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Cherryholmes

Cherryholmes III: Don't Believe – 2008 (Skaggs Family)

Reviewed by C. Eric Banister

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CDs by Cherryholmes

Cherryholmes continues to expand the parameters of bluegrass without crossing over into newgrass territory, while also exhibiting strong songwriting and performances on their third release.

Cia Cherryholmes, the 24-year-old banjo player and vocalist for the family band, continues to be the primary focus by writing or co-writing 6 of the 12 original songs and singing 5 of them. From the heartache and sorrow of Broken to the lost love of I Can Only Love You (So Much) and My Love For You Grows (sang by 20-year-old brother and guitarist Skip) to the patriotic and spiritual This Is My Son, the lyrics show a maturity and keen observational power that enable her to feel and express empathy for her characters. Mom/mandolinist Sandy contributes two vocals while brother/fiddler BJ gives three (including the Flying Burrito Brothers' Devil In Disguise).

The breakout star is 16-year-old fiddler Molly Kate who arranges the beautiful strings on Broken and makes her vocal debut with the attitude riddled kiss-off Goodbye. The family (and guest Dobro player Rob Ickes who contributes to several tracks) shows off their instrumental fire on Sumatra and Manskeer Spree/O'Coughlin's Reel.