Cherryholmes

Cherryholmes II: Black and White

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Nashville, TN, may be crawling with swarms of singing, clogging, clawhammering family bluegrass bands, but none have the sheer streamlined acumen of Cherryholmes. Boasting two generations, this Music City by way of Arizona sextet's second album, Cherryholmes II: Black and White, has all of the technical and harmony-laden power of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, all of the polished rock & roll-infused delivery of Diamond Rio, and a vocalist (and excellent banjo player) in daughter Cia Cherryholmes, who could give the esteemed Alison Krauss a run for her money. Another plus is the group's dedication to performing almost all original tunes, the best of which ("You Don't Know What Love Is," "Don't Give Your Heart to a Knoxville Girl," and "Turned Me Down" were penned by Cia. That's not to discredit B.J., Sandy, and Molly, all of whom display a real gift for the genre, and the playing is as electrifying as the cheesy lightning bolts that grace the cover. Cherryholmes look the part, sound the part, but best of all they feel real enough to transcend all of the industry trappings that can sometimes turn real, honest to God bluegrass acts into gift shop commodities.

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