Known for her comic as well emotionally intense songs, folk singer/songwriter Cheryl Wheeler began playing the guitar and ukulele as a child. An American singer-songwriter of contemporary folk music, based in New England, Cheryl’s music ranges from thoughtful ballads such as “Who Am I Foolin’” to irreverent songs about potatoes, her pets, and the state of the world. In concert, she is known for her self-deprecating sense of humor and stories of life on the road.
Although primarily classified as a folk singer/songwriter, Wheeler has been covered by a number of country music artists, such as Dan Seals, Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, Sylvia, and Garth Brooks, as well as artists as diverse as Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bette Midler, Kenny Loggins, Melanie, Holly Near and cabaret singer D.C. Anderson.
“brilliant, hysterical performances and beautifully crafted songs – rare artist…strong poetry, complex melodies, clever wit.” – SingOut!
Her song “If It Were Up to Me” (which was written shortly after the Jonesboro Massacre), with the closing line “If it were up to me, I’d take away the guns” got nationwide attention shortly after the Columbine High School massacre.Wheeler released that recording into the public domain to exempt radio stations from paying royalties (it was being played every hour near the high school), and Rounder Records ran a promotional campaign to donate money to the Brady Campaign each time the song was played on Adult Album Alternative radio stations.
To date, Wheeler has recorded thirteen folk albums, and has toured extensively throughout the United States. She has been covered by a number of country music artists, such as Dan Seals, Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, Sylvia, and Garth Brooks, as well as artists as diverse as Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bette Midler, Kenny Loggins, Melanie, Holly Near and cabaret singer D.C. Anderson.
Born in Timonium, Maryland, she performed at clubs in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore area, moving to Rhode Island in 1976, where she played at various clubs in the New England area. Jonathan Edwards asked her to tour with him when his bass player became unavailable. He has since produced a number of her albums. Wheeler and her partner, Cathleen, were married in 2004.
“Cheryl Wheeler is an anomaly on the acoustic music scene. She
has a rare gift for writing songs with lush melodies and lyrics of
incredible beauty. On the other hand, she is a master of quick wit.
Her observational humor has brought us a number of songs
describing the utter ridiculousness of the world around us. And
then there is the richness of her silky alto telling us what lies in
the deepest recesses of her songwriter’s heart.”