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Cheryl Wheeler

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk.


Most recent album, Half a Book (compilation, 2016)

See also:

Cheryl Wheeler's site

Wikipedia's entry on Cheryl Wheeler

Cheryl Wheeler's Facebook page


Patty Larkin, Susan Werner, Dar Williams, Christine Lavin.

Covers/own material:

All original material.

General comments:

Cheryl Wheeler has been a mainstay of the US folk scene for almost 25 years. Combining an ability to write heartbreakingly beautiful ballads with a hilarious sense of humour, Cheryl is a tremendously gifted all-around performer. Her ballads, often beautiful enough to move the listener to tears, have been covered by many artists (Suzy Bogguss had a #1 hit with Cheryl's song "Aces"), while her funny songs, which are unfortunately rarely recorded, make her live shows absolutely riotous. If you get the chance I definitely recommend seeing this wonderful woman live. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Folk girl with guitar from New York City (I think). She's in the Christine Lavin clique, and I think she sometimes fills in as a guest Bitchin' Babe. While I've never seen her live, I hear her between-song stories are positively hysterical, and some people think she could have a career as a stand-up comic. But she makes some nice acoustic music, and has a nice voice. I would never buy an entire album, but that's just me. (

Cheryl Wheeler has a strong voice and great humor on stage. (

Cheryl Wheeler's music is on the country side of folk, often with funny lyrics á la Christine Lavin. (Two funny Cheryl songs I love: "Estate Sale," from Circles and Arrows, and "Is It Peace Or Is It Prozac?", from Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar.) She has a warm, resonant voice, although sometimes she's a little too twangy for my taste (often, I think, for satirical effect). (

Comments about live performance:

Cheryl Wheeler was her usual hilarious self. She started off with "The Potato Song", which is the single silliest piece of music I've ever heard. It's the "Mexican Hat Dance" with the chorus consisting of the word "potato" sung with different emphasis on each syllable, always ending on the "to". It has to be heard to be believed. Then later on she did some of the very serious songs for which she's also known—she's always been an interesting dichotomy, making you roll in the aisles between songs and then killing you with the songs themselves. She's kind of like Susan Werner that way, come to think of it. (c. 1998)
     We saw her on the mainstage and in a few workshops at Falcon Ridge this weekend, and she was every bit as hilarious as ever. I don't own any of her albums, nor do I plan to (unless she puts out a live album)—for me her songs are far secondary to what goes on in between them on stage. (7/99,

I just saw cheryl wheeler last night here in chicago and she is every bit as entertaining as I had expected. *Not* to be missed. (

Wheeler has one of the best senses of wry humor of any singer songwriter I have heard. No one else in my experience has been quite so successful in cramming songs and banter about cats, the news, potatoes (to the tune of the Mexican Hat Dance), outhouses and much more into a single show. (

Recommended first album:

Driving Home


  • Newport Songs (EP, 1983
  • Cheryl Wheeler (1986)
  • Live and Otherwise (live ep, 1987)
  • Half a Book (1991)
  • Circles & Arrows (1990)
  • Driving Home (1993)
  • Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar (1995)
  • Sylvia Hotel (1999)
  • Different Stripe (compilation)
  • Defying Gravity (2005)
  • Pointing at the Sun (2009)
  • Greetings: Cheryl Wheeler Live (feat. Kenny White) (live, 2012)
  • Half a Book (compilation, 2016)

Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar

Release info:

1995—Rounder Records—1192


Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for folk fans

Group members:

Cheryl Wheeler

Guest artists:

Al Peteway, Kenny White, Jonathan Edwards, John Jennings, Jon Carroll, Robbie Magruder, Jonatha Brooke (the Story)

Produced by:

Jonathan Edwards and Cheryl Wheeler


I wanted to put a plug in for Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar. The last time I liked an album this much on the strength of first listen (which was enough to make me listen to it on repeat many times more :) was Susan Werner's Last of the Good Straight Girls. Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar came in first (with 29 votes, if I recall correctly) in a recent poll on the folk_music mailing list. I bought the album on the strength of this recommendation and love every second of it!
     It's got funny songs (" it peace, or is it Prozac? I don't care, no need to know that...") and lots of sad weepy songs, including a couple of environmental awareness ones and lots of the usual love variety. :) Also, there's a guy with an absolutely *gorgeous* voice singing on a few songs—Jonathan Edwards. Oh, and Jonatha Brooke pops up lovely in a few places too. Great album. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Thanks to Sherlyn Koo for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2022-08-26 15:58:55.
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