All Outta Cheese

by | Nov 6, 2006

Madison House Publicity just sent me an email that says what religious readers of Jambase already know–String Cheese Incident plans to hang it up.

After summer 2007, Billy Nershi is leaving The String Cheese Incident to pursue other musical projects. There will be only a limited number of Incidents between now and then. Current plans include Thanksgiving in Atlanta, a New Years Eve blowout in San Francisco, Winter Carnival in Colorado, and a return to Red Rocks. Presently, there are no plans for The String Cheese Incident beyond summer of 2007.

The band would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our friends and fans for all your support.

Nershi does have another band, Honkeytonk Homeslice, but few in the scene are prepared to accept a “corporate” press release from SCI’s manaegment team as gospel. In fact, one commentator on the Jambase thread (jgarcia1) goes on at length about the troubles, on stage and off, Nershi has been struggling with. It’s conjecture, of course, but an interesting perspective nonetheless.

I recently did the Southern run of the recent Cheese tour. I wrote show reviews for Louisville, Roanoke, and the first night of Asheville for Livecheese and my critiques were posted on the site (they’ve since been removed). In the reviews, I took a pretty critical eye to the boys and knew something was seriously amiss with our bearded hero. No stranger to substance abuse, it was not hard to see that Bill was doing too much of whatever he was doing. His playing was highly erratic in Louisville and I pulled no punches in my review. The band seemed highly annoyed with him, with little to no eye contact for awhile, and essentially turned backs by the end. Frankly, it became very disturbing to watch, as my girlfriend and I both welled up with tears watching Bill struggle so badly.

Personally, I stopped listening to SCI a couple of years ago. Music is personal and a person’s taste in music changes as they grow. If I want psychedelic bluegrass I turn to Yonder Mountain String Band for it. If I want something closer to the root, I turn to Jim Lauderdale, Larry Keel, Darrell Scott, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, et al.

On a closing note, Nershi seems to me the most down-to-earth and likeable member of SCI. I’ll be interetsed to see where he goes from here.