Tyler and Sam before performing on Mountain Stage. 
    Photo by Josh Saul.

Born and raised in Wytheville, Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history.  Sam carries on the ballads and dance music he learned from numerous mentors in the Appalachian tradition, including Southwest Virginia barber and multi-instrumentalist Jim Lloyd and Western North Carolina ballad singer and storyteller Sheila Kay Adams.  Through his songwriting, Sam tells contemporary stories from Appalachia. Sam’s debut record of original songs, titled AIN’T WE BROTHERS, is produced by Cathy Fink and has been featured by the Guardian, National Public Radio, No Depression, Sing Out! and The Bluegrass Situation. Sam earned a degree in Folklore from Berea College and performed for four years with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, directed by Al White. Sam now makes his home in Berea, Kentucky, traveling to perform throughout the U.S. and he has toured in Ireland, England, Italy, Japan and Canada. Sam has performed with legends in the folk realm including Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Peggy Seeger, John McCutcheon and Si Kahn. Appalachian novelist Lee Smith has heralded Sam as “the best young songwriter around . . . courageous as hell and country to the bone.”  To learn more about Sam Gleaves, please visit http://www.samgleaves.com/

Sam Gleaves & Tyler Hughes play old time country music and newly written songs from the Appalachian mountains.  Sam and Tyler's programs feature fiddle and banjo hoedowns, close mountain harmonies, stories of all kinds, Carter Family-inspired autoharp and guitar, country gospel songs, lonesome ballads and flatfoot dancing. Both Sam and Tyler come from southwest Virginia and as a duo they write and perform contemporary songs that tell stories from present-day Appalachia. Sam and Tyler have performed at venues and festivals throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Old Songs Festival, The State Fair of Virginia, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion and others. They have appeared on West Virginia Public Radio's Mountain Stage and Lexington, Kentucky's Red Barn Radio (broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television).  The duo released their first record SAM GLEAVES & TYLER HUGHES on the Community Music, INC label in June 2017. Two-time Grammy award winner Cathy Fink produced the recording which has been featured by The Old Time Herald, No Depression, The Bluegrass Situation, fROOTS Magazine and others. 

Tyler Hughes has been representing old time Appalachian music and culture on stages all across the east coast since age twelve. Hailing from Big Stone Gap, Virginia, his music is closely associated with that of the Carter Family, Dock Boggs, and Kate Peters Sturgill, among many others from the region. Tyler earned degrees in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies and Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University and during his time there, Tyler performed as a mainstay of the ETSU Old Time Pride Band. Tyler continues to perform as a solo artist and with the Johnson City based Empty Bottle String Band. His recordings include a solo album, WISE COUNTY JAIL, TRAVELIN’ MAN with the Empty Bottle Stringband, and he is featured on THE NEW APPALACHIANS, produced by Dave Eggar. Tyler teaches banjo at Mountain Empire Community College and regularly teaches at MECC’s annual Mountain Music School summer program.  Tyler travels extensively to share his music and he has appeared on PBS' Song of the Mountains, NPR's Mountain Stage, at Jazz at the Lincoln Center, and at the historic Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia.  Traditional musician Rich Kirby says "Tyler plays the music of his native Southwest Virginia with the kind of knowledge, respect, and affection that speaks of a deep understanding of who and where the music came from. With folks like Tyler on the scene, I know our music is in good hands." To learn more about Tyler Hughes, visit http://www.tylerhughesmusic.com


"Sam Gleaves and Tyler Hughes claim their place in the deep tradition of duet singing, so much a part of their Southwest Virginia home.  Tyler’s ‘When We Love’ and Ola Belle Reed’s ‘Tear Down the Fences’ are heart stopping anthems to everything that is the best in Appalachia and in each of us."   

-John McCutcheon

“Hailing from southwestern Virginia, Sam Gleaves and Tyler Hughes sing in traditional duet style like a Hazel & Alice for our times. Their clear tenor voices blend beautifully, both with each other and with their empathetic banjo, guitar and fiddle playing.” 

-Steve Hunt, fROOTS magazine

“There are few things better than seeing Sam Gleaves and Tyler Hughes live. They’re two of the most aligned musicians I've ever seen.” 

- Rachel Cholst, NO DEPRESSION

"Sam and Tyler are both symbiotic and totally immersed in their music, and their affection for the tradition is clear, yet they’re audibly carrying on that tradition in their own special way and producing a contemporary equivalent that speaks to us all today." 

-David Kidman, FATEA 

LINK:  Sam and Tyler interviewed by Justin Hiltner for The Bluegrass Situation Shout and Shine series