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

Reviewed by C. Eric Banister

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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.