"Discovered" by Jackson Browne and Pat MacDonald in June 2006 at Steel Bridge Songfest where he exploded onto the songwriter scene with his scathing workingman's sing along Palmer Johnson Yacht and equally joyful summer anthem She's Made For Sunshine, Cheney has gone on to have a dozen more songs included on international compilation CDs since then, released an acclaimed solo CD, a live show recording, and now a new studio CD with his Western Michigan based band The Significant Otters.
Charlie has a commitment to and love of compelling stories with one over-riding theme: conflict and the choices people make during times of stress. His band add three part harmonies, washboard, and mandolin. Cheney wraps alternately haunting and bouncing melodies around images of bill collectors on caller ID, lawn chairs left out in the rain, bulging tattoos, strip malled rural towns, sand bagged houses in flood plain, and toupees filled with bar smoke... to paint intimate, tragic, and sometimes comedic portraits of American life.
What others are saying...
Jackson Browne said "I love your stuff..." and asked to sing with him on stage.
Pat MacDonald said "I love your really sad songs and your really funny songs." and took him on tour.
The Capital Times called "[a] gritty troubadour."
Freedy Johnston simply wrote "Charlie Cheney = Great Music"
Paulie Ryan (Garbage) said "You're the best songwriter I know, your CD makes me laugh and cry."
Jonathan Spottiswoode wrote "I have now hereby patented the adjective 'charlie cheneyesque' to describe off-beat, dead honest, and beautifully eery songs."
Songs have been included on 3 SteelBridge Songfest compilation CDs, the St. John Songfest compilation CD, 3 February Album Writing Month compilations, and 3 Holiday Music Motel compilations. All the songs were written and recorded during those festivals.
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Rock n' Roll. Forevah.
You can hear some of the festival recordings below: