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Featured Bands:

The Toy Hearts
Featured Band

Image: The Toy HeartsAbout The Toy Hearts

Since the release of their first album, 'If the Blues Come Calling' in 2006 Birmingham based bluegrass and swing outfit The Toy Hearts, have gained an envible reputation as one of the UK's hottest acts on the emerging acoustic scene; with a loyal ever-growing fan base who attend Toy Hearts concerts expecting an original, dynamic and innovative performance of modern bluegrass music.

Image:Sisters Hannah and SophiaSisters Hannah (lead vocal/mandolin) and Sophia (guitar/harmony vocals) front the band, and along with their father Stewart (banjo/dobro) they carry on the tradition of the family aspect within county music. Blood harmones, original songwriting and arrangements, instrumental virtuosity and a deep love for that high lonesome sound means that despite being geographically removed from the bluegrass state, the Johnson family have successfully created their own kind of sound that encompasses both Bill Monroe in Kentucky with a dash of hot club straight from the Continent.

In 2007 the band played across the UK at, the 16th annual Appalatian Music festival in Omagh Northern Ireland, Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival, The Cornish Bluegrass Festival, Wolverstock Festival, Americana International, The Shetland Folk Festival and opened for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.

Images: Toy Hearts logoThe Toy Hearts went on to have a successful 2008 following the completion and release of their critically acclaimed second album. This time comprising of entirely self penned material; 'When I Cut Loose', recorded in Leamington Spa, UK shows a significant development in songwriting that more firmly establishes their own individuality as writers and performers. The Toy Hearts were thrilled to make their mark on the international touring circuit; attending European World of Bluegrass in Holland in May, and then winning second place at the French World of Bluegrass in August.

2008 also included two trips to the USA, showcases at SXSW in Austin in March, and showcases at the International Bluegrass Music Association's week long conference in Nashville, Tennessee in October. As well as performing at The Transatlantic Bluegrass School, The Acoustic Festival of Great Britain, East Anglian Bluegrass Festival and Moseley Folk festival The band have been busy raising their profile and increasing their fan-base across the country and beyond by opening for great acts such as Peter Rowan, Jack Lawrence, Tim O'Brien.

Photography Jo Tucker

Website: www.toyhearts.co.uk

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