Chuck Cheesman, A Belated Appreciation

Our family was on vacation a while back and while doing so in Northern Arizona, we ran into Chuck Cheesman not once, but twice. It made me think that I haven't talked nearly enough about Chuck here. Why, I don't know. Maybe it's just the familiarity -- he's one of the very few artists that we can see (or hear) on a regular basis, and it's easier for me to get excited about a band or artist doing something brand new.

Chuck's A Family Songbook is one of those really solid collections of traditional songs geared at preschoolers that I've just not worked my way around to reviewing. Maybe it's just because families probably only need or one two of those types of albums, and they probably already have them. There's no particular reason that a family in, say, Pittsburgh would need a copy of A Family Songbook if they've already got a couple CDs of traditional songs they like.

It only goes to prove just how important that local connection is between artists and their audience, particularly in this genre. Because if you do live in Arizona (and in particular up in Flagstaff), I'd consider A Family Songbook fairly essential. It's recommended, at the very least.

Finally, this isn't really a kids' song -- Chuck said he was working more on his instrumental playing skills than on writing music, kids or otherwise -- but it's a sweet song to his kids. You can download of a live radio recording of "Unconditional" here. (Oh, and by the way, he's playing with past-and-future Family Music Meltdown veteran Laura Freeman at the Pickin' in the Pines Festival in a couple weeks in Flagstaff.)