Monday, November 10, 2008

Cherryholmes: Minneapolis Version

After reading Matt's posting about Cherryholmes, I decided I needed to finally hear this acclaimed bluegrass band for myself. So I went to see them on a disgustingly cold, spitty night in Minneapolis. Accompanied by my bluegrass pal Heather, I got to the Cedar Cultural Center early enough to get sweet seats in what turned out to be a pretty good-sized crowd (great for their first time through). I'm happy to report that the sound was incredible (thanks to the masterful Chris Frymire) and nothing like the sound problems that Matt encountered in the show he saw. The instruments and voices were clear, and all was well-balanced. I agree with Matt that Molly Kate's vocals were one of the high points. Unfortunately, she only took the lead on one song, but she did do a nice instrumental swing tune with B.J. and Skip, which led me to think that these kids could be the next generation of progressive string players. And that's what impressed me about the whole show. Everything I had heard from Cherryholmes had led me to believe they were a solid contemporary bluegrass band (which they are), but I was surprised to hear how many styles they really embraced in their live show. Here were some of the highlights:

- a twin fiddles tune with some nice clogging (unfortunately some of the clogging sounds got lost--the one sound problem of the evening)
- "Knoxville Girl"
- "Mary Don't You Weep"
- "Never Be Whole Again" (really nice dual fiddling!)
- some really great yodeling by Mom Cherryholmes
- "I Can Only Love You So Much"
- "Sailing Man" (with nice clawhammer banjo--sadly Cia did not play 3-finger banjo at the same time)
- an old-timey finale where all except Dad clogged
- "Traveling Man" (after an encore much more enthusiastic than Minnesota audiences normally give!)

The music was great, they had a great live energy and they employed fun, witty banter. In short, this was a really great show--well worth $20.

1 comment:

Matt Winters said...

Glad that they did not disappoint!