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""Takes things apart and puts them together in new and unique ways""

Jerry Cherry is a rocker with heart. And Life is Sweeter... is a debut album that documents his life experiences in New York City and his many years of playing guitar and writing songs. He's got the experience to write about too.

Born in Brooklyn and moving to Ft. Lauderdale at age 6, he learned how to play guitar before high school and was playing gigs in high school. So he was honing his skills for a long time before he was ready to think about making an album.

Life is Sweeter... includes eleven songs that tell stories of a life well lived. Loves gained and lost, trying to fit into NYC after being in Florida for many years, and finding meaning in his life. And with songwriting being an intense personal form of expression, Jerry says "For the most part I have to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown in order to write." Of this album, he says that "creativity for me is almost like therapy."

Jerry formed a band in 2003 and has been playing all over NYC and opening for artists such as Buckcherry and The Fixx. Jerry recently even played lead guitar as a member of Chubby Checker's band on CBS and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his 2008 hit, "Knock Down the Walls".

The album itself is a series of stories told through music and lyrics - from moving back to the big city, to trying to get the girl, to fitting in — it's all there. You can hear his many influences, from punk to rock, including David Bowie, Elvis Costello, AC/DC, The Verve, The White Stripes, Radiohead, and more.

You can definitely hear the Elvis Costello influence in "Big City Life," where he sings about adjusting to the craziness of living in the big city where everybody's just trying to escape from it.

And he struggles to get the girl in "Lancelot" - "If I were Lancelot I'd steal her from King Arthur / And I would never let her go, / I am Romeo and she's my Juliet / A love that will never die." Great lyrics about getting and keeping the girl. I can definitely identify with the sentiment!

But he also has a soft side, as he shows with "Turned Around" and "Slip" with beautiful guitar and great lyrics. Jerry not only struggles with finding love, but feeling like it's deserved. Common themes for the common man.

Jerry and his band can definitely rock. "Punished" definitely has a Radiohead vibe. "Freakshow" has an AC/DC-style bass line at its heart.

But Jerry Cherry is about more than mimicking his many influences. He takes things apart and puts them together in new and unique ways, paying his respects to the classics - like "Worst Looking Man" which has a sweet rockabilly vibe.

Life is Sweeter... is a fun album, full of songs I'd love to hear played live for fans young and old. Be sure to check out his website at!

-- by Brian Fitzpatrick - Blogscritics Magazine

"CD & show - superb experiences!"

Jerry Cherry - Featured artist for November 2008

I first got to know Jerry Cherry via the now defunct Late Night at Rockwood Music Hall mayhem. He always seemed to have an original approach to his song; some trick up his sleeve (when he wasn't stripping his shirt off, that is). My first impression was, well, a bit of a WTF?

It was a little bit of a surprise, then, when he dropped his CD on me, and when I got to see him perform properly with his band. Both superb experiences.

What also struck me is how much on the scene Jerry is. He's always out checking on and supporting other musicians, and always with flyers for his next show, always promoting. Time for Indie Sounds to find out more ...

Indie Sounds:Jerry Cherry is ... a man, a band, or both?

Jerry Cherry: I would have to say both. Even though I’m the driving force behind it, I have to give a lot of credit to the musicians that I play with. The band brings my music up to a creative level that I would never be able to do on my own. My cellist Xue Yang has also been writing string arrangement for my songs that are so beautiful. She is so gifted and I’m so lucky to have met her.

IS: So tell us about James Giamundo got his start in life and got into music?

Jerry: I had a very unusual childhood. I moved around a lot when I was very young. My mother was a very free spirited woman with a very wild heart. Growing up in that type of atmosphere and performing my first show when I was 14 at a bar she owned called Cookies Place gave me my start in the biz.

I also lived with my grandparents for a while as a kid. My grandfather always had an acoustic guitar lying around. As a kid, probably around seven, I loved to bang on the strings while crawling on the ground. I guess some things never change. AC/DC, Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne. Those bands did it for me. My mom took me to see AC/DC on my 11th birthday. I knew then that there was nothing else I would ever do but music and perform. I had a very supportive family growing up. My hair was down to my ass when I was 14. I got whistled at a lot.

