Appalachian State University in Boone. As a young girl, her family recognized her strong talent for singing at family functions and church. Brooke entered in numerous singing competitions, focusing on a country and gospel repertoire. She was an alternate finalist on the Nashville Star competition. Brooke discovered a deep love for bluegrass music after meeting Darin while in college.
Darin Aldridge grew up around Cherryville, North Carolina, after his parents moved to the area from Avery County for work. “Both of my parents and 98 percent of my family are from Avery County, in the Crossnore and Newland area,” Darin says. The family had a lot of musical talent, including Darin’s grandfather and great uncles, who traveled the region performing and singing in churches. Darin’s mother plays piano, autoharp, and guitar, and he has a musical uncle as well. “I was always in the middle of the picking sessions at family gatherings,” Darin recalls. Darin started on piano as a youngster and moved on to guitar around age 11. By the time he was a teenager, he was also playing banjo and mandolin. “I just paid attention to the people who were playing around me,” Darin says. “And I learned on my own from there.”
Darin started performing with a band called Straight and Narrow, playing at fairs, festivals, and other events. He later joined Acoustic Syndicate, a full-time touring group at the time. Darin played stints with Carolina Crossfire, Horace Scruggs’ band, and a summer at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC. Darin joined the Country Gentlemen on New Year’s Eve in 1999 and spent six years touring with the group, through Charlie Waller’s passing.
Darin and Brooke met in 2007, being paired together in some pick-up bluegrass bands. Soon, they started dating and formed the band, which has been going strong ever since. Darin and Brooke have received multiple nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association, the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music, and Inspirational Country Music. Their music videos have been featured on outlets including CMT, Bluegrass Ridge TV, and The Bluegrass Situation. They have performed on PBS, Great American Gospel, Songs of the Mountain, Woodsongs, and Music City Roots, to name a few televised programs. Faster & Farther is their eighth album, and was released in 2017 on the Mountain Home Music Company label.
In September 2019, the International Bluegrass Music Association honored Brooke Aldridge with its Female Vocalist of the Year award.