Like many dorms, Honors Hall is packed with a wide range of activities and programs that lead to friendships. Some of these friendships turn into bands like The Cherry Street Band.
“All of us, minus Logan, lived in Honors Hall back in 2010,” said Greg Mulley, a West Virginia University graduate student getting a Masters degree in statistics. “The Honors Hall is really cool about having a lot of activities. They had a lot of open mics and we all frequented those.”
Eventually, just from seeing each other play and hanging around, a band was formed.
“Then we started getting a whole lot of noise violations and it rolled from there,” said Greg Mulley, the bass player.
The band picked up the fifth member, the drummer, after about a year of playing and that helped develop their sound.
“We’re pretty general rock,” Mulley said. “The guys like to call it groove rock, but we compare ourselves to older Maroon 5, John Mayer-ish.”
The band progressed from covers to mostly original music and put an album together. They consistently gigged for about two to three years and the drummer announced he would leave. The finale show came and went, but four of the five members are still within driving distance, as they are still in school at WVU, so they decided to regroup.
“It felt natural and there’s no reason not to keep playing,” Mulley said. “Honestly, it works out because we’re really good friends. We’ve played together because we enjoy hanging out and playing music. We’re really good friends, and music just happens to intertwine with that.”
Mulley is very appreciative of the scheduled band practices, as well.
“When you have something set in stone, it’s a nice scheduled time to exhale and take some time to relax and have fun and make something cool rather than being in the library with your nose in a book,” Mulley said. “Not that I’m dissing studying. It’s a crucial part to the college student, but (music) helps just to have a chance to decompress.”
Another excuse to get some bands together is a show, which is what Cherry Street Band is doing with WhiteWater, another WVU-based band who organized the upcoming show.
“We’ve been connected to them for some time because I’ve known them through our hometown, Wheeling,” said John Posey, the guitarist and vocalist for WhiteWater about Cherry Street Band. “They’re fantastic guys and great musicians and they’ve been very very successful in Morgantown.”
Most of the members of both bands are connected by the music program at WVU. In fact, WhiteWater just formed in June because of it.
“We’ve been keeping really busy and working really hard to get up our set and get a good sound and it’s been fantastic,” Posey said. “We’ve had a lot of feedback, a lot of social media attention, a lot more than what I was expecting.”
The sound is definitely a mix of traditional and contemporary bluegrass music. WhiteWater covers Bill Monroe to Nickel Creek and is compiling a collection of original works as well. However, the biggest accomplishment, according to Posey, is how fast the group formed and how well they’re doing.
“I’d say, in such a short time, the biggest accomplishment is coming together as four musicians with very different backgrounds and becoming such good friends and such good bandmates and creating such a high-quality production in a small amount of time,” Posey said. “This is a very new skill, but I haven’t been playing with a group of musicians that I’m happier to work with and work with new material and really be proud with what we’re playing. I look forward to sharing that with whoever wants to listen.”
Posey himself finds bluegrass nicely challenging.
“I come from a jazz background and, in a lot of ways, there’s a lot of similarities between jazz and bluegrass, improv and the atmosphere, but the style of playing is so different,” Posey said. “There’s so much to learn and I’ve really grown to love it.”
WhiteWater is also a great group of musicians to play with, according to Mulley.
“They’re one of my favorite group of guys to play with,” Mulley said. “It’s an excuse to get a group of people to one space.”
Cherry Street Band and WhiteWater play at 9 p.m. tomorrow at 123 Pleasant Street. Tickets are $5.