Engage Kingsport Performing Arts Series presents an evening with Red Roots

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KINGSPORT – The lives of three, red-headed, identical triplet sisters are best summed up in the band name Red Roots. Their journey of growth can be heard and seen through the band, but was ultimately shaped by their roots of family, faith, and music.

Our parents Mark and Sherry Taylor were told they were having one baby. That was good news to them and our four-year old brother at the time Mark Jr. A week later the news changed quite a bit after the doctor saw one more baby in the ultrasound. Now, instead of one there were two. Another week passed by, and our parents made another visit to the doctor. After performing an ultrasound, they saw a big difference in what they had seen before, three babies! Around seven months later, three very-healthy triplet girls were born.

Having Christian parents first helped develop our Red Roots. It seemed that we were always in church, and my parents instilled in us Christian morals and principles. At church we were introduced to music, so we were involved in the childrens choir. Around the age of four and five, we began our singing debut in a choir musical singing Be Near Me Lord Jesus. At that same time, we began asking our parents to play instruments. Nika started first on the guitar after challenging our brother Mark Jr. to a Yankee Doodle duel. It was her favorite song and only song she knew, so my brother didnt stand a chance. Natalies piano lessons soon followed at the age of nine. Her friends were also taking, so she was accused of taking lessons because of them. Maybe a year later, Nicole started asking my parents for drum lessons. My mom said that she tried to discourage her by saying that only boys played the drums. Negative comments were also spoken to her by the band director when he said she had no rhythm. If either of them actually did discourage her, we couldnt tell. My mom caved in for local drum lessons, but the teacher didnt have a spot. Long story made short, mom prayed for God to open the door if it was His will, and a spot became available at the exact time she wanted. Our band was formed. We all three would set up in our playroom and attempt to play the same song together. It was a lot harder than we thought, especially since we started out playing Shout to the Lord. Unknowingly to us, my mom was praying, Anoint them to sing for your glory, Lord. This prayer marked the beginning of our Red Roots.

God opened many doors for us as we first started out. Our pastor Bro. Bill Barton had started an alcohol rehabilitation center called the Home of Grace, so he asked us to play there monthly. We were paired with a former addict named Rodney Williams who would preach after we sang. The men always would scream and clap no matter how many clunkers Natalie hit on the keyboard, beats Nicole would be off on the drums, or chords missed on the guitar by Nika. They truly worshipped God there and encouraged us each month we came. Bro. Rodney and we made a great team because both of us were just starting out. He would also invite us to play at schools and churches where he would give his testimony, which he later wrote in a book titled, Club Meth to Christ. We both shared the common message of the Red Roots of Christ.

We eventually started playing other instruments. At thirteen years old, Nicole played the drums, banjo, and bass. Nika added playing the mandolin along with the guitar. Natalie picked up the violin, bass, and accordion to go along with her keyboard. Our style of music at the time consisted of a mixture of Christian contemporary and bluegrass. Little by little, we would get calls from churches and others wanting us to play. This was so important to us because it gave us a reason and a desire to keep practicing. My parents said that if we were invited to play three places in a month then we could get a trailer to haul our equipment in. No more than a month passed by, and we had our trailer. Now all we needed was a group name. One day, our aunt called my mom saying that we should name our group Red Roots. We had a few to choose from, but this suited us best. After all, we did have red hair. As we grew older, our eyes and hearts were opened. As teenagers, God revealed to us that being involved in church or in a Christian band would not save us. We felt a need for His forgiveness and His presence in our lives. Even though we had a Christian band before, it became personal from that point on. God put a deep desire in our hearts to serve Him through music. He showed us that all of our circumstances were not coincidental. God had a purpose for us in our lives, and He began to give us a passion for His purpose. Now we truly did have Red Roots, not only on the outside, but also on inside.

During our senior year, we bought our mom tickets to an Isaacss concert for her birthday. We noticed, while purchasing the tickets, there was also a talent contest that night. Winning the contest was exciting, but playing with the Isaacs was even more exciting! Later, Ben Isaacs became the producer of our first single. This caught the attention of Rick Schweinsberg of Daywind Recording Studios, and we were signed to their Red Hen Label. Rick Schweinsberg produced the rest of the songs on our album and currently develops our group. Our mom wasnt the only one who got a present that night!

The Red Roots CD was finally released on Jan. 24th, 2011. The CD features our first radio single Red Roots. Yes. Red Roots is also our group name. Both our group name and song represent the core message and focus of our group that we are rooted in the blood of Christ. His sacrifice on the cross gave our lives meaning and hope. The song Red Roots tells a story of a dad and his daughter going on a hunting trip looking for Sassafras trees. They need the red roots of the Sassafras trees to make red tea with. The dad uses the hunting trip to show his daughter how the red roots of the sassafras tree compare to the red roots of Jesus Christ.

http://www.theredroots.com/