Since moving to Texas two years ago I’ve had a recurring experience. I go out for a beer or to shop, then hear a voice that sends me running home to my keyboard to write about it. Such is the case with country singer Cheyenne Saenz.
I first heard her voice last September, drifting through the booths at the monthly Wimberley, Texas, craft fair. It sounded so good, I assumed it was a recording of some well-known country singer. I homed in on the source of the music to find out who it was. It wasn’t a recording. The beautiful sound came from Cheyenne.
I spoke with her mother, who was in the audience, and promised I’d write a review. Life happened, and I didn’t. But Cheyenne and her mom were back at Wimberley Marketplace on August 3, so, I’m keeping my promise.
Cheyenne Saenz has a powerful voice like Miranda Lambert. It’s also a versatile one. She began today’s first set with a Johnny Cash song, but then followed up with the late ’70s hit “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. I heard her sing “Too Late” by Carole King, “Workin’ Man Blues” by Merle Haggard, “Suds in the Bucket” by Sara Evens, and, of course, a Miranda Lambert song, “White Liar.”
Although she does all these covers, she brings a touch of Cheyenne to all of them. As she sings, she adds her own little twists, tonalities, and twangs to all the songs. That is the mark of a truly creative entertainer.
A San Antonio lady, she shows a charming vulnerability and modesty on stage. The first time I saw her she captured the audience with cute comments like, “This is the part of the song I’m supposed to tap on the guitar,” and “When I heard this Tanya Tucker song yesterday, I knew I had to cover it.” And she did an awesome job.
Cheyenne does more than just cover songs. A new single which should be released later this year, “I Just Had to Let You Know,” is her own writing. She worked with noted arranger and producer Jason Martinez to give the project a polished feel.
Cheyenne described it: “This country twang tune is based on the concept of being dished out what you served someone else. You may think you’ve won but, in the end, you were ‘all part of a show’.”
Her guitar, with the butterfly, is autographed by her idol, Kacey Musgraves.
And, as far as I can tell, she always wears a baseball cap on stage.
(photos by the author)