More can be found at: - Indie Sound NY - Nov 08

"Jerry's debut in Washington DC"

(Large photo featured to preview performance at Washington DC Convention Center on Jan. 10, 2009)

Indie-Rock, Juicy Couture
Good for you, too. What could be sweeter than a summer treat in the dead of winter? Indie singer-songwriter-guitarist Jerry Cherry can tell you. He comes to D.C. on Saturday at the NBC DC Winter Jam at this year's Health and Fitness Expo. The free show (he goes on at 1pm) offers a nice way to get some aerobic exercise bopping around to Cherry's tasty tunes. - Washington Post - Express (Jan. 8, 2009)

""Classic, sexy rocker with a hint of 'anything can happen.'""

B. J. Barrett, New York City's "Famous Tastemaker" added Jerry Cherry to her "Best of 2008" compilation CD. This is what she writes about Jerry in her entertainment blog:

As much as I like it, I'm not sure if the CD "Life is Sweeter" does him justice -- Don't get me wrong, the CD is fine, it's just that this is a guy that must be seen live to fully appreciate the Jerry Cherry appeal. Classic, sexy rocker with a hint of 'anything can happen'. The song I've chosen here, "Freakshow" harkens back to straight up rock songs like "I Love Rock and Roll". It's a fun addition to my otherwise mellow singer/songwriter selections.

--posted Dec. 18, 2008 - B. J. Barrett (NYC Tastemaker)

"Pop-Punk Cherry Tastes Just Right"

What was the moment that you realized you weren’t cool? Mine was when I showed up to the first day of the sixth grade, really proud of my brand new brown clogs, and gorgeous blond John Graham turned to me and said right to my face, “Those are the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen.” Thankfully I had the mind to say right back to him, “Well, you’ve got the ugliest face I’ve ever seen, but you don’t hear me complaining.” My ego may have been spared, but right then I knew my place, and it was at the bottom of the ladder.

After several years of intense self-deprecation, I decided to embrace my anti-cool status by being as purposefully uncool as I could, and listening to unpopular music was one of my nerd ways. While everyone on the soccer team had tickets to Lollapalooza (which in hindsight probably would have been really awesome), my dork friends and I flocked to the Warped Tour every year to be amongst the other misfits and self-proclaimed rebels. And what was great about Warped Tour was that the music was loud and crazy and counter-culture, but still palatable to our naïve teenage sensibilities. It was pop punk - whatever that means.

Life is Sweeter… is the perfect coming of age tale of the naïve teenage pop-punk-loving nerd. Now adults, we’ve scratched our Further Seems Forever and Lit CD’s into oblivion, and are looking for something with substance to fill their void without having to schlep to Asbury Park on the hottest day in August, only to have Yoo-hoo thrown on us by some kid wearing checkered suspenders. And that’s where Jerry Cherry comes in.

Older, wiser, and seemingly not in it for the money or the fame or the chicks (well, maybe the chicks), Cherry offers up a mature, intelligent brand of that old familiar genre. Though more pop than punk, songs like “Big City Life” and “Freakshow” take the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-chorus formula and rip it a new one by introducing subtle yet precise key and tempo changes and including guitar solos that humbly shred. David Lee Roth would “Jump” at the Jerry Lee Lewis throwback “Worst Looking Man,” with lyrics that are a direct tribute to the 1984 Van Halen classic.

A gilded horn solo that floats gracefully over its catchy hook highlights “Lancelot,” a smooth, catchy love song that you won‘t be able to get out of your head. “Slip,” “Turned Around,” and “The Meaning,” feature sophisticated string arrangements, and “Fit In” is an honest piano-based ballad reminiscent of Keane’s “Nothing in My Way,” only with more striking melodies.

It’s clear from the content of his music and the album art itself that Cherry doesn’t take himself too seriously, which can be the demise of so many talented individuals. But at times you get the sense that his self-esteem does not commensurate with his ability. Could he too be just another geek rising up from the cool-kid-fanned embers of the fire of self-doubt? Each song is full-bodied and impeccably produced, with discerning instrumentation. Sure, the lyrics are basic, and he probably says, “Hey, girl!” too much for some people’s taste (see "Worst Looking Man" again). But every word he sings is honest and accessible, and when he croons “I’ve made my decision, now I have to live with it” during “Hello, My Dear,” you really believe him. Here’s hoping that when Cherry shows up to his high school reunion and his former classmates ask him what he’s been up to, that he proudly announces in his deep, powerful voice that he’s written, recorded, and produced a solid album, all on his own.

