Charles Theodore

Charles Theodore


Foot stomping French-American Folk-Pop!


Charles Theodore Zerner grew up in France and the US, graduated with honors from Harvard University, and moved to New York to sing in the subways.

After playing through a 3 month session with the producer of the Clash, touring the east coast, holding residencies in New York, carving his home in the antifolk scene, playing countless shows and cutting a record in France with the producer of Jacques Higelin, CT is finally selling something with his name on it. His first release, A Suitcase Life comes with a 10 page color booklet, and a long life-full of listening pleasure. It is available now at Itunes, CDbaby, and select retail outlets in the North East.

Keep your eyes open for more east coast tours, the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival, new live/studio recordings coming soon, and a possible European tour later this year.

Charles Theodore grew up shuffling between France and the US, wandering through hallowed churches and looking at paintings with his art historian parents. From Providence, to Santa Monica to Chicago to Boston, going to the local school in a tiny French town with more cows than people, to living in the carnival that is New York City, Charles-Theodore's bicoastal, trans-Atlantic upbringing has shaped his songwriting as much as his musical heroes.

CT played weddings and club gigs for his pocket money through high school. He continued to perform and cut a record with a jazz combo (at Boston's esteemed Regattabar), while working toward an honors diploma in French Literature at Harvard University. There, Rimbaud, Baudelaire and T.S. Eliot joined Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, The Velvet Underground, John Lennon, and Serge Gainsbourg as lasting lyrical influences.

It was after his graduation in 2002 that Charles Theodore really began to stick out. He turned down the straight jobs and spend his time singing in the damp underground of the New York subways, developing a distinctive acoustic sound.

It wasn't long before Charles-Theodore was invited to cut a record with the mythic producer Joe Blaney (The Clash, Keith Richards, etc…) in a rock outfit. Although an immensely enriching experience, soaking up musical lessons for 3 straight months, he quit the band after finishing the recording, realizing he needed to further develop his own material.

Charles-Theodore hit the NY club circuit: Pianos, The Living Room, CBGB's and Galapagos are just a few of the venues he still plays at regularly. CTZ also found a home in the Antifolk scene, considered worldwide for being the heart of the New York songwriter world today. After playing gigs along the east coast from Vermont to North Carolina, including World Café Live in Philadelphia, The Evening Muse in Charlotte NC, Langdon St. Café in Montpelier, VT, Southpaw in Brooklyn, playing 3 anti-folk festivals in NY, CT made his way back to France.

There he covered 120 dates in 2006 with his three piece band, building a following in Paris. He founded the Folk Underground biweekly residency/concert series at the chic Ile St. Louis club Le Franc Pinot. It was in France that he met producer Francis Lassus, with whom he made his debut release, A Suitcase Life.

Delve a little deeper, and you will find why his understanding of French and American mentalities - not to mention a talent for capturing the universals – resonate with audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond.

Charles-Theodore's first release is finally ready. Recordings began in late 2006, with drummer and producer Francis Lassus (producer of French pop star Jacques Higelin, and drummer for Claude Nougaro, African singer Ray Lema, Joe Zawinul amongst others) in the Pyrenées mountains near Pau, France. Charles-Theodore merges American folk-rock ramblings a la Dylan with
Baudelaire-inspired wordplay. Add bittersweet melodies, carefully layered keyboard, bass and drum sections, and irreproachably poppy production to his stripped down vocals and you have A Suitcase Life: an album that exudes professionalism and accessibility, but never at the detriment of a rawness, intelligence and sincerity. In an age of irony and prefabricated fluff, Charles-TheodoreZerner's Suitcase Life is a necessary and refreshing change.

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Charles Theodore est ne pres de Boston, une oreille formee aux rhythmes de l'Amerique, heritage de sa m�re, l�autre sensible � l'art hexagonale, cadeau de son pere. Brinquebale des son plus jeune age, entre la Cote est et la Cote ouest, entre les deux rives de l'Atlantique (Paris, et la province angevine), son apprentissage est d'emblee place sous le signe de l'art, de la route, de l'echange. Malgre un parcours universitaire flatteur (diplome avec Honors de l'universite d'Harvard en 2002) que certains imaginaient deboucher sur une carriere en costume- cravate, il repousse Wall Street pour le metro new-yorkais o


Paris dans l'entretemps

Written By: Charles-Theodore Zerner

J'ecoute l'electrophone de l'atmosphere,
comme une lumiere d'automne traversant les paupieres,
dans l'entretemps de ta matiere,
je seme les graines au vent distant de ta pensee

mais le silence froid du transistor me laisse plus qu'les claxonances dehors,
qui percent un aurore lasse de l'entretemps qui passe si lentement avant que je m'efface

Paris ce leve, New York ce couche, dans l'entretemps plus rien me touche, plus rien me touche

I'm going to leave it all behind me,
laughing down the highway
maybe tomorrow
I'll make it home

La nuit je sors place de l'histoire
pris dans le cirque et la fanfare,
j'entends un Mondrian sonore quand je m'accorde au xylophone du transitoire
une fille qui pleure
des glappissements de businessman qui rient en coeur
un ravagee qui crache sa rage aux inconnues, traversant vite a l'autre cote du desespoir

dans la pupille des passants
on est ensemble un instant
dans l'entretemps

Gonna leave it all behind me
laughing down the highway
maybe tomorrow
I'll make it home

Je fais naufrage chez les sirenes,
pour quelques gouttes riches, alcoliques des cepages d'une terre ancienne,
qui s'evapore a l'halogene-
une fleure sechee entre deux pages de Lafontaine

la ville et chaude, la nuit est breve
ou l'entretemps vit dans le reve,
vit dans le reve

I'm gonna leave it all behind me
laughing down the highway,
maybe tomorrow
maybe tomorrow
I'll make it home...


A Suitcase Life Produced By Francis Lassus - 2007.

A free copy of A Suitcase Life is available upon request for Industry purposes, such as booking, terrestrial/satellite/internet radio, by emailing the artist at

Live on air performances have been recorded at WHRB Boston, WXPN Philadelphia, WBAI New York, WUTC Chattanooga and more...

Set List

Sets typically last 45 minutes-90 minutes.
Set lists vary nightly according to the needs and expectations of the venue.

CTZ sets are primarily comprised of original material, but can include carefully picked cover songs from artists such as Hank Williams, Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Serge Gainsbourg, Gillian Welch, the Carter Family, or perhaps even a folk styling of Paris Hilton or Megadeath. We always aim to entertain!