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Different Stripe

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Album Review

After a short stint at Capital in the late '80s, singer/songwriter Cheryl Wheeler found a more permanent home at Philo, where she recorded albums like Driving Home (1993) and Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar (1995). Different Stripe offers a lengthy retrospective of her impressive musical career, and although it has been released by Philo, it contains several selections from her work with Capitol. Wheeler is an introspective songwriter with a contemporary folk sensibility. On "Moonlight and Roses" she poetically describes the end of a relationship, adding poignantly, "There's nothin' you'd ask me that I wouldn't try/Please don't let this love go by." "Gandhi/Buddha" takes a more contemplative turn as she imagines that she must have accomplished great deeds in a former life to deserve true love. Wheeler is also a master of description, using details of weather and the seasons to reflect a particular mood. The picturesque "When Fall Comes to New England" captures the subtle changes of cooler nights, geese flying south, and squash ripening on the vine. "75 Septembers" considers a grandmother and the tremendous changes that occurred during her lifetime. "Are you more amazed at how things change, or how they stay the same?," Wheeler asks. The production varies from piece to piece, but the singer and the song remain the focal point of this collection. For anyone unfamiliar with Wheeler's work, Different Stripe is the place to start. For those already familiar with her formidable talents, the disc serves as a reminder of a long and productive career. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Golfin' in B'more

If I were to pick an album that covers a lot of Cheryl's material, old(er) and new, this would be it. This is her "greatest hits", as it were. Give it a try, fabulous voice, prolific lyrics, well worth the money. You'll be happy you did!


I listen to this album over and over again not only because Cheryl is such a gifted singer-songwriter, but to recall memories of songs played in her live concerts. Her songs are so poignant and beautiful and her onstage persona sparkles with spiky wit. She'll make you laugh so hard that you're still smiling weeks later. Listen, yes. See her live, absolutely yes!

If you don't know Cheryl Wheeler, you don't know what you are missing!

Cheryl is such an amazing combination of talented songwriter, beautiful singer and hysterical comic. This album exhibits all three wonderfully. You will not be sorry if you buy it and as another reviewer said, see her in person - what a performer!


Born: July 10, 1951 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Known for her comic as well emotionally intense songs, folk singer/songwriter Cheryl Wheeler was raised in Timonium, Maryland, and began playing the guitar and ukulele as a child. She first performed professionally at a local restaurant, but soon graduated to clubs in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. In 1976, she moved to Rhode Island, where she became a protégé of country-folk singer/songwriter Jonathan Edwards, for whom she initially served as bass player. Her first recording, a four-song...
Full Bio

Customer Ratings