Baltimore songwriter, ellen cherry (intentionally lowercase), applied for unemployment in May of 2004 after the accounting firm for which she worked downsized. It was the beginning of her life as a full-time, professional musician.
To celebrate the anniversary, cherry will perform tomorrow, May 29th at Metro Gallery in Station North backed by a band that includes multi-instrumentalist Ben Frock. With the help of Frock, cherry re-worked several songs off of her 2008 album, Heart of a Lion. Those tracks, paired with a few other new tunes, will be part of a 90 minute set that includes a full-band show.
“I’ve always liked this album [Heart of a Lion],” said cherry, “But these are the songs when they were just born  and it would be cool to hear them a little more matured.”
Frock listened to the album and a chose five tracks to re-interpret. Those songs, plus one unreleased track, will make up the EP, Anthrawfony, which cherry plans to release in the fall. The title is the phonetic spelling of the word “anthrophony,” meaning human produced sound.
Since the mid 90s, cherry has been recording and performing, becoming a well-known singer/songwriter with a penchant for history – intertwining historical events with catchy melodies with distinct pop sensibility. Her last record, 2012’s Please Don’t Sell The Piano, was produced by fellow songwriter Caleb Stine, and uses her childhood baby grand as a centerpiece. In 2010, cherry began working on a full-scale re-imagining of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with jazz artist and writer, Sandy Asirvatham. The project came to fruition in October when cherry, Asirvatham, and several other Baltimore musicians performed Mobtown Moon live at Goucher College. In early 2013, cherry was in a car accident in Texas while on tour, requiring a long, painful recovery. Her first show, after recuperating from her injuries, was last spring at Metro Gallery, making tomorrow’s show even more special.
In 2015, cherry and Asirvatham plan to re-vamp Mobtown Moon, performing the album in its entirety once again, for a Baltimore audience. You can buy a copy of the album on the Mobtown Moon bandcamp.
The Thursday night (May 29) show is $10 and starts at 7:30 at Metro Gallery with Mink Hollow opening followed by cherry at 8:30 – first with just a guitar and piano and then with Frock and friends. Stay tuned for more on Anthrawfony, which will be out in the fall.
Here is an episode of Listen in with ellen cherry featuring Ben Frock:
*Author Taylor DeBoer grew up in the Baltimore area and studied Writing and Sociology at Loyola University Maryland. He is a local writer, music lover, and edits a website that he co-founded, Manikmusic.net. Follow him on Twitter at TayDeBoer23