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Where Purchased: Hastings
"Cherryholmes IV, Common Threads" by Cherryholmes
California's Cherryholmes family band is technically a bluegrass group. With traditional acoustic bluegrass instrumentation, tight family vocal harmony and a musical outlook that doesn't quite fit anywhere else, the dynamic Grammy Award-winning outfit's music captures all the dirt road soul that made bluegrass one of the great homegrown American sounds.
But, as with groups like the Dixie Chicks, having fiddle and banjo among your primary instruments does not automatically make you some kind of hayseed cliché.
On their new album, "Cherryholmes IV, Common Threads," the six-member family offers up another rich and varied tapestry of downhome acoustic textures and moods, and they keep the music absolutely fresh and new without ever compromising on its solid traditionalism.
From the hard-driving groove of "The Harder I Fall" to the laidback blues of "Changed In A Moment" to the infectious swing of "Just You," there's not a weak track in the set. And if there's any skepticism about the family being top-notch pickers, the undoubted virtuosity of the all-out instrumental "Tattoo Of A Smudge" should lay any doubts to rest.
Not bad for a band whose members had never even had acoustic string instruments such as guitar, mandolin, fiddle and banjo in their hands ten years ago.
But to call it bluegrass is to turn some country fans off to what the Cherryholmes family really does, which is to create some of the most interesting and listenable acoustic music around.
Overall Rating: 9
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