PUTNEY -- Twilight Music presents folk singer, songwriter and comedienne extraordinaire Cheryl Wheeler plus contemporary acoustic singer/songwriter Meg Hutchinson at Next Stage, 15 Kimball Hill, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
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 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. Contrasting the prosaic landscapes of her native small-town America with the hopelessly rootless life of the traveling performer, she touches the common chords with any who feel the tug between our busy, noisome times and the timeless longing for simplicity and silence. 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. Shredding the mores of our gossipy, greedy, trend-obsessed culture, Wheeler always aims enough darts at herself to never seem sanctimonious.
Hutchinson is an award-winning songwriter who artfully documents the human condition. Bringing a poet’s sensibility to everyday scenes, she makes the personal universal, allowing people’s stories to come alive through her unique vocals and haunting melodies. Since the release of her Red House Records debut "Come Up Full," she has won praise for her songwriting and has been featured nationally on NPR Music, XM/Sirius Radio and several times on the syndicated show "Mountain Stage." She has won numerous songwriting awards in the US, Ireland and UK, including recognition from John Lennon Songwriting Competition, Billboard Song Contest and prestigious competitions at Merlefest, NewSong, Kerrville, Falcon Ridge, Telluride and Rocky Mountain Folks Festivals. Originally from rural western-most Massachusetts, Hutchinson is now based in the Boston area.
Tickets are $22 general, $20 for students and seniors. For reservations and information, call 802-254-9276. JD McCliment’s Pub will provide a beer and wine cash bar. The concert is presented in conjunction with Next Stage Arts Project.