Chuck Cheesman (for media use)
Chuck Cheesman is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and children’s music educator. Chuck received formal training while earning an undergraduate music degree from Illinois State University, and he earned his real world experience as a student and instructor at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.
Chuck leads a Jekyll/Hyde life as a recording artist, producing recordings of original music for both children and adults. The contemporary folk/rock CD Imagining Dancers (February 2011) has received airplay across the country on college, community, and internet radio stations including Pandora Online Radio. It was named the “favorite album” of 2011 by Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine. Dancing With No Shoes On (September 2011) is a more whimsical children’s release that maintains Chuck’s high standards of writing, musicianship, and production.
Chuck’s current projects include working on follow-ups to both of his 2011 recordings, writing solo guitar and ukulele pieces for a planned project, and producing a compilation CD of music and spoken word called Border Songs which benefits Tucson-based human rights group No More Deaths / No Más Muertes.
Chuck writes and records out of his professional home studio, The Secret Hideout of Hombre de Queso. He lives with his wife and two children in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Chuck Cheesman (Febraury 2011)
When seventh grader Chuck Cheesman got his hands on a cheap guitar, he began posing in front of mirrors in earnest. He was the kind of kid who needed a friend to explain that This is Spinal Tap was satire. Out of tune and having absolutely no sense of time, he had great hair.
Fast forward a quarter of a century: The hair is gone. Rock star decadence has failed to materialize. But an obsession with music has survived.
Chuck Cheesman’s latest recording, Imagining Dancers, offers few hints at his “Tap-ish” beginnings. It is a showcase of earthy songwriting, a deep exploration of the parallel themes of enduring love and hope in the face of modern pressures. It’s a record that runs from tender acoustic folk to raw garage rock.
That teenage obsession eventually led Chuck to a bachelors degree in music, but it wasn’t until his mid-twenties and his discovery of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music that he found his musical path. With monthly songwriter circles, Tuesday night jam sessions at Big John's on Armitage, and the occasional gig at Uncommon Ground Coffee House, Chicago’s folk music community was Chuck’s home for more than a decade.
Out of those years grew a debut collection of original songs called Coming Home (2001) and also a children‘s music album, A Family Songbook (2003). Leaving the city behind, Chuck and his wife made their way west to the mountains. Reflecting that move, Campfire (2006) is a collection of songs steeped in the western landscape.
Imagining Dancers blends contemporary folk and Americana rock to make a very personal statement. With help from producer Larry Clyman (Big Shoulders, Sons of the Never Wrong, Nancy Walker) Chuck has found a wider sonic playing field on this release. Tracks range from solo performances to full rock ensemble treatments. Chuck's folk roots are still planted firmly in the earth, but there is undoubtedly a new energy and sense of urgency to be found on Imagining Dancers.
After all these years, Chuck still gets a real good kick out of This is Spinal Tap.
photo by Jim McCarthy