Going back up the timeline to my most recently photographed show: Cheryl Wheeler, with Kenny White, at the Bellows Falls Opera House Lower Theater in Bellows Falls, Vermont. This show was on May 3, 2012, and I’d been looking forward to it since hearing about it early in the year. We’re very lucky to have some strong venues and producers in this area who book some fantastic acts. Charlie Hunter in Bellows Falls is one of those producers. An ardent music fan and supporter through and through (not to mention amazing painter), one can always bank on the fact that his shows are can’t miss events.
I’ve seen Cheryl many times before over the last 20 years, so that made this booking even more exciting because I knew it would be a great treat. Lately, I am more likely to see her at a festival setting, like at Falcon Ridge Folk Fest, so a smaller show in a smaller room was going to be an extra plus. In the last few years, she has had Kenny White at her side for many shows, and it’s no wonder why. Kenny is a fantastic pianist and songwriter in his own right. We were treated to an opening set which showcased all that Kenny has to offer. It’s clear how Cheryl and Kenny work so well together, since he has just as offbeat a sense of humor as Cheryl.
Cheryl herself turned in a classically enjoyable set. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing her before, you can be falling out of your chair laughing at a song’s lead in and then a humorous song itself (like her ode to porta potties) and then in the next moment, have tears from a deeply touching ballad. And having those styles of songs back to back is perfectly natural, never feels out of place. Lately, Cheryl has been writing on and playing a ukulele. While she adds a disclaimer that she hasn’t had it for very long and hardly considers herself to be an actual ukulele player, she certainly seems quite at ease and adept at it. We got three new uke songs, all sure to be classics. I wonder how many pets will be getting named Shutcher Piehole in coming years… 😉 (Don’t even want to think about parents who would name a kid that!)
Oh and for those who enjoy visual art to go with music, check out a fantastic book called Nice Rendition. This is a book full of original calligraphy renderings of many of Cheryl’s songs. The pieces inside are just stunning. You can order it online, or get it at some of Cheryl’s shows. I’m excited that I was able to pick up a copy at this concert, and will be savoring it for a long time to come.