Cherrywine marked the return of Ishmael Butler, aka Butterfly, who made considerable waves in the hip-hop world with Digable Planets. DP called it quits in 1996, and Butler returned to his boyhood home of Seattle, where he rediscovered the blues and taught himself to play the guitar, among other instruments. He also dabbled in acting, appearing in Dream Hampton's acclaimed short film I Am Ali. Joining Butler's vocals and guitar in Cherrywine were Thaddeus Turner (guitar, vocals, keys), Gerald "Tugboat" Turner (bass, vocals), and Bubba Jones (guitar, keyboards, vocals). While it was technically a hip-hop project, Cherrywine featured no DJ, didn't rely on straight rapping per se, and often dabbled in neo-psychedelia and deconstructed pop and blues. The debut LP Bright Black dropped in May 2003 from Dcide/Babygrande, and comparisons were made to everyone from OutKast and Prince to Butler's own past in Digable Planets. Cherrywine toured throughout the summer of 2003 in support of the album. ~ Johnny Loftus

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