When the Nashville band Herrick takes the stage during this weekend’s Cheney Jubilee, they won’t be strangers.
Lead singer Donna Herrick grew up in Cheney. Her husband, bassist Kerry Herrick, grew up in Spokane Valley, “back when it was all Spokane,” he said in a phone interview this week.
The group, which also includes guitarist Jefferson Rogers and drummer Zach Ballard, is touring the Northwest in support of their new album, “New Dance,” released in May.
They label themselves “alternative country.” While they’ve lived in Nashville since 1999, their Northwest roots show in their music, Donna Herrick said.
“I love Heart. All the Seattle bands,” she said. “It really influenced my songwriting. … Being from the West, it really helped us in Nashville, it helped set us apart.”
The record is starting to get the band some notice from the Nashville music press. Critics are quick to point to Donna Herrick’s vocals, drawing comparisons to Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Dolly Parton and Faith Hill.
Kerry Herrick also is quick to point to his wife’s singing.
“She has a five octave range. She’s a powerhouse singer,” he said. “You always know it’s her voice when you hear it. She’s very genuine and very sincere.”
Perhaps he’s biased. The couple met on a blind date for a junior high school dance, and have been together ever since.
They get home most summers, and for the past three years have been playing gigs in the area. This past week, they’ve performed at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars and Chewelah’s Chataqua kick-off event. They’re set to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Saturday’s Spokane Indians game, and afternoon sets both Saturday and Sunday at the Cheney Jubilee.
During their time in Spokane, Kerry Herrick will be making a pilgrimage to Zip’s, and the hardcore Zags fans are likely to load up on new Gonzaga basketball gear.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone,” Donna Herrick said. “It’s really cool to come back and see that everything is still the same.”