10 Things I’ve Learned From the Mountain Grass Unit

By Lee Hurley and Photos by Britt Huckabay

1. Musicians are Luke Black on banjo and guitar, Drury Anderson on mandolin, and lead singer Sam Wilson on bass.  

2. They’re called the Mountain Grass Unit as a nod to MB and so they can jam with other players and play in different configurations– and they do. They are already known around the state not as high school musicians, but as bluegrass musicians. 

3. They play traditional bluegrass and blend it with sounds like Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath. The goal is to get people moving.  

4. Their heroes are Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, and Billy Strings.   

5. They recently wrote their first original song, called “South Woodridge.”  

6. Luke and Drury started playing together in first grade.  

7. The first bluegrass song Luke and Drury taught Sam was “9 Pound Hammer.”   

8. Luke felt like he had to own a Martin D-28 because Tony Rice plays one, but he fell in love with and bought a Martin D-18 from Herb at Fretted Instruments. 

9. Luke says the best flat picker in Alabama is Allen Tolbert, son of the famous Glenn Tolbert.  

10. In bluegrass there are usually no drums, so the mandolin can be played like a percussion instrument. It’s called chucking. 

11. The reason Drury likes playing music is that, rather than compete with someone to win or lose, in music you are all going along after the same goal.  

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