New Jersey Brothers Play ‘Dueling Banjos’ When Middle Brother Takes It to a Whole New Level

Byvu lita

Apr 9, 2024

You might expect a band with a name like “The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys” to be from a rural country or Southern area of the United States, but this exceptionally gifted trio, recently gone viral, is actually from Lebanon Township in New Jersey. Their start in the spotlight began back in 2011, with an appearance on the late-night show of David Ketterman, where the audience’s jaws dropped when The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys began their own rendition of Earl Scruggs’ “Flint Hill Special.”

The Mizzone brothers each play a different instrument in the family band. Oldest brother Tommy, at thirteen years of age, plays the guitar; middle brother Robbie, twelve, plays the fiddle, and nine-year-old youngest brother Jonny plays the banjo. This trio has put in the practice and dedication to make their clearly innate talent truly shine. Watching the video below, you can see that stage fright isn’t exactly a factor for them, as they play for a live audience just as well as they would hanging around, practicing at home.

A well-known classic, the boys begin their rendition of “Dueling Banjos.” Jonny and Tommy, on guitar and banjo, begin the show by mimicking the notes of each other’s instruments, gradually picking up speed. Soon, you see their fingers are flying over the frets, almost too fast to watch. Even though the boys seem like they might be shaky in the beginning, this proves to be just an act as the pair quickly escalates their speed to a confident expert level. Around the three-quarter mark of the song, middle brother Robbie sneaks himself and his fiddle into the now-trio, adding his own flair to the old-time favorite.

With talent like that, it’s no surprise that the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys has only become more successful since their Letterman appearance, rather than fading away into obscurity. The heartwarming video below was uploaded the same year as their Letterman performance and has been viewed over seven million times since. Constantly growing their talent, these brothers have also enhanced their repertoire, expanding their music to include anything from pop to Americana and bluegrass. The young boys consistently wow their audiences on tour!

Give their talent a listen for yourself, and have any of your music lover friends give it a listen as well! Hang on tight when the brothers get to a minute and a half!

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