Charles McPhatter
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Charles McPhatter

Temple Hills, Maryland, United States | INDIE

Temple Hills, Maryland, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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" Review"

While his name may not be familiar to most outside of the Washington D.C. area, Charles McPhatter has been using his songwriting, production and vocal talents for a while, working with notables that include Lionel Green, Grammy Award winner Delious Kennedy of All for One, producer Dave "Davey Boy" Lindsay of Seven Sons of Soul, and even Minister Isaiah D. Thomas.

It's therefore no surprise McPhatter has now debuted with his own musical rendition of his story of the gospel, entitled Life Songs.

He starts off this eleven track project with the rhythm and praise song "Can't Live (Without You)". On the encouraging, mid-tempo "How Could I Ask For More", McPhatter brings in Tiffany Scotton to duet, backed up by beautiful background vocals.

"Trouble Don't Last" is an up-beat gem where McPhatter and vocalist Kristen Mitchell shine together. "Never Gave Up On Me" and "There I Find You" are arguably two of the best songs on the album. McPhatter's tenor vocals shimmer over the piano play of Daryl Dudley in the ballad "Never Give Up On Me". "There I Find You" is an awesome song that truly sets the atmosphere of praise and worship.

On the more laid back tip, "He Will Draw Nigh" satisfies with it old school soul, reminiscent of the vibe that Brent Jones and the TP Mobb brought back in the day.

In "Remember Me", McPhatter refers to scripture Luke 23 where he, just like the thief on the cross who believed, asks Jesus to remember him despite his faults and past struggles. "Why Do You Run" is an encouraging song that challenges people to humble themselves and come back to Jesus, who will never leave them. "Morning Light" is a ministry song that encourages people to hold on the Jesus because His unspeakable joy will come in the morning.

The last song on the album, "Thank You", is a simple ballad that sums up the project as a whole with humbled, thanksgiving-filled lyrics. Charles McPhatter's debut album is smooth and is sure to capture you with great vocals and up-lifting lyrics.

"Charles McPhatter - Life Songs"

Charles McPhatter, former member of gospel group Devotion and part of Christopher Page’s sanctified-sliding Dream Keepers’ Ensemble, released his sophomore project, Life Songs, late last year.

The eleven contemporary gospel tracks on Life Songs are easy like Sunday morning, pleasant and optimistic in both lyric and melody, and all from the pen of singer-songwriter McPhatter.

McPhatter’s tenor voice – lithe, earnest and endearing – is a pitch-perfect image of 1980s R&B crooner El DeBarge. Even the gentle bounce and easy-tempos of his songs are keenly reminiscent of DeBarge. This will work in McPhatter’s favor, after El rocked the recent BET Awards with his medley of the group's dreamiest hits.

Tracks on Life Songs run the gamut from foot-tapping in the case of “Trouble Don’t Last Always” to the melodically delicious “Thank You,” with its opening and closing interpolation of “Londonderry Air,” to the introspective ballad, “Never Gave Up On Me.” The latter, while a worship song to the Creator, could also be interpreted as a poem of gratitude from McPhatter to his adoptive parents. Until last year, he thought his adoptive parents were his biological kin.

Mostly, though, the album's lyrics praise Jesus as the best friend one can have, forgiving man in his weakness and saving man in his hour of need. Some are delivered as evangelical homilies, others as prayers, and yet others as simple conversations about the goodness of God. Listening to Life Songs is as comfortable and comforting as wearing your favorite blue jeans.

These days, when Charles is not promoting his CD, he is section leader for his church mass choir, First Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, VA.

NOTE: Since those who (like me) recognize the McPhatter surname as important to music history will want to know: yes, Charles’ adoptive father is related to the late Clyde McPhatter, iconic lead singer for the Dominoes and the Drifters; and therefore also to Willie James McPhatter, former Alex Bradford Singer and cousin to Clyde.
- The Black Gospel Blog

"Charles Mcphatter Takes Real Life Issues And Pours Them Into His New Gospel Music Release, Life Songs"

Hailing from the Washington, D.C. area, Charles McPhatter is a gospel artist on a mission. His goal is to encourage and inspire through song wherever he goes. With a flair for contemporary gospel music, McPhatter excels as a singer and songwriter, evident on his November 2009 release of Life Songs. The independent release is a collection of moving songs written by McPhatter himself. Songs like 'Trouble Don't Last' and 'Never Gave Up On Me' not only showcase the artist's talent for songwriting, but each song can't help but leave the listener elevated. says, 'Charles McPhatter's debut album is smooth and is sure to capture you with great vocals and uplifting lyrics.'

