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Cherryholmes II Black & White
Cherryholmes II Black & White
Genres: Country, Pop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Though the lightning crackling across the CD cover suggests a heavy-metal band (or perhaps a cross between the Addams Family and a Black Oak Arkansas reunion), the second release by Cherryholmes on Ricky Skaggs's label est...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Cherryholmes
Title: Cherryholmes II Black & White
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Skaggs Family
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 6/12/2007
Genres: Country, Pop
Style: Bluegrass
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 669890201821

Though the lightning crackling across the CD cover suggests a heavy-metal band (or perhaps a cross between the Addams Family and a Black Oak Arkansas reunion), the second release by Cherryholmes on Ricky Skaggs's label establishes the family band as one of the most promising acts in contemporary bluegrass. The star here is Cia Cherryholmes, the banjo-playing daughter who composes most of the album's original material and ranks with Alison Krauss as a vocalist on highlights such as the opening "You Don't Know What Love Is" and the prison-ballad title track. Yet the instrumental interplay and harmonies reflect the sextet's blood ties, while the range of material bridges the traditional and progressive (it's hard to hear Cia's "Don't Give Your Heart to a Knoxville Girl," sung by brother B.J., without thinking of the Louvin Brothers' classic "Knoxville Girl"). --Don McLeese

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CD Reviews

Solid work... still needs a little bit of...
the_global_village_idiot | Hanover, ME USA | 12/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)


Let me explain. The musicianship of this family keeps getting better and better - there isn't a one of them that couldn't instantly step into any other top-tier bluegrass band out there. The exceptional tightness with which they play on this album is matched in their live performances - these folks are absolute pros.

But I have the same problem with this album that I did with the last one. In many regards, this album is better; the band's skill as players continues to develop; the vocal arrangements are exquisite and more sophisticated; the production is even better. There's an awful lot to like here. So what's the problem? The songwriting. Frankly, most of the family-written songs are competent but no more than that. They're standard-issue retreads of common bluegrass/country themes, along the lines of why-did-you-leave-me and gee-I-screwed-up-which-is-why-my-life-stinks. Okay, classic themes, but none of the songs say these things in an interesting way. They're saved by virtuosity in singing and playing - but this band at least in theory has the potential to be even more. Sure do wish they could create lyrics as good as their playing and singing.

The one exception to the songwriting complaint is Sandy Lee's oddly affecting "My True Love," which doesn't steal from bluegrass standards at all - it goes back further into English folk songs, and curiously enough, it really works.

There are several covers on the disc and frankly, they just plain work better (for example, the band does an exquisite reading of Robert Gately's "Heat of the Morning").

So is this a fine bluegrass album? Yes indeed. Cherryholmes has a unique sound, in large part to its two-fiddle lineup. It has exceptional drive due to rock-solid bass playing and one of the least-flashy but most rhythmic banjo players working. It has great vocals and superb solo work. You like bluegrass, and you'll like the album. I just hope that their next album includes lyrics that make me think "damn - how'd they come up with THAT?""
Another Home Run!
John A. Gregorio | Castalian Springs, TN | 06/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Cherryholmes first Skaggs Family cd was excellent and it appears the family is starting a tradition. This cd is solid country and bluegrass. The instruments are played with technical skill , feeling, and the arrangements are perfect for each song. The singing is top notch and I much prefer Cia Cherryholmes voice in clarity and range. It is good to hear the boys sing more, and Sandy as well! Highly recommended."
Paul W. Dennis | Winter Springs, FL USA | 08/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A year ago I had no idea about the Cherryholmes family band. Today I know them to be the finest family bluegrass band going. In this, their second CD, the group shows impressive growth - several members of the band write original material and all of them can pick and sing with the best of them

Daughter Cia Cherryholmes continues to develop her skills as a banjo player, and is becoming a truly impressive songwriter and vocalist. I can easily see her becoming a significant solo artist. The rest of the family is pretty good, too. Close harmonies, tight musicianship, excellent lead vocals (although Cia is clearly the standout vocalist) What more could you ask?

I liked all of the songs on this disc but I was particularly impressed with the songs Cia wrote such as "You Don't Know What Love Is", "I Don't Know" , "Turned Me Down" and Don't Give Your Heart to A Knoxville Girl"

Three excellent instrumentals "Darkness On The Delta", "The Nine Yards" and "Bootstrap Hill" give the family a chance to stretch and display their instrumental prowess. While the CD consists mostly of originals, they do a nice cover on the Lester Flatt composition "I'll Never Shed Another Tear"

I really could rattle on all day about this CD but suffice it to say, this is one of the best bluegrass CDs issued in this, or any othe year