Highlights – Cherryholmes, Kristy Kruger and more

With their cowboy hats and Jere’s long, bushy beard, Cherryholmes might make you think ZZ Top. But that’s way off. Way off. Think instead, Nickel Creek.

The six-piece family band from Nashville, with mom, dad, two sons and two daughters, broke onto the scene in 1999 and since then, they have become stars in the bluegrass world.

In 2005, Cherryholmes was named Entertainer of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. The group’s first commercial album got a Grammy nomination in 2006 and their latest album, “Cherryholmes II Black and White” is in the running for Best Bluegrass Album in this year’s Grammy Awards.

The group, which can sometimes be found playing the Grand Ole Oprey, puts on a memorable live show. In addition to their bluegrass standards and originals, band members take turns showcasing their individual talents like Irish Step Dancing, yodeling and dueling fiddles.

Cherryholmes will play the Walton Arts Center at 7 p.m. Jan. 17. Tickets are $12-$24.

Kristy Kruger

The Monday night show at GoodFolk should be a good one. Dallas singer songwriter Kristy Kruger will bring a bit of pop to the venue. Pop? We don’t mean cherry bopper pop, after all, her albums have titles like “Songs from a Dead Man’s Couch” and “Bachelor of Apathy.” She’s a poet.

In 2006, “Songs from a Dead Man’s Couch” won the Independent Music Award for Americana Album of the Year and was on the Dallas Morning News’ top 10 list.

In 2006, Kruger also won the Dallas Observer Music Award for Best Female Vocalist. With a voice that can bring to mind Lucinda Williams and sensibilities akin to Victoria Williams, Kruger goes from catchy tunes like “Goldrush” to songs with the moody undertones of Bertolt Bretch. The girl’s got range.

She fits into the singer songwriter genre, but she’s a bit different. She began her musical career as a classical and jazz performer and those influences still come into play. And, for almost a year, Kruger’s been playing her heart out.

Last year, she launched a 50-state tour for a reason. She’s doing the tour to honor her brother, Lt. Col. Eric Kruger who was killed in Iraq.

“He died in the name of this country, so I’d like him to be remembered in every state in this country,” Kruger said. “Since he died for America, I’d like to see the whole thing. I’d like to see what he died for.”

You may have never heard of Kristy Kruger before (unless you’ve heard her on Ira Glass’ This American Life) but keep your eye on her. She may be another Lucinda.

Together again, Emily and Vernon
As Mike Shirkey, proprietor of GoodFolk says of Emily Kaitz, “Sometimes we take her for granted here in Fayetteville, but singer-songwriter Emily Kaitz is extremely prolific and entertaining, and with nine CDs of original material, she often doesn’t get to showcase a lot of it with the various other folks with whom she performs.”

That’s true. But this Friday night at GoodFolk, Kaitz will be in her element when pal Vernon Tonges of Chicago, comes to town and the two showcase their best, including some of Kaitz’s more obscure and quirky compositions.

Tonges is the perfect compliment for Kaitz. They both like to have fun with their music and both stop at nothing to see that their audiences have a good time, too.

Kaitz calls Tonges, “a wild flaming volcano of a performer,” unlike anyone she knows. Or as the Chicago Reader puts it: “Tonges has long been the most vibrant and maniacal performer in a scene full of vibrant maniacs.”

Tonges played with the legendary Chicago band “The Dysfunctionals” for many years until they disbanded. He now performs solo and with occasional accompanists “the Inepti.”

Todd, Cory, James and Shawn

George’s has a heck of a busy week lined up, thanks to a powerhouse of touring musicians who will be dropping in for midweek shows. Atlanta singer songwriter Shawn Mullins will be in town of Tuesday night, followed by Todd Snider, Wednesday night and a big double bill with James McMurtry and Cory Brannon on Jan. 17. These are some fantastic musicians, so plan to get out.

Categories: Legacy Archive