At the moment, I’m working on writing an article for Bluegrass Unlimited on Cherryholmes. The band played at the Ryman Auditorium here in Nashville last Thursday, so I took the opportunity to spend some time with them and see their show. I enjoyed myself the whole day—they are all engaging, well-spoken people to interview—but a couple of strange coincidences occurred that I’d like to share.
Jere and Sandy, the Cherryholmes parents, have recently bought a house in Goodlettesville, TN. They were describing the house to me—ten acres, big yard, guest house in the back—and I realized that it sounded incredibly familiar. Turns out that my dad and I had looked at the same house when he was here a couple months back on a real estate scouting trip. Of all the houses that we looked at as possibilities for my parents to buy, that was the one that we all liked the best. They didn’t buy it (obviously), but I’m glad it went to good folks.
The other coincidence happened just as the show started that night. The Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman are sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms chicken. The president of the company, Gus Arrendale, was there that night to give his chicken spiel. Just before Cherryholmes took the stage, he was standing near me and I was so bold as to introduce myself, because I knew he grew up in Clarkesville, Ga, where my mom grew up. I told him who my grandparents are, and who my mom is, and just about the first thing he said was, “I had such a crush on one of your aunts in high school.” That was good for much amusement in our family over the weekend, especially for my happily-married aunt!
Bradley Walker, a country-style crooner fairly new to the bluegrass scene, opened the show and he also came out and sang a duet with Cia on the Cherryholmes set. Cherryholmes does put on a really good show and after the last number the crowd practically leapt to its feet to cheer for an encore. They obliged with a crazy-fast version of Orange Blossom Special, that eternal crowd favorite. The band can wow a crowd from the stage, now I just have to figure out how to capture that wow on the page.