Sylva native Sam McMahan has loved Southern gospel music all his life, but it was his wife and children who influenced him towards the bluegrass style. When his children Summer and Brayden learned to play bluegrass instruments, Sam took up the bass so he could accompany them. The three McMahans are now joined by cousin John Robert Morgan in the bluegrass gospel band Mountain Faith.
Summer McMahan is the band’s fiddler and mandolinist, and she has won local competitions in both instruments. Her brother Brayden plays the banjo and fiddle, and has a great admiration for Earl Scruggs. John Robert Morgan is the band’s guitarist, and he also plays mandolin and bass. All three share the vocals, while Sam plays bass and manages the band.
Mountain Faith won the 2009 Battle of the Bluegrass Bands competition at the Cherokee Jamboree Music Hall in Andrews. In 2010 they played at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music’s annual convention in Nashville, at Asheville’s annual Bluegrass First Class, and for numerous area churches and events. Mountain Faith has recorded two CDs, Passin’ It On and Fishers of Men.
Mountain Faith is available to play for churches, festivals, concerts, and other venues and events.