It has always seemed as if there were two Wheelers, with fans of the New England songwriter relishing watching the two tussle for control of the microphone. There is poet-Wheeler, writer of some of the prettiest, most alluring and intelligent ballads on the modern folk scene. And there is her evil twin, comic-Wheeler, 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-Wheeler 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 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-Wheeler 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 high 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 United States, Ireland, and United Kingdom, including recognition from the 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 westernmost Massachusetts, Hutchinson is now based in the Boston area.
The concert is presented in conjunction with Next Stage Arts Project. JD McCliment’s Pub will provide a beer and wine cash bar. For more information visit www.cherylwheeler.com, www.meghutchinson.com or www.twilightmusic.org. Ticket cost is $22 general and $20 for students and seniors. For ticket reservations and information call (802) 254-9276.