Somewhere in the liner notes, Cherry writes, “This album may not be a smash. It may not be a hit today, tomorrow, not the next year or two. But hopefully it will hit someone’s heart.” Mission accomplished, JC, and you have yourself and John Graham to thank for that. I think he’s in jail now.
- Boog City, Feb 08

"“Life Is Sweeter…”"

I first met Jerry Cherry (born Jerry James Giamundo) early winter 2006. He was walking into the Engine Room Recording Studio with a paper bag full of red wine. He told me he was getting ready to finish his vocal tracking, the red wine fueling his inspiration and relaxing his mind and body. He struck me as an interesting man, full of healthy light-hearted conversation wrapped in a dark, almost icy exterior. A walking paradox, a cherry, so to speak, covered in bittersweet chocolate.

As spring came and went, I got a chance to get to know a bit about Jerry. During breaks in his mixing, we would converse about things like old Bowie records, such as “Scary Monsters” and “The Man Who Sold the World”, and top 40 hits of the 90’s. He was all art and pop, art versus pop.

On the cusp of his debut album release, Jerry opens up about “Life is Sweeter…” and his future as an East Village Artist.

ENGINE ROOM AUDIO: Born in Brooklyn, growing up in Florida, what made you want to come back to NYC?
JERRY CHERRY: I moved to Florida when I was 6. I guess I retired early. Kidding. I played in a few bands throughout my life there and met some really great talent. I had no idea really what the New York scene was all about till I checked it out and saw that there was a real community of artists, musicians, actors, and filmmakers. The endless inspiration that is available is what made me come back.

ERA: How did your Florida life influence your music? How about the move to NYC?
JC: I got into my first band when I was 15. We were called No Reazen. The guitarist and drummer I played with were amazing players. They were a few years older than me. They also know a lot of musicians that later became great friends and, in my opinion, some of the most amazing talents I've ever heard. That triggered me to be better. Ultimately, there is no scene there like there is here in NYC. Everything is so spread out in Florida. I love New York for its small, intimate places to its larger venues, where someone is playing somewhere every night.

ERA: What drew you to Engine Room to record your album?
JC: Two of my good friends recorded their album there (at Engine Room), Jamie Rae, and Dan Torres. I liked the way their album sounded and I knew I could get the job done here. I didn’t want to deal with some flaky company I didn’t know. I wanted to work at a place where I knew I could get in and get it done.

ERA: What was the most difficult part of your creative process?
JC: Realizing that I had to re-sing most of the record. Once the mixing process took place, I noticed that everything sounded amazing, except for the vocals. They weren’t good enough to me. I had to hear the music mixed the way it was to finally realize how the vocals should sound and how they should blend with everything. Much like another instrument. It was easier to re-sing everything knowing how I needed to approach it. It’s like recording guitar, once you get your sound you just play. It’s the same as singing. Once you get your sound, you just sing. I had to learn patience. Recording though the winter was easy. I felt like I could schedule anytime, everyday.

ERA: You said to me that you think it’s ironic that now that your record is done, you’ve already changed; that the same Jerry Cherry who is on “Life is Sweeter…” is now a different person, and that the music (creatively speaking) is behind where you are now. So where are you now? Can your current self relate to the album? If not, what does that mean to your creative ambition?
JC: "Life Is Sweeter..." was my first record. I learned so much from that process. I put everything into that record. Those songs mean a lot to me. I needed the record to be as perfect as I could make it. Perfect meaning that if I'm an artist, here is my work. Do you feel the emotion in these songs? Can you relate to them? These songs were all I had for 9 months. I lived in them. Now they’re done. Now, I’m different. I felt like I was a bit safe with the songs and the performances. That had a lot to do with the writing of them. I will grow as a songwriter and by doing that I will become braver with my approach. Push it to the limit. I need to leave my mark on this world. Make a big explosion and let the cherries fall where they may. I'm trying to figure out how to perform these songs live. They’re so emotional. You have to put everything into it to make it go over. I do very much relate to "Life Is Sweeter..." now, and I always will. I have to live. That’s the only thing that can make you creative. Something has to happen in your life, something sweeter, something you don’t ever expect. Next thing you know you’re in it.

