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Cheryl Wheeler is a folk singer/songwriter. Most people know about her, if at all, from her song If It Were Up to Me, which had a brief period of popularity after the Columbine shootings. But her songs have been covered by the likes of Suzy Boggus, Bette Midler, Melanie, Garth Brooks, Kathy Mattea, and Peter, Paul and Mary.

She has released a number of albums (see discography, below), and tours frequently. Her music is in the same "not-quite-commercial" vein as artists like Christine Lavin, John Gorka, and David Wilcox (among others).

I first encountered her at a free concert in Washington Park, in Albany, NY, and was so taken with both the material and the performance that I have now collected most of her albums and watch eagerly for her to return to the area on stage.

Cheryl has never had a "day job"; her first public performance was on a Hootenany-type show when she was 12, and she started writing her own songs at 17. She began performing professionally in and around her home town of Timonium, Maryland, and expanded to venues in the Baltimore/Washington area before moving to New England in 1976. She now does nationwide tours, usually performing solo.

Her songs are, in a way, typical folk singer material. Many of them are musical portraits of people and places she has known, some of them are autobiographical, and some are about relationships. She also has a number of tremendously funny songs, including Is It Peace or Is It Prozac, Estate Sale, and Potato, in which she describes having gone for a walk in the woods and finding herself with the word "potato" and the tune for the Mexican Hat Dance running through her head. So, she decided to see if she could make up a song with that tune using the word "potato" so that the accents fell on each syllable of the word and ended properly -- that is, on "to".

Her concerts are a mixture of songs and stories; some funny, some touching, some topical, and some fine guitar playing in the process. If your idea of a folk concert is a song followed by polite applause and the performer saying "...and this next song is about...", you owe it to yourself to take in a Cheryl Wheeler concert.


Cheryl Wheeler discography:

  • Newport is Sports (EP) (1983)
    • Newport is Sports
    • Headed for a Heartache
    • On the Beach
    • Summer Fly
  • Live and Otherwise (Promo cassette) (North Star, 1987)
    • Blue Eyes
    • Aces
    • Junk Food
    • Beyond the Lights
  • Cheryl Wheeler (North Star, 1986)
    • Gimme the Right Sign
    • Invisible Lady
    • Addicted
    • Lethal Detective
    • Behind the Barn
    • Paradise in Troubled Waters
    • Your Radio's Up Too Loud
    • Game of Love
    • Quarter Moon
    • Same Old Game
    • Arrow
  • Half a Book (North Star, 1991)
    • Emotional Response
    • I Don't Have the Time
    • I Don't Reach You Any More
    • Tell Him Goodbye
    • In Your Heart
    • Rainin'
    • Half a Book
    • I See Your Eyes
    • Thinkin' of Leavin'
    • Summer Fly
    • Piper
  • Circles and Arrows (Capitol, 1991 and Rounder, 1995)
    • I Know This Town
    • Hard Line to Draw
    • Aces
    • Estate Sale
    • Don't Wanna
    • Northern Girl
    • Soon as I Find My Voice
    • Miss You More than I'm Mad
    • Moonlight and Roses
    • When You're Gone
    • Arrow
  • Driving Home (Rounder, 1993)
  • Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar (Rounder, 1995
  • Sylvia Hotel (Rounder, 1999)
    • His Hometown
    • But the Days and Nights are Long
    • If It Were Up To Me
    • Right Way to Do the Wrong Thing
    • All the Live Long Day
    • Sylvia Hotel
    • Unworthy
    • Rainy Road Into Atlanta
    • Lighting Up the Mighty Mississippi
    • Potato
    • Meow
    • Who Am I Foolin'
    • The Bank

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