PUTNEY -- Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present folk singer, songwriter and comedienne extraordinaire Cheryl Wheeler plus folk/rock sister duo The Nields in concert on Friday at 7:30 p.m., at Next Stage, 15 Kimball Hill.
It has always seemed as if there were two Cheryl Wheelers, with fans of the New England songwriter relishing watching the two tussle for control of the microphone. There is poet-Cheryl, writer of some of the prettiest, most alluring and intelligent ballads on the modern folk scene. And there is her evil twin, comic-Cheryl, a militant trend-defier and savagely funny social critic. As the poet and comic forces join, taking their separate turns and melding into the same artistic vision, Wheeler emerges as a delightful, gifted and openhearted performer.
Poet-Cheryl writes achingly honest songs of love and loss. Her deceptively plain-spun songs have been hits for such mainstream stars as Suzy Bogguss and Dan Seals, and have been recorded by the likes of Bette Midler, Maura O’Connell, Peter Paul and Mary, Kenny Loggins, Holly Near and Garth Brooks. Comic-Cheryl comes on like Groucho-in-a-housecoat; a fiercely everyday woman with a barbed-wire tongue.
In their 20 years together in the music business, Northampton Mass.-based Nerissa and Katryna Nields have produced 15 CDs, three books, a DVD and a thriving children’s music educational empire. They play a mix of original songs and contemporary and traditional folk material.
Tickets are $22 general, $20 for students and seniors available at www.nextstagearts.org and at Offerings. JD McCliment’s Pub will provide a beer and wine cash bar.