Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Family Craziness, Family Pride

There's nothing quite like the grind of the typical American family. While it's true that many families put themselves through a terrible grind rather unnecessarily, us singles with kids kind of have to throw that job thing in to make ends meet while supporting our kids' many interests as well as find time for our own.

One of my interests, ok, OBSESSIONS, is of course music. I make as much time for music as I can, whether I'm just listening to it, learning a new tune, writing about it, coming up with a lyric here and there. You could call it a hobby except that I've had a little training and I have a lot of passion for it, so it's really going to be sort of my second act. But at this stage I temper the time and attention I spend on it.

But some families are meant to make music, whether their kids have other lives or interests. The Cherryholmes are one such family, and they are also one of the bluegrass artists we were fortunate to hear for the first time this past September at IBMA.

I really can't complain about my little family and the few things we have to do each week. A little homework, a swim or ski lesson, maybe a few errands. This family -- Jare (bass) and Sandy (mandolin and vocals) along with children Cia (banjo) , Skip (guitar), BJ (fiddle, mando, vocals) and Molly Kate (fiddle, vocals) ranging in age from 22 to 14 and all homeschooled -- are full-time musicians, working, living, and playing together. What an interesting way to grow up. And, um, busy.

To see this family, this naturally produced and assemble collection of exceedingly talented musicians, perform together really is an experience. There is a beauty to the ease with which these six individuals execute the most challenging tunes. I mean, it's like they're actually having FUN.

Now, to be sure, they are still a family. When my son and I were scrounging in one of the concession rooms for a quick lunch between the last morning set and the separate workshops we wanted to attend, we encountered a slightly quarrelsome pair of Cherryholmes. They are normal kids, afterall!

Like most family bands in the business, this one is filled with family pride. They've made a living out of a way of life, an alignment that too few of us will ourselves be able to achieve in this lifetime.

Enjoy a clip of one of our favorite tunes off the self-titled album. It's a Bill Monroe tune called Tallahassee, and many of you probably know other versions. But to watch this family play this, especially the two young fiddlers who earlier were arguing over salad vs. sandwhich, really
was a delight. My daughter and I enjoy this tune as the soundtrack to watching the school buses queue up from my son's school to the high school in the still-dark morning hours that begin another busy family day.

This bunch has LOTS of dates, and several coming up righ here in Ohio. Click here for all the details -- and maybe I'll see you there!

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