Cheryl Wheeler plays in Portsmouth Saturday night

Show kicks off Common Fence Music's 24th season


PORTSMOUTH — Common Fence Music kicks off its 24th season Saturday, Sept. 17, with a performance by “songwriter’s songwriter” Cheryl Wheeler.

The internationally acclaimed musician, and stand-up comic who sits down, takes the “Gold Lamé Stage” at 8 p.m. at the Common Fence Point Community Hall, 933 Anthony Road. Opening will be the up-and-coming Providence-based singer-songwriter, Seamus Galligan. 

Cheryl’s concerts suggest a comedy club outing more than a folk music concert. She’ll tell a story that has you rolling in the aisles, and then sing a song that leaves you wiping tears from your eyes. She’ll talk about a serious current event before singing something that will have you howling with laughter. Her entire concert is an emotional roller coaster.

Cheryl’s songs have been covered by Peter, Paul & Mary, Bette Midler, Juice Newton and Garth Brooks, to name a few.

She said her local fans prefer her performances at the nonprofit Common Fence Music more than any other venue for its intimate setting and pre-show chow down. Patrons are invited to bring their own food and drinks, and seasonal soups, homemade refreshments and soft drinks are available for sale at the hall.

Tickets are $35, both in advance and at the door. Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets from 3 to 5 pm on the day of the concert and when the doors open until sold out. Call Brown Paper Tickets toll free at 800/838-3006 or visit

Call 401/683-5085 or visit the website for general information and to leave a message. Doors open at 7 pm for the “folk-tailgate party.” 

Full schedule

The East Bay's longest-running folk, roots and world music venue has announced its fall and early winter schedule. All shows are on Saturdays at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7 p.m., unless otherwise indicated. 

Here are the other shows that will follow Cheryl Wheeler’s performance.

• Wild Ponies: Oct. 15; $20 advance/$23 door 

• Martin Grosswendt and Susanne Salem-Shatz: Oct. 22; $18 advance/$20 door 

• Patty Larkin: Nov. 5; $22 advance/$25 door 

• A Gathering of Fiddlers and Fishermen #18 with MC Mike Laureanno: Nov. 19, at 6:30 p.m. (doors and music); $15 advance and door

• Tzibeles: An Evening of Klezmer Music with Fishel Michael Bresler, Beth Cohen and Cory Pesaturo: Dec. 3; $18 advance/$20 door 

• Áine Minogue’s 23rd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration: Dec. 17; $20 advance/$23 door

Save with membership program

The nonprofit Common Fence Music is again offering its membership program for the 24th season.

Members help to promote folk and roots music while saving on upcoming concerts. A single season membership costs $25 and entitles the member to $2 off the advance price of one ticket for any and all concerts attended. 

For $40, you can sign up for the Common Fence Music Member and Guest program, which entitles you to $2 off two tickets to each concert. 

Only members qualify for involvement in the Roots Regulars Raffle, The Triple R, to be held at all concerts. 

E-mail or visit for further information.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.