Easter Family Reunion at the Blue Gate
For Jeff and Sheri, Gospel music is genetically programmed into their DNA. As members of acclaimed musical families – Jeff’s father is one of the Easter Brothers and Sheri’s mother is a member of The Lewis Family – they grew up surrounded by the sound of people praising God through their musical gifts.
In August of 1984, both were at the Albert E. Brumley Sundown to Sunup Gospel Singing in Arkansas. Jeff, who was playing bass for the Singing Americans at the time, took the opportunity to reintroduce himself to Sheri’s mother Polly; they had met on a previous occasion. Polly introduced Jeff to Sheri and the two were married ten months later.
They traveled and performed as part of The Lewis Family for several years. But in 1988 they decided it was time to strike out on their own, and they haven’t looked back since. Also joining Jeff & Sheri on the road is their son, Madison, who plays electric guitar for the group and their daughter, Morgan, who joins them with vocals to round out the kind of harmonies that only family can produce. The newest addition to the Easter family is Maura Grace, Jeff and Sheri’s ‘twentieth anniversary gift to each other’, who generally makes her way onstage doing anything to bring a smile.
Jeff & Sheri have been nominated for numerous Dove Awards and won five. They’ve also received a Grammy nomination, and Sheri has been named the Singing News Favorite Alto eleven times and the Singing News Female Vocalist four times. Jeff & Sheri’s wall of awards also include three Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association Awards, two International Country Gospel Music Association, nine Voice Awards for Female Artist, five Voice Awards for Song/Single of the Year, two Voice Awards for Christian Country Group, four SGM Fan Fair/USGN awards, five SGN Scoops Diamond Awards, four Hearts Aflame Awards, and three Cash Box awards. They have also participated in the Gaither Homecoming Video Series since 1993, which has sold over 15 million units.
Apart from their frequent appearances on the Gaither Homecoming tour and videos, Jeff & Sheri have a fairly heavy touring schedule of their own. “When we perform, we want people to leave a little different than when they came in,” Sheri explains. “We want them to have a great time smiling, laughing, crying and healing. We want them to know God loves them and that He is in control.”
Madison and Shannon Easter
Husband and wife singer/songwriter duo, Madison and Shannon have been making music together since 2012 but that wasn’t the beginning for them. As young high-school students, Madison and Shannon met in 2004 where they were both performing music for a church youth rally. Madison recalls, “Shan was incredible. I couldn’t get her off of my mind for days.” They were married in 2010 and soon thereafter began writing together. The couple released their first acoustic EP, Dreams, in March of 2013 and the follow-up Christmas EP, Under The Mistletoe, in November of 2013. Madison and Shannon are currently touring and they are writing for their first full-length album.
One could say Madison Easter had no chance of evading a career in music. As the first great-grandchild of Roy “Pop” Lewis (patriarch of Georgia Hall of Famers and “the first family of bluegrass” The Lewis Family), the grandson of James Easter (The Easter Bros.), and the son of Grammy-nominated gospel artists Jeff and Sheri Easter, Madison is no stranger to traveling and performing. He taught himself guitar at the age of 13 and quickly progressed to other instruments eventually making his way into writing and singing. After traveling nearly 3 MILLION miles with his parents as their guitarist, Madison decided to leave the group to pursue a career in writing and singing with his wife, Shannon. Madison was named Absolutely Gospel’s Musician Of The Year for three consecutive years and won a Dove award for his work co-producing Jeff and Sheri Easter’s album Eyes Wide Open.
To refer to Shannon Easter as an extremely talented vocalist, pianist, and writer would only be the beginning. Shannon also comes from a family centered around a love for music. At the age of 5, she began taking piano lessons and would often play and sing for her church. As she grew into a young adult, Shannon stayed active in her community and performed in many of her school’s musical programs. She started writing her first songs at 12 and soon filled notebook after notebook with her lyrics. After their engagement, Shannon began traveling full-time with Madison and his family serving as Sheri’s personal assistant and managing the group’s product and social media marketing. In 2015, she left the group alongside Madison.