Cheryl Wheeler has to be seen to be appreciated. Nothing you read and nothing you hear from her albums prepares you for how good a performer she is.
You may not be familiar with Cheryl, but you have probably heard her music. She is very respected as a songwriter by her peers, which can be seen by how many of them record her songs. Chery's songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Dan Seals, Peter Paul and Mary, Kenny Loggins, Garth Brooks, Suzy Boggus, Melanie, Bette Midler, Maura O'Connell, Sylvia, Kathy Mattea, and Holly Near. If they think she is great, then you owe it to yourself to learn more if you aren't familiar with her.
From her albums you can tell that she is a gifted songwriter with a beautiful voice. From other people's comments about her you can learn that she is a natural story teller with a fantastic sense of humor. But until you see her in person, you never really believe what you've been told about her. Besides, almost half of the songs she does during her shows haven't been recorded!
If your idea of a folk singer/songwriter concert is a bunch of people clapping politely after songs, and then sitting quietly while the performer says things like "This next song is about ...", well, you've never seen a Cheryl Wheeler concert before. That was a joke :^)
Cheryl's concerts are more like what you would find at a comedy club than expect to find at a folk music concert. She will tell a story that has you rolling in the aisles, and then sing a song that leaves you wiping tears from your eyes. She will talk about some serious current event, and then sing a song that will have you howling with laughter. Her entire concert is a emotional roller coaster.
Her set list is usually a crumpled piece of paper with a bunch of song titles. After each song, she'll look at the list and decide what to do next. If somebody calls out a request, and her guitar is in the right key, she might try it, even if she hasn't done it in a while. If she just finished writing a song, she will usually try it out in front of the next audience. If she has two sets back to back, she almost never does the same (or even similar) group of songs.
Her funny stories between songs show as much diversity. Each time she tells a story, it will be a little bit different, so even if you've heard it before, you still find yourself laughing.
To repeat, there is no way you can read about Cheryl and get a good picture of what she or her concerts are like. You have to see one. If she is performing in your area, do whatever it takes to get to her concert. You won't be sorry.
The Sounding Board Coffeehouse (View)
433 Fern Street
West Hartford, CT 06117
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|