NEXT AT THE HURDY GURDY
with special guest
May 13, 2017
Cheryl Wheeler is a singer-songwriter with both the sensitivity of a poet and the wit of a comedian and social critic. A talented and openhearted songwriter, she seamlessly melds alluring ballads with songs about the foibles of our society. Her music—from plain-spun songs to barbed commentaries-- reflects folk music’s best traditions.
Cheryl focuses her songs around small familiar images, writing effectively about the joys of a nice day or the pleasures of a drive through back roads in the south. It is music with which her audiences can easily identify. Her songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks, Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Loggins, Kathy Mattea, Melanie, Bette Midler, Holly Near, Maura O’Connell, Dan Seals, and Peter, Paul and Mary, among others.
Born in the small town of Timonium, Maryland, Cheryl launched her career with a toy ukulele and a performance for her mother, who was taking a bath at the time. A year later, she received a real ukulele. When she was a bit older, she acquired her first guitar and learned to play it from a neighbor. She performed in public for the first time at the age of 12, appearing in a Hootenanny-type show. She began writing songs when she was 17 years old.
Cheryl’s first professional gig was at the Steak and Ale Restaurant in Timonium, MD. From there, she went “on the road” to perform in the Baltimore and Washington, DC areas. She moved to New England in 1976 and has lived there every since. She has released 13 CDs and appeared on numerous collections of music.
Born in New York City and raised across the river in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Kenny White began his career in the 1970s, touring exclusively as the keyboard player for Jonathan Edwards and Livingston Taylor, with whom he opened Linda Ronstadt’s legendary, “Living in the USA” tour. He then became a fixture in the NYC studio scene throughout the 1980s and 1990s, producing and arranging literally hundreds of commercials for TV and radio, beginning with “The Unsinkable Taste of Cheerios,” nearly seven years of Chevrolet’s “Heartbeat of America” campaign, and countless ads for the Coca Cola company. Commercial work enabled White to direct artists as renowned and varied as Gladys Knight, Ms.Ronstadt, Mavis Staples, Ricky Skaggs, and Aaron Neville. He even was tapped to conduct a portion of the London Symphony Orchestra for a series of commercials for Greyhound bus lines.
LONG LIST OF PRIORS, his aptly named new album, is the latest collection of original songs: indelible snapshots of the human condition, from heart-wrenching to hilarious and observed with the precision of a diamond cutter. As on his past recordings, Kenny White’s work in the studio enabled him to assemble a who’s who of musicians and guest artists, including David Crosby, Peter Wolf, Larry Campbell, Amy Helm and Catherine Russell, along with his regular band featuring the dexterous Duke Levine on guitar, shape-shifting Shawn Pelton (Saturday Night Live) on drums, and the masterful Marty Ballou on bass. Now add the horns, strings, and other surprising arrangements, and LONG LIST OF PRIORS is a refreshingly original and multi-layered singer-songwriter recording. (He'll be performing for us solo.)