The bluegrass stars were aligned, and in the audience, for the CD release party for new Americana/bluegrass duo Stetson & Cia last night.
It all took place at the Hard Rock Café in Nashville, TN, and was streamed live via The Acousticana Journal website. Many bluegrass notables including Jim VanCleve, Steve Chandler, Thomas Wyrot, the guys from Monroeville, and Mark Newton were in attendance. Of course Cia’s family, the Cherryholmes, were well represented, with mom and dad (Sandy and Jere) occupying the front row, and sister and co-producer Molly sitting in on a few numbers.
For those who are unfamiliar with these two, the duo was started last year after word went out that the Cherryholmes family would be retiring as a touring group. Their daughter Cia Cherryholmes joined forces with singer/songwriter/guitarist, Stetson Adkisson – and a very condsiderable force they are!
They cemented their harmony and duet chops while working out west on billionaire Ted Turner’s ranch last summer. Adkisson is an elk hunting and fly fishing guide, in addition to his musical skills.
To start the festivities at the Hard Rock, Stetson & Cia were introduced by Dana Williams from country band, Diamond Rio. They kicked off their performance with the song, Folded Arms, from their debut 8 song project. It quickly became clear that both Cia and Stetson are both very accomplished singers, and very capable musicians. I was extremely impressed with the tone and quality of both of their voices. Stetson’s baritone is smooth and honest, at times reminding me of a countrier James Taylor.
Cia cannot hide her bluegrass sensibilities, and she demonstrated tremendous vocal control along with it. I think that – both together and solo – they have a sound that should be perfectly palatable for the mainstream market, and with duo acts like the Civil Wars doing so well, I can see them appealing strongly to that audience.
The evening was filled with original material from their new EP, as well as a Louvin Brothers cover thrown in for good measure. They are a duet after all.
Cia’s sister Molly joined them on cello, violin, and piano for several songs, adding a very tasteful touch to their already strong sound. This was only the duo’s second public performance, and as they continue to become more comfortable on stage together, they are likely to develop an even more powerful presence.
They have a performance on Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour coming in the near future. The new EP can be purchased on their site as well as iTunes and CD Baby.
You can visit their website at www.stetsonandcia.com for more information.
Many thanks to Thomas Wywrot for saving the day with some great photos!