Chuck Cheesman
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Chuck Cheesman

Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

Flagstaff, Arizona, United States
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Chuck Cheesman's version of "The Dutchman" is the best I've ever heard. Plus he is a fine songwriter and a very personal, engaging performer. - Ken Ralston (Flagstaff Folk Festival Founder)


Cheesman immediately reminds me of one of my favorite folk musicians Gary Jules, who remade the creepy Tears for Fears song that played at the end of Donnie Darko. If you like Mr. Jules, you’ll love Mr. Cheesman.
- CD Reviews.com - Jake Nuckolls


Just looking at the cover art says it all: yes, it's a campfire but with something glowing and unique about it.
- CD BABY -Sue Fink


Rising high above the Arizona desert, Flagstaff’s distinct blend of sublime landscape and diversified culture is the perfect setting for a musician to write an album illustrating the calming beauty of the wilderness. Chuck Cheesman did just that, wasting no time embracing the inspiration in the area.

- FlagLive - Lindsay Friedman


Discography

COMING HOME (2001) 10 original songs
A FAMILY SONGBOOK (2003) children's music
CAMPFIRE (2006) a collection of original songs rooted in the American West

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

I have always loved music.

I picked up my first guitar at the age of twelve. It was a red Conrad acoustic that cost five bucks. It was a typical first guitar for a kid motivated by all the things adolescent boys are typically motivated by - girls and the "cool" factor. The strings on my Conrad were rusted and stretched high above the fretboard. It was impossible to play. But I tried, and tried, and tried...

My friend Mike, a horn player from a family of talented musicians, tried to teach me to tune the thing, and I will never forget the experience. I couldn't identify whether a note was higher or lower than another. I couldn't match pitch. And I certainly couldn't get the thing in tune. It was humiliating. But I tried, and tried, and tried...

Now, more than twenty years later, I can tune a guitar and even get paid to teach others to do the same. If I were to write a book about the years in between, it would be an endless list of thanks to my friends, family, and the people who have stuck by my side and helped me in so many ways. Thanks for teaching me things. Thanks for having a bit of faith in me - enough to help my confidence grow.

The best thing I can say about my resume is that I spent several years as an instructor at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. Hanging around OTSFM taught me much of what I know about music and brought me many of my best friendships.

These days I live in Flagstaff, Arizona with my beautiful wife and baby daughter. I'm making new friends and writing new songs. There are probably almost as many reasons to write songs as there are songs, but I often like to think of songwriting as an exercise in empathy. I've written songs about the Yellowstone wolves, an illegal immigrant, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

My favorite, though, is a love song I wrote for my wife called "Campfire". I believe sincere love songs are the most difficult and most important to write.

I have recorded three CDs. The lastest, CAMPFIRE, began getting airplay on KVNA (Flagstaff, AZ) and KUMD (Duluth, MN) less than a week after they were mailed to the stations.

"Even if the moon won't sing,
there is not a thing on Earth I'd rather do
than sit and watch this campfire slowly die,
listening with you."

- from "Campfire" by Chuck Cheesman