A! Magazine for the Arts

What makes a Cherry Bounce?

October 26, 2016

Eric Drummond Smith has been asked many times, "Why name a show about political art "Cherry Bounce"?

"Because I'm Appalachian and this is a show of Appalachian artists, and once upon a time, when Americans still loved elections, when they celebrated them, Appalachian folk would play music and drink and laugh and sing and dance and eat.
"We would exude joy, save some of our finest recipes for this incredibly special time. One of those was a special kind of whiskey called cherry bounce - a glorious, delicious cordial of moonshine and sugar and cherries that takes ages and patience to make well, but when done constitutes a smooth and wonderful punch that helped hillbilly folk dance and laugh and debate easier, even when their candidates and parties lost the race.

"Cherry bounce was the drink of elections in many parts of the mountains, a whiskey for special occasions for a people who once nearly rebelled against the Union over their right to make and sell whiskey in the nation's dawn.

"That is what I want this show to be: a fine liquor, something that adds joy to a proceeding that is serious but also beautiful, something to get my fellow folk talking, debating, reading again, to make elections an object of communion, the thing to talk about at the table, not the thing to avoid.

I think it will work," he says.

Art & politics merge into love letter