Almost Acoustic Christmas: Photos, recaps, interviews, and more!

Celebrating its 12th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicks off on January 8th with eight weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band and a performance slot at the 2013 OC Music Awards, March 9th at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Long before the OC Music Awards season had started this year, I had followed Cherokee Fade/Kevin Yoches on Instagram and Twitter. Last year, after interviewing Yoches and the rest of his band in the Snakebit Drifters (who are also competing this year), I discovered by clicking around that the multi-talented musician was composing music in a lush, lo-fi duo called Cherokee Fade with his beautiful counterpart, Erin Rose Belair.

Over the last year, their social media was flooded with pictures that ignited immense jealously to the core of my gypsy wanderlust, perfect little vignettes befitting the narrative style of Cherokee Fade’s intimate songwriting. Cherokee Fade has mastered the art of captivating storytelling no matter the medium.

Since Belair is also a writer, it was decided that the full energy of Cherokee Fade could only be captured through the way I first experienced it: personal captions, gorgeous photography, and their music has the soundtrack. From here on out, all words are Belair’s own.

Cherokee Fade started in the summer or 2011 right before we broke up for the first time. Our fist album, Waking Up Is Hard To Do, was written under the pretense that it was the end of a lot of things. Turns out it was just the beginning. A year and a half later we are putting out our second album, booking tours, and playing in the OCMA’s. In the end we got back together.

cherokeefade2 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

Nearly every picture you have seen or will see of us was taken by Jenavieve Belair, my sister. We are so lucky to have her around. Sometimes I don’t really give her a choice but to help us. In the end we are all in this together. This picture was taken on our way up to San Francisco for a show in the city. It was off the five where the orchards start to line the highway. I think it’s magical.

cherokeefade3 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

We spent part of 2012 traveling in the east through Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This picture was taken after we climbed to the top of Sigiriya to see the ancient ruins. It was so crazy hot out. The heat, the magic, the history, the long bus rides and the foreign cities of that trip inspired us to begin writing our second album. Sometimes all it takes is a new perspective to get started.

cherokeefade4 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

Taken on the set of our “Over and Over Again” video shoot at a scummy motel in Costa Mesa. It was the first music video we ever made. Erin Rose had an idea and beyond that we were really clueless to the whole process. The video was shot during a particularly interesting and hard time in our relationship. This picture was snapped in between takes and captured a moment that I doubt either of us will ever forget.

cherokeefade5 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

This was the announcement for our fall tour through the Pacific Northwest and into Canada. This picture was actually taken in Marin County, in August, before Kevin’s brothers wedding. We don’t always look so fancy but we sure do clean up nice.

cherokeefade6 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

On the road during our Fall Tour, 2012, somewhere between hither and yon. A typical pit stop for us involved Erin Rose eating fresh fruit and Kevin picking up some ice cream. We camped all across the Pacific Northwest and through Canada. We ended up with a lot of new friends, new songs, a lot of stories, and a new tattoo. Everywhere we went the roads seemed to follow rivers and creeks. This journey tied up the writing process of our sophomore album and gave us the inspiration for its title: Creek Don’t Rise.

cherokeefade7 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

This is a truly candid shot. We were just sitting down for lunch. Every time I look at it I smile. It reminds how good things can be when you take care of them. Someone once told me. “Love is like a child, you really have to tend to it and make sure it doesn’t die.” They were right.

cherokeefade8 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

Erin has been obsessed with making this music video for almost a year now. This is a still shot from some footage we did in the desert off the five heading up north. One of our favorite parts about making music is collaborating with other artists to make videos. We have so many talented friends that the possibilities seem endless. This new album will be a great exploration of this avenue. We are really looking forward to the video projects we have in store.

cherokeefade9 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

It hardly ever rains here in Orange County. I remember it well because I was so cold and soaking wet. I actually got wet in the shower and then went into the rain. That’s just asking for a cold. Jenavieve insisted we got out there though. We are still thankful because this is one of our favorite shots of us. I love that I am soaking wet and he’s got the umbrella. I think the picture says a lot.

cherokeefade10 OC Music Awards 2013: Cherokee Fade Serenade Us With Their Golden Melody

This picture was taken outside of our recording studio in Costa Mesa. We were filming, “For Richard or Poor,” a song off our new album in promotion for a local show. We have spent the end of 2012 and the start of 2013 locked away in the studio getting the album wrapped up. We are really proud of this one. We spent close to a year writing these songs. This record will be fuller and more elaborate than the first but we still want to stay true to our simplistic nature.


Learn more at Cherokee Fade’s Facebook and Twitter.

The 2013 Showcase Series runs every Tuesday night, January 8th-February 26th with stops at:

Jan 8 – Detroit Bar

Jan 15 – The District at Tustin Legacy

Jan 22 – The Slide Bar

Jan 29 – Constellation Room

Feb 5 – Tiki Bar

Feb 12 – Founders Hall

Feb 19 – Yost Theater

Feb 26 – House of Blues-Anaheim




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