Mike and Lisa Templeton lead their eight children in producing some toe-tappin', hand clappin' bluegrass and gospel music.
The Templetons bring that distinct bluegrass sound, mixed with a little soulful gospel singing. Their songs are upbeat and catchy, and their stage presence is undeniable. Every family member contributes in some way, right down to Robert, 6, and Margaret, 4, who specialize in showmanship.
This family affair began with the idea that a person could learn to play the piano without a teacher–a suggestion from one of Lisa's home-school books–and some experimentation with harmonicas. Though they weren't always a musical bunch, the parents and their kids got into playing some old-time music and eventually were encouraged by a local musician to pursue their interests.
When he was 10 years old, Michael, the eldest son, picked up his dad's banjo, and the rest of the kids soon followed, their interest in music escalating. For the most part, these young artists are self-taught.
The Templeton Family Band has been performing bluegrass and gospel music together since 2007, performing at community events, churches, festivals and nursing homes, bringing home awards and accolades along the way.
Michael, now 16, plunks away at his banjo, while Albert, 15, picks guitar. He's also the face of the Templeton family, doing most of the talking during performances. Lidia, 14, has been playing fiddle alongside her mother since she was 8. She'll contribute to the harmony or fiddle off into a lead break. For the last couple years, Olivia, 10, has joined her sister and mother to make it a fiddling trio. She's also working on her mandolin, bass and trying her hand at lead singing.
Andy, 12, has been playing mandolin since he was 7 and has been known to belt out lead vocals and harmonize. His younger brother, Joseph, 8, is the wildcard of the bunch–sometimes helping with harmony, sometimes taking lead, always picking up any number of instruments, be it a baritone uke or mandolin. Watch for him to bust out an "Irish jig" during a fiddle lead break. Mike rounds out the group, anchoring the music by slapping out rhythms on the upright bass.
So, come on down, sit a spell and listen or dust off your clogs and dance along with Joe's jig. This talented family is sure to entertain, their rich music-making bettered only by their richness in family fun.