Each track on Life Song focuses on a message that has personally helped to enrich Charles' life and has helped him through some of the toughest times of his life.

Just last year, he learned, after decades of believing his mother and father were his birth parents, that they were actually his adoptive parents. Although the experience was reeling, it made Charles hold on even tighter to the Lord. It also gave him an opportunity to pour his experiences into his music. ''Never Gave Up On Me' is probably my favorite on Life Songs,' says McPhatter. 'After learning of the adoption, the song had even greater impact for me.'

A member of First Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, VA, where Rev. Dr. Luke E. Torain is pastor, Charles McPhatter has had the opportunity to record, sing or open up for award-winning artists such as Hezekiah Walker, Byron Cage, Kenny Lattimore, Maurette Brown Clark, Dottie Peoples, and Luther Barnes. He's also worked with GRAMMY Award winner Delious Kennedy of All For One and Stellar Award nominee Dave 'Davey Boy' Lindsey of Seven Sons of Soul. He's a former member of Devotion, a trio consisting of Stellar Award Nominee Lionel Green and A.J. Johnson. McPhatter also belonged to the Stellar Award nominated group, Christopher Page & The Dream Keeper's Ensemble, before stepping out on his own.

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"Local gospel singer’s past brings him closer to God"

By Chris Grady

Throughout his life, gospel recording artist Charles McPhatter had a deep faith in God, but after finding out last July he and his younger brother Joseph were adopted, his faith became even stronger.

Joseph called him after finding out from a relative on their father's side of the family.
"He was more emotional than I was," said McPhatter. "Instantly I had to play it calm."

The news, though incredibly surprising, was not a total shock to McPhatter, given that his wife Michelle had suggested in the past that she thought he might be adopted.

McPhatter said finding out of his adoption changed the way he looked back on his life as he had difficulty figuring out his identity shortly after hearing of his adoption.
"One thing about being a Christian is that I can never forget who I am in Christ," said McPhatter.

The 38-year-old Temple Hills resident has been working with a social worker in hopes of being in contact with his parents some day. He has learned that he and his brother were taken away from biological parents due to neglect.

The social worker on his case has been able to locate McPhatter's birth father. However, since his adoption was closed, McPhatter will have to wait for his birth parents to reach out to him.

Since finding out about his adoption McPhatter has tried to make sure that nothing has changed with his adoptive parents.

"I try to keep the relationship going the same as if I never heard the news," said McPhatter.

Since finding out about their past, the McPhatter brothers have become closer."It is almost like a special bond that you find yourself in," McPhatter said. "He feels the same way as well."

The brothers' adoptive mother did not tell her sons the truth out of a mother's love, according to McPhatter.

"I am always glad to know the truth," said McPhatter. "Scripture always says that the truth shall set you free."

McPhatter's song "Never Gave Up On Me," which he recorded before he found out he was adopted, from his 2009 album "Life Songs" took on a new meaning after learning he learned the truth about his past.

"That song became very pivotal in that moment in time," McPhatter said. "It is a blessing for me to share it."

When he wrote the song in 2008 the lyrics were reflective on the ups and downs he had in his life and how God had been with him through it all. When McPhatter found out about his adoption two weeks after the birth of his son, the song's lyrics took on even greater meaning for him.

While not the easiest of subjects for McPhatter to discuss, he does look forward to sharing his story with other people.

Initially, he was able to talk about his adoption with his close friend, including a woman who found out that she was adopted a few weeks after he did.

On May 23, McPhatter spoke to the congregation at the Church of the Living God in Suitland, which was his church for a decade. The message he conveyed to those in attendance is that despite what had happened in his life, God was still good.

"People were able to understand how blessed I was," said McPhatter. - The PG Sentinel


Life Songs

Charles McPhatter's sophomore album, "Life Songs", features 11 smooth and thought-provoking tracks designed to encourage and offer Godly perspective on life and the victories and trials that come along with it. All songs are written, composed and produced by the artist himself. The album features two intimate pieces with just acoustic piano, an uptempo track to get your head bopping and feet moving, several tracks to listen to while in your car, in the house or while at work as well as tear jerkers.

1. Can’t Live (Without You)
2. How Could I Ask For More
3. Trouble Don’t Last Always
4. Never Gave Up On Me
5. There I Find You
6. He Will Draw Nigh
7. Remember Me
8. With The Rest Of My Life (All I Wanna Do)
9. Why Do You Run
10. Morning Light
11. Thank You


With a silky smooth voice, and jazzy, hip hop sounds, Charles adds intimacy and honesty to the Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music industry. "Blessed", his first album, is a collection of 11 self-written and produced tracks showcasing a mixture of jazz, folk, and hip hop, targeted to the Christian as a healthy alternative to their collection of choir and ensemble CDs. As stated by Music Monthly, "... you will truly enjoy what this CD has to offer."