ERA: What’s the next step for Jerry Cherry?
JC: Prey that people like my album. Get as many people to hear it. All I can do is put it out there. There’s no denying it. People love it so far. I've gotten nothing but positive feedback on it. I know the industry's much more than being creative. Unfortunately, I have to put on my business hat and sell, sell, sell. I’m playing shows around town, fine-tuning the band. Getting the act down tight. Someone told me once that it’s better to be prepared and never get a chance than to get a chance and not be ready. Either way I'm ready.

For More Information on Engine Room Audio check out or - Chris McMillen, Oct 07

"Jerry Cherry. #8 of Top 10 list of 2007"

You either 'get' Jerry Cherry or you don't. I have to admit, it took a little while for me. He's got his own style for sure, and an on-stage persona that reminds one of the days when bands were true performers. And his debut CD Life is Sweeter proves he can put down some great songs.

There's something else too. I probably see Jerry around the scene, checking out other performers, more that I see anyone else. Whenever I bump into him, he'll have a flier for his next show to give me, a question about something he's thinking about, and usually a comment about the act he's seeing.

He's trying for sure, and it's working.

Pete Harris

And, last but not least, Jerry Cherry, though tempted, refrains from jumping on the tables at the Rockwood, while entertaining everyone at Late Night on Wednesday nights. Catch his next full band show at Snitch on December 20th, 10pm

Lauren Jonik - Indie Sounds NY, Jan 08

"Jerry Cherry about late night"

And sometimes, that aspect of having fun has facilitated the unexpected. Jerry Cherry recalls the incident that lead to him being temporarily banned from Late Night. "I was standing up on that stage with the microphone and seeing everybody out there. All of a sudden, the tables reminded me of stage wings, like at a Madonna concert, so I jumped on the table to get to be closer to the audience and higher." Fortunately, the ban was lifted in subsequent weeks when Basile asked Cherry if he had a song ready to play, with the caveat of "no tables." - Indie Sounds NY, Feb 08

"The L Word"

In both art and in life, there are things that deserve a deeper look. While the shiny surface captures the attention at first glance, just beneath there often lies a deeper world waiting to be discovered. Such is the case with the music of Jerry Cherry. While charismatic in his live performances, Cherry’s persona on stage tells only a part of the story.

Beginning his musical career in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jerry Cherry has been playing the guitar since he was a teenager. “Listening to hard rock and heavy metal as a kid growing up, I just wanted to be a guitarist. I just liked the way it sounded and I thought it was cool,” he explains. When he was 13, his mother bought him an amp “and there went the neighborhood,” he continued. When Cherry was seventeen, he studied for three months with one of the original guitar players in Miami Sound Machine. “The teacher I had was very good and very knowledgeable. He was a jazz and theory person and I still use what he taught me.”

After playing in bands for several years in south Florida, three years ago Cherry decided that it was time for a change and relocated to NYC. Inspired by the energy of the city and the sense of a creative community that he discovered while visiting, Cherry says, “It’s such a good creative place. Everybody here is doing something artistic.” Cherry soon began connecting with other musicians and began hosting an open mic night at the Satellite Bar. It was there that he crossed paths with singer/songwriter Dan Torres for whom Cherry eventually started playing guitar. In addition, it provided a convenient forum for Cherry to test out new material of his own that he was working on. “It was a good experience to get up there and have a stage and sound and an audience to play new songs in front of. I wrote so much then.” Four of the eleven songs on Cherry’s debut CD, “Life Is Sweeter…” were written during that time.

For Jerry Cherry, the songwriting process always starts out with an emotion that needs to be expressed. As he explains, “it’s that little feeling that makes the hair on your arms stand up.” And, in his estimation, best songs usually happen quickly. “It’s really fast. The best ones come just like that. When you have an emotion, it is best to capture it while you can. Once you leave it, it’s never the same. It’s something else.” When writing, Cherry says that, “I’ll come up with something musical and once I have some kind of frame work, I put words into it. The words are very important. They’re trying to tell a story of the emotion that you’re trying to share. You want to capture that feeling forever in time.”

