Seeing is Believing
Cheryl Wheeler has to be seen to be appreciated. Nothing you read and nothing you hear from her album prepares you for how good a performer she is.
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 you have never seen her do a live concert, then by all means do so! I get e-mail from people all the time thanking me for spreading the word about Cheryl. They go to the concert knowing they will enjoy it, and often find it even better than they had thought it would be. If she doesn't ever perform near you, then buy her video and see what you are missing. Then make arrangements to be where she is performing soon.
Cheryl's first concert was to a captive audience. She found an old toy ukelele in a neighbor's attic and serenaded her mother who was taking a bath at the time. A year later she got a real ukelele, then finally got her first guitar. She learned guitar from a neighbor, who also taught a group of boys. Each week they would get together and play just about any song they could think of for hours on end. Her first public performance was at a Hootenany type show when she was 12. She started writing songs when she was 17.
She has never had a "Day Job". Her first professional gigs were at the Steak and Ale Restaurant in her home town of Timonium, Maryland. The place only had one PA system; in the middle of her songs you would hear: "Jones, party of four ... Jones, party of four". She finally convinced them to get a second PA system. That was a joke :^)
She performed at venues around Baltimore and Washington DC before moving to New England in 1976, where she now lives. She had a band for a while, but usually performs solo now, or with Kenny White, who often opens and then accompanies her and sings backup. She often appears in the On a Winter's Night tour.
by Bill Pringle
Midtown Arts Center, Theater One (View)
3750 South Mason St.
Fort Collins, CO 80525