1. Blessed
2. You Are My Light
3. Always There
4. All My Praise (Intro)
5. All My Praise
6. Wait On The Lord
7. Expression of Love
8. Give Your Life
9. No More Tears
10. Bridge
11. Always There (Reprise)



Charles McPhatter is naturally shy young man with an amazing gift. Although many are gifted musically with a talent for singing or playing, God seems to have double-dipped him in musical anointing. Singer, songwriter, producer and recording artist, Charles McPhatter is on the verge of greatness in gospel music. Just having released his sophomore gospel project, Life Songs, he’s a breath of fresh air in the sacred genre.

Born in Washington, D.C. and growing up in Southern Maryland, he is the older of two boys raised by his parents. Only in 2009 did he come to find out that they were really his adoptive parents. “Even though my brother and I were adopted, we could see the hand of God on our lives,” explains Charles. “The home environment we grew up in was a loving one, but from what I heard, my birth parents lives were not good and, if we had stayed there, we would have been in an abusive and unhealthy environment. God knew what He was doing by allowing us to be nurtured by our adoptive parents.”

Although he had a good upbringing, church only became a part of his life at the prompting of his grandmother who took him to Sunday School. He wasn’t involved in church much, but it was enough to lay the spiritual foundation for him. In junior high school, he fell away from the church, but found instead a love for music. His burgeoning love for music became his focus and he ended up joining, interestingly enough, a gospel group. “At the time, I don’t think I really cared about what I was singing, just as long as I was singing,” says Charles. “It just became an outlet for me.”

Simultaneously, he was singing R&B at local clubs as his music career grew. Rehearsals for the gospel group took place in church and soon he found himself a member, finally realizing a need for the Lord in his life. Shortly after receiving salvation, he was convicted about singing secular music and joined another gospel group called Devotion. The trio included McPhatter, Lionel Green and A.J. Johnson. They recorded a CD, produced by Isaiah Thomas, and hit the road; the singing aggregation gave him the opportunity to get a real taste of the music industry. Green ended up securing a Stellar Award nomination and Thomas won a Stellar while McPhatter continued working recording with artists such as GRAMMY Award winner Delious Kennedy of All For One and Stellar Award nominee Dave “Davey Boy” Lindsey of Seven Sons of Soul. McPhatter eventually became a member of the Church of the Living God in Suitland, MD, where he shared duties as Minister of Music.

Although he was with Devotion for less than a year, the time with them was one of growth for Charles and both of the other members poured into him. While attending University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied music, he joined the school’s renowned gospel choir as well as another gospel group, Stellar Award nominee Christopher Page & The Dream Keeper’s Ensemble. Music continued to become a true passion for him and he felt the calling to step out on his own for a solo career. “Music became a dream of mine, singing, writing and even producing,” says McPhatter. “As a member of a group, I felt like I was putting my dreams in the hands of another person. I didn’t want to ride on the coattails of others. I eventually realized that I needed to do the work and I was the only one to make my own dreams come true.”

He began writing which would ultimately become his first CD, Blessed. “Expression of Love”, the project’s single, saw support from local radio and the song catapulted him into the gospel music industry. He received positive reviews on the recording which set the stage for project number two. As he began working on Life Songs, he felt the pull from others about what the project should sound like. “I was hearing from a lot of people about what the CD should be,” says Charles. “Also, I met my future wife and we eventually had a child, so for a while, I ended up stepping back from the recording process. It was good because it gave me time to seek God’s direction for me and the CD.”

What came out of his respite was a phenomenal, 11-track project, called Life Songs. Released on November 14, 2009, the CD is a collection of musical inspiration and devotion and showcases this talented man in his element. The title “Life Songs” is reflective of the theme of the project; each song expresses a different experience, a different life happening. A true lover of God, McPhatter includes some powerful worship songs on the CD. “’With The Rest Of My Life (All I Wanna Do)’ and ‘Can’t Live With You’ are songs I wrote shortly after the first project,” says Charles. “They are songs of worship and adoration to the Lord.”

Although much of the CD contains mellow and thoughtful tracks, he includes some memorable up-tempo and mid-tempo tracks like the festive “Trouble Don’t Last Always” and “He Will Draw Nigh”. The sole songwriter and main instrumentalist on Life Song