About Common Strings
In the mountains of the south eastern United States there is a melting pot of cultures and music. The countries from where they originate may differ, but the music tends to be the same and is the Common Strings that tie the people and the mountains together. It is a sound of hardships, lonesomeness, love and loss.
This music and these mountains brought together the founders of a style of music we now call Bluegrass, and now that same force has brought together this group, Common Strings
Darron and Vanessa Nichols felt that force at work, first hand. From the first song that they sang together, they knew it was meant to be.
Vanessa grew up in the coal mining mountains of east Tennessee on the Kentucky boarder. Music and singing was a part of life, not just a past time. Both sides of her family where "pickers and Sangers". Vanessa's dad, Wayne King is a seasoned musician, singer and song writer. Carolyn, Vanessa's mom is a great singer and can sing any part. Her Grandmother was a huge influence on Vanessa's singing. Evie Maude was the inspiration for Vanessa to write Songbird of The Mountains. So it is only natural that Vanessa now sings and plays, and dose them both very well.
Darron grew up where the two now live in north Georgia. He started playing guitar in the fifth grade and started playing bass in the seventh grade. " I was more in to country and Southern Rock at the time" says Darron. It was'nt till his eighth grade teacher, a fellow musician, loaned him the famous 1975 recording of JD Crowe and the New South that he really took an interest in Bluegrass.
" I was Hooked" "i had never heard anything that grabbed my attention like that album did". Darron soon found himself dug in to the music The Country Gentlemen, The Scene and Boone Creek.
Darron was always a big fan of good, close harmony singing. The Oak Ridge Boys, Doyle Lawson, The Osborne Brothers, and anybody, any style. He began singing harmony with some of his hunting buddies and soon formed Low Gap Quartet in the early nineties. It was at this point that he picked up the mandolin. Now twenty years later, the same love and admiration still holds him to the music." Im no where close to being the picker and singer that i want to be" says Darron, " and if i ever think I'm there, and can't learn anything new, It will be time to quit".
Blake McDaniel is the instrumental power house of the group. Blake was playing guitar at seven years of age and by eleven, he was playing banjo, and playing well. Growing up next to the carpet captial of the world, Blake got the chance to spread his wings, musically speaking. He played jazz, blues, rock and some music that has no name yet. Now in his second year with Common Strings, Blake plays banjo, dobro, mandolin, and guitar(not all at the same time). His style is all his own, and adds a new fresh sound and tasteful creativity to the group.
Eathan Walker, the newest and youngest member of CS. He started playing guitar and Darron and Vanessa heard him play at church one Sunday. They agreed that he was making a fine musician. The next time he played, only a couple of months later, They said Wow! and decided to invite him over for a jam session. Little did Eathan know that Darron and Vanessa were recruiting him for a bass player, but here he is.