By: Shelby C. Berry
On the surface, Autumn and Canyon Moore, the duo calling themselves Buffalo Mountain Bluegrass, have a familiar sound – fiddle tunes, mandolin, guitar, sibling harmonies, and calming melodies. But there’s nothing textbook about them.
While bands perfect the sound of a fiddle in an ideal bluegrass tune, Autumn and Canyon express themselves through a combination of unusual genres of music. In their teens, the siblings also immerse themselves in the music cultures of gospel, Civil War, patriotic, country, Irish, Canadian and Scottish categories.
Autumn, the oldest of the two, decided that she wanted to play the fiddle at age two. With her parent’s advice, she began lessons
around age five. Her brother followed her shortly after.
“My earliest memory playing music was probably when I was only two or three years old,” said Canyon. “My favorite song was Long Black Train by Josh Turner. A local bluegrass band here in Pennsylvania invited me on stage to sing it with them, which was pretty great.”
The Newport, Pennsylvania brother and sister duo began performing together in 2008 after finding themselves drawn to bluegrass, country and gospel music. The tunes they sing are as likely to have the blow of a bagpipe as the beat designed for square dancing or the duo’s subtle harmony.
BGS: What do you think your music tells the world about you?
Canyon: I’d have to say, it relates to how our lives have been. We’ve grown up around music and relate that in the music that we play. Our background and faith show in our music. I believe it expresses our feelings and personalities too.
Autumn: The ability to play music and share with the world puts us in check. Playing for others, we see the way our music is received by others. Playing one song can change someone’s day. Having the opportunity to bless someone, it makes me want to keep playing. It is a way for us to connect with a lot of people. It has given us the opportunity to meet other people and share our story.
BGS: What about your experience with Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars? What made you decide to join?
Autumn: We were at the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival in Pennsylvania the first time we heard about Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars. Other TBS members were there, and we had never heard about it. We were thrilled to hear about this group! We connected with Mr. John Colburn, and my mom and I are now the Northeastern Regional Directors of TBS. It helps to reach more youngsters. With TBS, we also participated in the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band competition at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. We really owe a special “thank you” to John Colburn for his support and dedication to TBS and for everyone who is involved in the organization.
BGS: Lastly, what are your dreams for your future in bluegrass?
Autumn: If you had asked three years ago, I would have said that my dream was to become a professional musician. However, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work at Ashokan Music & Dance Camps in upstate New York. From that, I’ve learned that music isn’t a career for me. I love playing, learning new songs and entertaining audiences, but I think that because I also have a lot of other interests, only doing music would be limiting. I do love playing and want to keep doing that though! I always see myself playing, but I don’t know what the future holds for us professionally at this point.