Cheryl Cormier is proof that country music exists north of the Mason-Dixon line. With her roots in rock and blues, the Hartford, Connecticut-based vocalist has taken a Wynonna and Trisha Yearwood-like crossover approach to country music.
A native of rural Maine, Cormier grew up surrounded by music; her parents sang in the local church choir and were fans of everything from classical music and jazz to country music and pop. Although she studied trumpet from the age of ten, she switched to the piano seven years later. After attending the University of Maine in Orono, she transferred to the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut. During the three years she attended the school, she studied classical music, musical theater and opera. She left the school, without graduating, when her teacher moved to Germany.
Remaining in Connecticut, Cormier sang jingles with various local bands, forming her own group in 1993. Her self-produced debut album was recorded at Jim Chapdelaine's West Hartford studio with plans for release in September 1998.