Let’s flash back to mid-June 2009, for a minute. A friend of mine and I are wandering the grounds at Bonnaroo, looking for something to check out. There’s nothing really happening at the main stages, so we were hanging out, drinking some beer or another, when we happened across the smallest stage there, which hosts abbreviated sets by a selection of performers from throughout the weekend. There wasn’t much of a crowd when we got there, which was a damn shame, for what we found there was something incredible. After hearing them perform in that intimate setting, I was hooked. I needed to hear more from them.
Tennessee family band Cherryholmes, rising stars in the bluegrass world, offer a fantastic time with their third album Don’t Believe.
From the lyrical talents of daughter Cia, to the soulful bass of father Jere, and the shared vocals of the entire family, Cherryholmes has impressed the hell out of me. With brothers BJ and Skip on fiddle and guitar, daugher Molly on fiddle, and rounded out with mother Sandy on mandolin, this band provides a magical audio adventure.
Album opener I Can Only Love You (So Much) starts the album off strong, with it’s tone of frustration with a lover. The music is heartwrenching, yet you can’t help tapping your toe or snapping along.
Title track Don’t Believe is an intense, fast paced number. With it’s exhortation to “Don’t believe in everything you hear or see”, it provides a message not often heard enough in music these days: that you should think for yourself, and not wait for someone else to show you what to believe.
Album closer Traveler evokes visions of a lonely wanderer, who left everything behind long ago. Interestingly enough, it reminded me to some degree of Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower series.
On the whole, Don’t Believe is a solid album, and I look forward to hearing more from Cherryholmes, and, should the opportunity present itself, I’d love to see them in concert again.