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Talent, dedication and attitude to really go places
J. Ross | Roseburg, OR USA | 10/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Playing Time - 45:51 -- The Cherryholmes' pendulum of repertoire swings from Bill Monroe ("Tallahassee") to the Dirt Band ("Workin' Man"), and Hazel Dickens ("Workin' Girl Blues") to the Louvin Brothers ("No One to Sing for Me"). Karen Rochelle's "He Goes to Church" imparts a powerful message that it's never too late to pursue salvation. So there are influences from old-time mountain, bluegrass, classic country and Gospel sounds. Their original songs are equally varied, with inspiration that covers the traditional music map. Twin fiddles and the bouncing ¾-beat give "Heart as Cold as Stone" a definitive Monroesque feeling, while "Makin' Time" is an uptempo and catchy song that could've been covered by Jimmy Martin before his death. "Will I Be the Winner?" and "Brand New Heartache" have classic country sensibilities. Jeff Taylor's whistle and accordion are added into the mix on the Celtic-flavored medley of some more originals, "Shelly in the Heather" and "Linda's Reel."
Thematically, they clearly understand the roots of the music when they compose and present a nicely-arranged song like "Red Satin Dress," a murder ballad that only slightly suffers from the vocals not being as high and lonesome as we're used to in such numbers. While there are many lead vocalists in this family band, Cia Leigh Cherryholmes is the most expressive and evocative on a straightforward original like "Don't Fall in Love." Among very stiff competition, she garnered a first round nomination as IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year. As a unit, all six band members sing a cappella on the album closer. Besides their impressive songwriting and singing, The Cherryholmes demonstrate consummate instrumental skills that certainly belie their ages. "Coastline" is a fiery and frenetic tune that swirls like its inspiration, the hurricanes of 2004. Guests Ricky Skaggs (mandolin) and Ben Isaacs (harmony vocals) appear on one track apiece. Isaacs produced the project.
Based in Arizona, the hard-working Cherryholmes range from 13-year-old fiddling Molly Kate on up to the bass-playing patriarch of the unit, Jere. The other kids, Cia, B.J., and Skip, masterfully play banjo, fiddle and guitar, respectively. Their home-schooling mother, Sandy, plays mandolin. Since 2002, the Cherryholmes have been performing music full time (over 250 shows a year) and traveling extensively. They have the talent, dedication and attitude to really go places. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)
E. C Goodstein | Northern CA United States | 10/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Really fine bluegrass album I think. This is one of those 'magical' country family bands. elements of the Carters, the Stanley Brs., Del McCoury-- & their frequent
'tourmates,' Rhonda Vincent & the Rage. And beautiful sound & playing here throughout too. I love the interplay of the twin fiddles, excellent meld of voices & leads from Cia (somewhat more 'high pure') & Sandy Lee (a bit grittier). And the guys do great too. Their songs sound like classics, & the covers are well chosen. I esp. like "How Long?", "Heart as Cold as Stone," "Brand New Heartache" & one with dad Jere's lead, "Red Satin Dress." But everything really compelling. One of my favorite country albums of '05."
Sweet as Country Pie
jimnypivo | west of Chicago, USA | 03/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got this disc from my friend Mike , who has even more eclectic taste than I. And darned if I'm not obliged and grateful he sent it to me. This disc is right up there with the *O Brother Where Art Thou* soundtrack or *Will the Circle Be Unbroken*.
CherryHolmes' sound is clear and honest Bluegrass. They don't show-off, but show confidence in their musicianship and their vocals.
All the cuts are gems--not one hounddog baying at the moon.
If you like classic, clear unadulterated Bluegrass, *CherryHolmes* is for you.