If someone is an exceptional musical talent, the signs usually show up early. Beethoven composed his first piece of music when he was 12-years-old. Mozart’s came even earlier—he was five. There’s something about that kind of talent that just can’t help but shine through, no matter how seemingly young the musician who houses it is.
It seems we may now have not one, not two, but three new musical prodigies whose abilities seem to defy all logic. They’re one of the best young acts in America, hailing from Lebanon Township, New Jersey. What’s more, even though they’ve already been playing together for years and have released three albums, they are still only 17, 15, and 12-years-old, respectively.
Now, when you think Roots music, your mind probably doesn’t immediately go to New Jersey. But that’s where the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, a trio of banjo-playing wunderkinds who also happen to be brothers, are from. Tommy, Robbie, and Jonny Mizzone have been playing together ever since they were little. Like real little. And they’ve already played at the Grand Old Opry, appeared on Letterman, and performed at more than one TED talk. Not bad for three kids who aren’t old enough to vote.
You may be wondering: why don’t these kids want to play something that their generation would be more into, like pop music? Well, apparently that would be too easy. “All the pop songs of today are great,” says Robbie, as he prepares to shred on his fiddle, “but they’re so simple. Same simple melody, same chords.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” adds Tommy. “But there’s something really special about this type of music that a lot of people are realizing.” Once you hear the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, you’ll have no trouble understanding why.
To learn more about the musical magic of the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, check out the newest episode of Uncharted by clicking the video above. We’re not saying these kids are going to be the next Mozart or the next Beethoven—but Wolfgang and Ludwig never played the banjo that well, now did they?