All in the family: Herrold Sisters take show on the road to 30A
While most young sisters are reading diaries and stealing clothes, Hannah and Abby Herrold are writing songs and singing duets around the country, including the beaches of Walton County.
It all began when Abby, 11-years-old, was asked to sing at a Nashville restaurant a year ago. When the stage fright started to kick in, Hannah, 14, was by her sister's side and took to the stage to help ease Abby's nerves. Everyone in the room including the sisters and their parents, Amanda and Daniel, noticed there was something special about the pair.
Abby and Hannah have always had a musical talent, picking up instruments and writing songs as young girls. Both play guitar and banjo.
Inspired by artists such as Taylor Swift and The Dixie Chicks, the Oklahoma-natives have taken their dreams of working in the music business on the road. They almost never turn down the opportunity to sing, and with their parents-turned-managers in tow, each gig is like a mini family vacation. But make no mistake, Hannah and Abby call the shots.
"They want everything run by them," said Amanda, while the family was en route to a show. "We learned early on when we made the mistake of automatically signing them up for everything. They'll let us know if they're tired or too busy."
With each show, The Herrold Sisters hope to gain a bit of exposure and meet fans. Monetary donations are accepted in the form of tips, which the girls are saving for a second mission trip to Africa.
The girls enjoy getting to visit the beach during their summer gigs and like the atmosphere surrounding 30A.
"I like all the kids riding bikes," Hannah commented.
Both girls agreed they will continue to sing duets and write music as The Herrold Sisters indefinitely. Hannah hopes to enter the School of Music at Belmont University in Nashville. No matter what career she aspires to, she wants to be in music, she said.
Online, you can find plenty of videos of the sisters' renditions of modern hits such as Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," and "If I Die Young," by The Band Perry as well as some classics including "Ring of Fire," by the man in black, Johnny Cash.
Living just about two hours away from the Moore, Okla., the Herrold family was fortunately unharmed during the May tornado. As a tribute to their home state, Hannah and Abby are working on covering Carrie Underwood's rendition of "I'll Stand By You," an original song by The Pretenders.
The Herrold Sisters are more than a cover band, however. Their CD titled "Fly" features five original songs and is available on iTunes. Of course, you can purchase an autographed copy from their website as well.
Because the girls stay focused on their music and school, they oftentimes find inspiration for songs by living vicariously through friends.
"Usually whenever I write a song, I think of my friend's experiences with boys and overall drama," Hannah said.
Gathering her writing inspiration from everyday life and her mission trips, Abby hopes to instill a little encouragement in her audience.
"I hope they learn that even if you think something won't happen, it will," she said.
Even though the girls are playing shows around the South and Midwest, have their own CD and are basically on their way to their dream of becoming radio stars, the Herrold Sisters aren't really different from their peers.
"We're just normal girls, living our dreams," Hannah said.