WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Two local musicians with the same eye disorder are fronting a band called InnerVision in what some call “an act of blind faith.”
Sam Shepherd and Genene Blackwell have been musical partners since they rode together to preschool.
“At an early age my mom discovered I could sing two-part harmony,” Sam said.
When asked how they found their groove at such a young age, Genene said, “We just felt the music in us.”
“You’re asking the wrong person because I don’t know myself,” he said.
Both Sam and Genene were born early with a disorder called retinopathy of prematurity. In fact, in 1990, Genene was the smallest preemie to survive at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Sam was born exactly one month later as a triplet, and placed one door down in the NICU from Genene. Both received emergency surgeries that left them blind.
Despite their proximity, the families, both from Westerville, didn’t meet until their kids were transported to preschool together.
“We sang songs we heard on the radio,” Genene said of their school car rides.
30 years later, family members still serve as the duo’s roadies for some 100 gigs a year. Family also helped produce two albums with a third on the way.
Both singers say they answer to a higher power.
“That is why I do what I do right now, which is play music is to glorify Him and reach other people. I want them to see God,” Sam said.
“You never know who you’re blessing,” Genene said of their performances. “Somebody might be going through something and they just might need a song to minister.”