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Cherryholmes III - Don't Belive
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist
3/31/09

Well, here we are at the third CD of this very talented group already. I loved their first CD very much, to me their second CD was a bit of a disappointment. Especially in the sound quality department.

Jere (Dad) was not happy with the sound quality of the second CD either and talked to label head Ricky Skaggs about it. Well, I guess the talk did something because this disc sounds great. From the talented production of Ben Isaacs to the HDCD mastering of Andrew Mendelsohn and friends at Georgetown Masters.

This is a well balanced mix of bluegrass and acoustic country music. The instruments sound rich and natural. Their self written songs are very good. Some subtle sound effects on some of the tracks are really neat, nice and tastefully used.

The whole mood of the disc is a bit on the dark side, the photography is really interesting. In the booklet with the lyrics, the centerfold is the 3 male Cherryholmes sitting on biker choppers with the women standing beside them in jeans and not how you would think this original family oriented group would look. The lightning bolts are back from the second CD, maybe they will be gone next time. The inside of the disc behind where the CD sits (jewel Case) is dark and moody, on the back of the jewel case it is like fireworks and party time.

Very interesting upbeat cover of (Parsons, Hillman) "Devil in Disguise". The CD has two short instrumentals and the first one "Sumatra," has an Allman brothers like theme going on in the background. The second is "Mansker Spreel O Coughlins Reel," this let's their twin fiddles play some. The main instrumentalists of the group are Cia's banjo, Sandy's mandolin and Skip on guitar. But Skip is mainly the rhythm player and leader of the group, I have heard. I would like to see Skip playing lead guitar in the future. They should at least have someone like Bryan Sutton playing some bluegrass leads during the CD. (hint, hint) They do use Rob Ickes to play dobro a lot on this disc.

Just noticed something interesting, the title track, "Don't Believe," does not have Mom (Sandy) on it. I think that possibly she did not write the lyrics, so BJ puts his fiddle down and joins them on mandolin for this song and also the first instrumental.

"This is My Son" - Beautiful bluegrass ballad about a mom sending son off to war. It compares this to God's only son and what he does for us. Cia sings this one very much from the heart. Background vocals are not getting their Kudos here. I could have misread Cia's distress, but someone ain't happy for this.

I have really enjoyed this CD. I love bluegrass and this has more of a bluegrass twist than anything else. This group has grown since their first disc. Sidebar, I hate Discs and CDs, ok, had to get that out of my system. I am an analog man the third. I record CDs I like on good Cassettes and Frisbee the sterile sounding DISCS. Was that a little too hard to get, I will say it again, Digital music stinks and is ruining the music business. There, (sorry Jere, had to say it).

This is a creative album, musically even down to the artwork on the LP. That stands for long playing record. Vinyl. It's been a while since I sat and reviewed a CD on the first few listens because I like it so much, then typed it the same day. Not that I haven't been enjoying the music I review, cause I only review what I like. Well, it is getting early, like almost 4 in the morning.

Coming soon, new music by Mindy Smith and also The GreenCards. God Bless You till then.


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