ION INDIE MAGAZINE September 2014, Volume 4 - Page 31

JIMMY LEE CHEADLE is the lead guitarist and started playing at age 4. His guitar solos are amazing and are a cornerstone for the Blues sound. NICK CHEADLE is Jimmy's identical twin and has been called “The Utility Man” of the band because of his various musical talents. Nick provides strings, horns and organ, along with other sounds. His talents also include the fact that as a videographer, he records all of Laura's music video work. BEN SMITH is not related by blood to the family (unless you count the blood, sweat and tears that each of the members contribute) and is considered an “honorary Cheadle”. His drum work is admired by many, so his studies of drums and percussions at THE UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS in Philadelphia, PA, must have paid off. Laura Cheadle is a veteran musician in every sense of the word. She started playing music at the young age of 5, singing and playing the piano. With her father’s creation of THE APPRECIATION CHOIR for Gulf War Veterans in the 90's, she toured the region with the family. At age 11, Laura started playing drums, tutored by her father. From ages 11-15, she played in a band with her brothers, playing local hotspots, restaurants, churches, music venues and private parties. Laura taught herself to play, and therefore, has a very unique style that many say they haven't seen before. Her unusual finger positions on the fret board lead to highly unusual cords and a distinct sound. In 2003 she released her acoustic CD “Maybe One Day”, produced and recorded at her father’s studio 9 SOUTH PRODUCTIONS. In February 2004, Laura played for thousands at VH1's “Save the Music Benefit Concert”. In March 2004, she started getting national airplay. Her song “Wrapped Up In You” won the “Two Song Throw Down”--beating more well-known bands such as STAINED, THE FRAY and HELLO GOODBYE. Laura is no stranger to fan vote contests, where she won the chance to perform at THE HOUSE OF BLUES in Atlantic City. And fan vote contests have also propelled her to open for THE SPIN DOCTORS, SISTER HAZEL, THE JONAS BROTHERS and “American Idol” star CONSTANTINE MAROULIS--where she received high praise. Laura and her family band have won a plethora of awards for their music, including “Best Blues Band of the Year” for 2014 by TRI STATE INDIE MUSIC AWARDS and “Best Blues Band” for Ventnor, NJ. SHOWDOWN AWARDS 2014. They have also appeared on NBC's “Next Great Family Band” and 6 ABC's “Tuned In” as the very first “Viewer’s Choice”. Laura was also named a “Super Woman” in SOUTH JERSEY MAGAZINE for her charity work. The band has five albums out, with “Bruised and Soothed” climbing up the charts. There is also an all-Blues Christmas album “I'll Have a Blues Christmas” coming in November. Laura was gracious enough to take time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions. They are as follows: JB: Where did you grow up? Laura: I grew up in a very small town in New Jersey called Pitman. I graduated with very few people and also the same people I knew since kindergarten. It had its advantages and disadvantages, but I was still able to grow up very musical thanks to my family. JB: Why Blues? Why not another genre? Laura: Blues took years for me to really feel believable singing and playing it. I never wanted to sound like a ‘little