Twins with “blood harmony” (video 2:22)

Twins with “blood harmony” (video 2:22)
Twins with “blood harmony” (video 2:22)
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Two sold-out back-to-back JAMinc shows (first one sold out in 6 days) is just the latest highlight for The Church Sisters. Other recent accomplishments include:

– They performed to large crowds at the last Richmond Folk festival.

– Sang in the backing chorus for Hank Williams Jr. at this month’s Country Music Association’s awards.

– Have a performance under consideration for an IBMA (female vocalist of the year for Savannah).

– Are signing a deal with the same Nashville management company that handles Taylor Swift


These 19-year-old twins (not identical) from Galax Virginia are Savannah (20 minutes older) and Sarah Church. Music began with Savannah singing in the car on the way to church (appropriately). She entered a local singing competition at 4, but lost. Then she realized Sarah could sing “blood harmony” with her.






Savannah marveled that Sarah just had “a natural ear for it. Every note was perfect!” Neither sister has any formal training, saying their vocal gifts are “from God.” Their gospel roots (and faith) show through in everything they do. “We’ve followed our faith and it has opened a lot of doors for us.”


Growing up, they honed their voices traveling and singing every week at churches. Influences include The Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Lee Ann Womack and even male artists like Rascal Flats. Having their new Nashville connection is exposing them to a level of production and theatrics not typically seen in their bluegrass-based past. But it doesn’t worry Savannah that these new experiences will change their music.



The sisters, along with their tight, energetic band, showcased some original tunes by guitarist Josh Pickett and country standards with a healthy helping of gospel. Their heavy touring schedule has honed the band’s performances to a well-tuned and friendly ease. They obviously enjoy performing.


While trying to decide on an encore number, an audience member shouted out “Stairway to Heaven.” The band responded immediately with several riffs spanning Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Metallica…gently overruled by the sisters. That’s not to say Savannah and Sarah don’t appreciate and learn from all music genres. Sarah says it’s good to go outside the comfort zone, “It’s where you learn who you are.” In fact they once were asked to do a Nirvana song and they considered it. Savannah says they are open to doing a pop or rock song, which they’ve done several times in the past, because they know it’s still going to sound like them. “We’ll put our own spin on it; it will definitely still be us.”


As to the future, Sarah says they really don’t have that mapped out, “We might be a big deal, we might not. We do it for the joy. We’re just on a path from God.”






Savannah Church: lead vocalist, fiddle

Sarah Church: harmony vocal, hand held percussion

Josh Pickett: guitar

Spencer Strickland: mandolin

Jacob Eller: bass

Ricky Grubbs: percussion

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