When performing, Jerry Cherry exudes a natural presence and embodies the ideal of pouring your all into the moment and into what you’re doing. “I can be crazy on stage, but at the same time, I have very pretty, melodic, slow songs too that have to be sung and delivered the right way. I’m still finding the way that I want to perform the songs. I don’t like to be this thing that needs to be watched. I feel like maybe I should be drawing energy between everybody.” Cherry’s philosophy on performing is simple: “As early on as you can, think about what you’re doing and why you’re there. Forget about trying to be perfect. Be authentic and try to get to the heart of the song.” In his experience, “the only way to get better at it is to do it. It’s not even about practice, but more of how you are in the game itself.”

Indeed, sometimes being in the game can lead to rather unexpected moments, like temporarily being banned from playing at The Rockwood Music Hall’s very cool Late Night event on Wednesday nights where some of the best and brightest local musicians play cover songs from a pre-determined year each week. For weeks, I would play a song and I would jump up onto the tables. It was like a Madonna concert to me. The way they had the tables was like long wings that run out into the audience. People were loving it week after week until the owner Ken Rockwood told me “no more tables.” But, when I was playing my song and saw that Ken wasn’t there, people began egging me on. The next thing I knew, I was on the table with the microphone screaming,” he says with a chuckle. “ I didn’t get to play the next week. But when I returned the following week and the host Matt Basile asked if I had a song ready, I was so happy. Once you’re on stage and in the moment, it’s hard to have rules,” he starts before adding, “Though I don’t jump on the tables there anymore.”

Whether singing sweet ballads or table-top dancing, Jerry Cherry defines his work: “When you listen to my music, you’ll see it’s about life, love, happiness and respect for everybody. What you’re digging for as an artist is to be closer to who you are really, truly. The more I get out there and do it, the braver I get and I want that to be in my music. His CD, “Life Is Sweeter…” is due to be released in the Fall of 2007.

Lauren Jonik

- Indie Sounds NY, Sept 07


Debut CD "Life Is Sweeter..." (self-produced by Jerry Cherry and mixed by Mike Rogers, who also produced "Groove is in the Heart" (Deee-Lite) and "Wiggle It" (2 in a Room)



Jerry Cherry is the product of many factors. Take a New York via Florida via Brooklyn artist and add a generous dose of only the finest influences. Bowie. The Verve. Elvis (both The King and Costello). The White Stripes. AC/DC. Add plenty of heartfelt emotion - the sort of heartfelt emotion that only comes from living life. Take songs rooted in the blues, in folk, and rockabilly but filter them through a cello and violin, a trumpet and trombone. Add other influences such as the immeasurable draw of New York City and the trials and wantings of love. Take an appeal broad enough to burn up both Top 40 charts and indie internet radio stations. This is Jerry Cherry.

That Jerry Cherry is a quintessentially New York artist is not surprising but the route he took was not a traditional one. Born in Brooklyn, he moved with his family to Fort Lauderdale at the age of six. He picked up guitar before he was a teenager and started to gig in high school. After honing his talents as both a guitar player and as a songwriter for several years, Jerry moved back to New York in 2004. His experiences in New York City are the basis of his debut album, "Life Is Sweeter...", a song-cycle that condenses a year's worth of love and living in the city into a catchy and powerful 11 song album. "I lived it" Jerry says about his album and time in New York, which even included an appearance on the reality TV Show, Matched In Manhattan. "Life Is Sweeter..." was produced by Jerry himself and was mixed by multi-platinum engineer Mike Rogers (John Lennon, Sinead O'Connor, They Might Be Giants, Chubby Checker). Speaking of Chubby Checker, Jerry Cherry has spent much of the last year criss-crossing the country as Chubby Checker’s lead guitarist, including live performances on NBC and CBS.

Songwriting is an intensely personal form of expression for Jerry Cherry. "For the most part I have to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown in order to write." Of his album he says that "creativity for me is almost like therapy." Since forming his band in 2003, Jerry Cherry has been letting New Yorkers share in his own form of therapy all over his city, performing at well known venues such as Arlene's Grocery, The Knitting Factory, The Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall, and Piano's. He has also opened for artists such as Buckcherry, Better Than Ezra, Chubby Checker and The Fixx. The past year has seen Jerry Cherry perform at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas and make appearances on nationally televised music programs such as The Daily Buzz and Fearless TV. His single Freakshow, has received airplay on Fuse TV and placed 8th out of over 1,100 entries on the OurStage Rock charts. The future is exciting for Jerry Cherry as he sees just how far the swell of grassroots support for "Life Is Sweeter..." will take him.