Enid Archer has known two things about herself since she was a kid: she wanted to be a singer and an artist. The interactive media and graphic design degree student at Minnesota School of Business is well on her way to becoming both.
Born and raised in central Minnesota, Archer longed for broader horizons. After a bad divorce where she “lost everything but my dog,” she saw the opportunity to start over. “I made a list of towns and cities I wanted to see,” she recalls. “A number of things pointed to Portland, and I removed myself from everyone and everything I’d ever known. I had $1,000 in my pocket and my dog in the backseat of the car.”
The Vancouver/Portland area provided her with challenges—most of them financial—but also opened the door for her to connect to the rockabilly music scene. She had always been intrigued by anything vintage, especially cars, and the ’50s car clubs and the music style are linked.
“Everyone dressed the part,” she says. “Hair in pomps and lots of tats. And everyone was into the [rockabilly] music.”
When circumstances demanded she return to Minnesota, Archer became depressed. “I felt like I failed myself.”
Once she returned, she lamented, “There was no rockabilly scene [here] at all. I got mad and used that energy by voicing it on Craigslist.”
And from that one act, Lola Cherry was born.
Joe Meyer, a local musician, answered her ad and invited Archer to a rockabilly jam session in a St. Joseph barn. “It was a potluck,” Archer remembers, “about 25 people, like a family gathering.” Little did she know, she was auditioning for a new band.
Lola Cherry formed as a combination of rockabilly, jazz, blues and cabaret music. Archer is the lead vocalist with Joe Meyer as bassist, Tom Pattock on trumpet, Leon Laudenbach on guitar and Steve Schifsky on drums. The band recently premiered at Pioneer Place in St. Cloud and nearly sold out the house.
“The cool thing about the band is that nobody around here is doing this!” says Archer.
The St. Cloud Times featured the band in a cover story, and Lola Cherry has gigs booked in central Minnesota and the Twin Cities throughout the spring.
Meanwhile, Archer pursues her interactive media and graphic design degree with her ultimate goal being one of marketing and “creating an image that speaks.” She and a former boyfriend created the poster for Lola Cherry’s St. Cloud debut together.
Archer looks forward to the future. And about the past?
“One of the biggest lessons of the last year is to accept help,” says Archer. [It’s] hard for me.”
But with a little help, Archer is well on her way to making both of her childhood dreams come true.