We get a lot of top-notch bluegrass acts here, that’s for sure, but on Sept. 26 one of the very best in the country is set to play at the University of South Carolina in Beaufort.
It’s an unlikely Cinderella story. The band is Cherryholmes, a California mom and dad, and four of their kids. Ten years ago, there was no band – in fact, several of the children (all primo pickers today) hadn’t ever laid hands on an instrument.
Jere Cherryholmes was a carpenter for the Los Angeles County school system; his wife Sandy gave music lessons and home-schooled the couple’s six children.
Everyone rallied around Shelly, the oldest daughter, who suffered from chronic heart problems. The devoutly Christian family did everything as a group, always looking after Shelly’s special needs first.
In 1999, Shelly died unexpectedly, and in their grief the family discovered the healing harmonies of bluegrass. They took off for a festival weekend and came back uplifted, and hooked, and armed with a plan: They’d write bluegrass songs and start a band of their own.
“We’re the kind of people who say ‘We’re going to do this thing,’ but we don’t really sit and ask ourselves if it’s possible,” Sandy Cherryholmes said. “We just do it.”
Signed to Ricky Skaggs’ custom label, Cherryholmes was named Entertainer of the Year at the 2005 International Bluegrass Association awards, and has been nominated for Grammy Awards four times.
Hear the Bluegrass Brady Bunch for yourselves, and see if the praise and awards aren’t justified: www.cherryholmes.musiccitynetworks.com.
For ticket info, see www.beaufortperformingarts.com.
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