Sideline to stop touring in April

The popular band, Sideline, featuring banjo beast, Steve Dilling, and his guitar guru son-in-law, Skip Cherryholmes, have announced that the band will be coming to an end in April.

Skip explained, “The decision to wrap things up is founded in wanting to spend more time with my family.”

That realization wasn’t a rapid resolution for the father of two. “I love music. I don’t know that there’s anyone who embraces musical articulation like I do. I want to do what’s best for my family. God’s timing is everything. This is the right decision on behalf of my family,” the gifted guitarist confidently affirmed. 

“When Adeline was born, it was a crazy time. It’s hard to be out on the road and the kids are missing out on Dad time. God put it on my heart to evaluate things. He helped me see that through signs and signals. I got this conviction to be more a part of my family’s life. There’s a true foundation for all these decisions. My family is everything to me. I need to be present and involved. I must set an example for my children.”

Aiden began kindergarten in homeschool. I wanted to take a part in this. Plus there’s a lot going on with church and with the praise team and the musical ministry there.”

Skip is also committed to his wife, Stephanie. “We’re coming up on 12 years of marriage. She knew what it meant to be a touring musician’s partner. We have a bigger family and we’re doing more together. We have lots of different plans.”

“I told Steve about this conviction in my heart. I felt I had the flexibility and right to do this. I am so grateful to Steve.”

His father-in-law understands fully. “We climb on that bus and leave every week. It’s hard on Skip with Aiden not wanting him to leave. I’ve been on the road for 40 years. Skip’s been traveling for 22, since he was 10.”

“Skip came to me before Christmas and talked. He said he’d understand if I wanted to continue. I said that I can’t do it without you. It’s a mutual thing between Skip and me.”

Steve is at peace with the decision. “I support him 100%. We gave the guys a few months’ notice. Big Lick Bluegrass Festival will be the last show for the band. We’re a North Carolina band, so it seems fitting to end at a North Carolina bluegrass festival.”

The banjoist is also grateful to their sponsor, Swaggerty’s Sausage. “They stood by us. I am thankful for Swaggerty’s support and sticking with us. They’ve been remarkable. I can’t thank them enough.”

 Sideline began as a side gig. The band never anticipated the appeal and attraction they would draw from audiences. 

Skip admitted, “We never knew it would turn into what it turned into.”

Steve readily agreed about the band’s rapid rise to fame. “I retired from Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out on Thanksgiving Day, 2013. Our first Sideline record was out and was getting airplay and the bookings started picking up in 2014. Then things kicked in high gear and we bought a bus!”

Skip is grateful to all the fine musicians in Sideline (Jamie Harper, Nick Goad, Andy Buckner, and Kyle Windbeck). “The whole world is open to the guys in the band. They can carry their music to new heights.”

Band mate, Buckner, shared, “I just wanted to send out a big thanks to all of the guys in the band: Steve Dilling, Skip Cherryholmes, Nick Goad, Jamie Harper, and Kyle Windbeck, for all of the wonderful memories. This year has been full of laughter and I’m gonna miss traveling on the road with you boys so much. Also, I want to send out a huge thanks to all of the faithful Sideline fans. We love and appreciate every single one of you so much. That being said, we’re gonna ride this thing till the wheels fall off. I do hope each and every one of you follow our future careers and endeavors along the way. Look forward to seeing all of you out there in 2023!”

Songwriter Brink Brinkman said, “So sorry to hear that the incredible band, Sideline, will be disbanding at the end of April.  Sideline has recorded four of my songs over the years: Colors and Crossroads (the title cut of the album), Their Hands Made The Music on the album to benefit the IBMA trust fund, Frozen in Time and also Southern Wind that I co-wrote with my buddy, Terry Foust. I loved every recording! 

“Thank you, Steve Dilling, et al, for trusting my songs for your projects. I’ll never forget it! I wish all the band members the best in the future and hope there is much more music in store for all of the members, current and past. God bless you all and thanks for all the great music.”

Dilling isn’t ready to leave his banjo inside the case just yet. “I’m not going to be done. We’re not done playing, just done touring. Hit me up in two years…”

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.