Cheryl Branz
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Cheryl Branz

Spokane, Washington, United States | SELF

Spokane, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"The Christmas Gift Review"

Cheryl, your CD is gorgeous! It didn't hurt to include Night of Silence/Silent Night, a personal favorite. Your CD is getting one of my highest recommendations (out of 125 reviewed this year). Congratulations!

Gerry Grzyb, host of the Dr. Christmas radio show on WRST-FM - (Dec 5, 2008)
- Dr. Christmas Radio Show

"The Christmas Gift Review"

Cheryl Branz has a crystalline voice that is clean, rich and warm. On The Christmas Gift, Branz and a few friends (mostly Tom Prasada-Rao, who also produced, recorded, and mixed the release) present well-executed holiday favorites in a largely acoustic, minimalist framework. This is folk/pop music that is professional and pleasing--a welcoming, holiday bouquet that should entertain broad audiences.

My favorite tracks? Oh, that's easy. First, Branz presents a superb Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song), which also happens to be the album's longest cut (nearly 6 minutes!). The artist hits the right blend of purity and pain; the listener can feel Mary's fervent faith, colored by fright. The other great track is Branz's elegant Ave Maria framed by guitars, viola, and cello. Simply beautiful! Honorable mention goes to the fine Night of Silence/Silent Night combination; the interwoven harmonies (all Branz!) are quite magical.

What a voice! Although Branz performs well on light-hearted fare such as Santa Baby, she is more convincing as the angelic girl-next-door than as the sassy sexpot. The Latin leanings of The Gift and Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow add a delightful kick. In fact, I was previously unfamiliar with the former, which tells the touching story of a young girl's gift of a crippled bird in a hand-made cage to the newborn king.

As often happens when I work on holiday reviews, the opportunity to hear Cheryl Branz on The Christmas Gift has opened my eyes to a truly promising artist. Wonderful! Thanks for the Gift, Cheryl!

--Carol Swanson
(Reviewed in 2008)


"Disappear Review"

"On the album (Disappear), Branz's voice is clear and strong, the tunes are highly melodic and and her lyrics range from intensely personal on the title track and "I Judge Myself" to rather silly on "Flip Flops," in which she describes said footwear as "an island vacation for my feet."

Patrick Jacobs - (Jul 28, 2007)
- The Spokesman Review

"Disappear Review"

"...So here I am at the Coeur d'Alene Street Fair a few years back listening to this trio of women singing on one of the corners. Afterwards, this voice calls out, "Chris", and it was Cheryl I had been listening to with this powerful, well-controlled voice doing folk/country music. Well, now she takes it a step further with a dozen original songs from her CD, Disappear, that include the racing of your heart, both sides of wanted and unwanted pregnancy, the dichotomy of judging by intentions vs. judging by actions, and the country jazzy how flip flops are a mini-vacationer. Cheryl's voice is full, clear, diction is right on and she moves the lyrics to your inner space. The recording and production are clean. "Disappear" is a song I can realte to and you will too, about disappearing when you need to work with an issue. Or she talks about chasing illusions on "Shadow Diving" with good tempo emphasis. A powerful confrontation drives the vocals on "With Me or Against Me". Cheryl will work fine at any mixed music festival stage. Her strength and clarity and singing about our everyday thoughts will appeal to young and old."

Chris Lunn - (Oct 1, 2006)
- Festival Directory Northwest


CD - "Disappear" Release date August 2006
CD - "The Christmas Gift" Release date October 2008



Cheryl’s been singing most of her life…one of her earliest performances was an a cappella rendition of Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” in her 3rd grade talent show. She proudly sang every verse, every chorus and the bridge. She was unstoppable.

In the 5th grade, Cheryl started playing the flute as part of a school band requirement. In hindsight, this was a poor instrument choice as it was impossible to play and sing (or talk) at the same time. In the 9th grade, Cheryl switched from band to choir in order to be in a class with more of her friends (not to mention the cute male choir teacher) and that’s when singing started taking over her life.

Cheryl has paid her musical dues through the years in school choirs, community choirs, church choirs, a cappella choirs, musicals, performing for weddings and funerals, and even singing backup in a band. Yet all of that wasn’t enough. Something was missing. Enter the guitar.

In 2001, Cheryl saw an ad in the local park and rec class catalog for beginning guitar…an instrument she had always wanted to play…and she thought, “Well, what on earth am I waiting for?” Inspired by other singer/songwriters such as The Indigo Girls, Jewel and Sara McLachlan, Cheryl borrowed a guitar from a friend and the rest is now history. She had found what was missing.

After the class, she bought her own guitar, continued with private lessons, started writing songs and began attending some of the finest song writing workshops held around the country. She honed her guitar skills by performing in a female folk trio and a duo performing cover songs, before breaking out solo in late 2005.

Cheryl’s debut cd, Disappear, was released in 2006 and features her spot on vocals and honest lyric style. From the upbeat, carefree, Flip Flops to the emotional ballad on adoption, Waiting On A Miracle, Cheryl sets the stage for her listeners to become a part of the music.

Following that successful release, Cheryl took her skillful vocals to new heights in 2009 with "The Christmas Gift" - a collection of holiday favorites. Combining her talents with award winning producer Tom Prasada-Rao, the two created a perfect soundtrack for the season blending elements of folk, jazz and classical styles in one seamless package. From the prayerful Ave Maria to the playful Santa Baby the cd captures a classic, timeless feel of superior musicality.

Cheryl was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and the original song, Skating, on "The Christmas Gift" was inspired in part by the winters there. Written for her mom, who was a professional skater in the Ice Capades, Skating speaks of the hopes of a young girl with a big dream...a fitting parallel for the now grown up singer/songwriter Cheryl Branz.