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For Cherryholmes, it's "black and white"

By John Lupton, July 2007

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Molly has the added distinction of being among the relatively few left-handed fiddlers playing, professionally or otherwise.

"She started out as a right-hander," Sandy says, "I was originally giving violin lessons to her little friend who was about six years old and lived across the street, and Molly had commented a few times that maybe I could teach her violin, and I though that would be fine. And then when we started the group, then I thought well, it only makes sense, it will only help Molly pick it up faster."

"But at first, it was really awkward and slow going. We tried doing the basic things that I was showing her friend and trying to get her to fiddle, and it was awkward for her because she is left-handed."

"So she was kind of just getting sluggish on it, and Jere and I talked and said, you know, she is left handed. Maybe we should just switch the strings and see what happens. So he did, he switched everything over and turned the bridge, and she picked it up real fast, and then she really enjoyed it because the coordination came together. And that was the way she did it. It was just natural for her."

For her contribution to "Black and White," Sandy sings and plays clawhammer banjo on her own song "My True Love," a tune with a nice old time feel that makes for a change of pace - another contrast, as it were.

"I'm probably the one person in the band who really has a feel for the old time music. I love playing clawhammer banjo, I love the old music, and I was able to put something together that would work in the group. A lot of the things that I've done in the past with clawhammer have been for the stage where I've choreographed dance numbers, and I play clawhammer, and everybody dances."

"But we really wanted to try to do something, you know, add a different dimension on the album, so putting together a clawhammer number just seemed like a natural thing to do."

She laughs and recalls that clawhammer banjo hasn't always been part of her repertoire.

"I learned real fast. We were in a desperate situation where we had had the band together for (about a year) and realized that we were getting all these jobs, and we were a bluegrass band without a banjo. We had no banjo at all then."

"So, we started trying to figure out what are we gonna do because eventually someone's gonna catch on, and we're not gonna be getting any jobs as a bluegrass group. So, we had the idea for Cia to learn three-finger, and I would learn clawhammer, and between the two of us, we'd put enough banjo together to qualify as a bluegrass group."

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