The Killin’ of Kelli Bordeaux from Cumberland County Line

Cumberland County Line is a bluegrass band from Fayetteville, NC led by mandolinist Bob Phillips and his wife, fiddler Sheila Phillips. The two met playing with another regional group, the Bluegrass Fever Band, while Bob was serving on the US Army at Ft Bragg. Now retired, from the Army, the Phillips now perform with CCL, along with Rick Walton on bass, Gerald Bozarth on banjo, Garland Johnson on guitar, and David Hamlet on reso-guitar.

A second single from their recent album releases tomorrow, a true story based on an incident that occurred near where they all live in eastern North Carolina. A young woman disappeared from a local watering hole in 2012, and a man known as a loner and something of an eccentric was suspected of abducting her. But it took police two years of investigating to prove the crime, finally getting the murderer to confess and lead them to her body.

He had overpowered the young woman, Kelli Bordeaux, a soldier at Ft Bragg, and dragged her off to a camp he had back in the woods after agreeing to drive her home. There he beat her until he was dead, and left her body there.

But it gets even more intriguing. The killer, Nicholas Holbert, had a history as a child molester, and it turns out that Kelli had confronted him about his past. Police believe this led to her brutal murder. It was only discovered when an investigator befriended the suspect and convinced him after several months to confess.

The Phillips live just a few miles from where Kelli’s body was found, and followed the story intently while it was the biggest news in town. Bob says it occurred to him that Bordeaux’s tale had all the elements of a typical bluegrass murder ballad, and decided to put it down in that fashion.

The result is The Killin’ of Kelli Bordeaux, the latest single from Cumberland County Line, produced by Skip Cherryholmes.

The single, and the full album, You Can’t Hide Money, are available on CD or download from the band’s web site, and to radio programmers at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.