Charlie Wood

Charlie Wood


Anybody that has visited Beale Street knows Charlie Wood. If not on one of his European tours or out on the road with the likes of Albert King Charlie could be heard nightly at King's Palace Cafe over the past 16 years. As one writer put it "Charlie Wood is the Art Tatum of the B-3 organ."


Born in Memphis in 1967, Charlie studied classical piano from an early age and jazz piano in high school and college. He spent 1990 on the road as keyboardist for legendary blues guitarist Albert King, with whom he toured the U.S. and Europe. For over fifteen years the Charlie Wood Trio - consisting of Charlie on piano, Hammond B-3, pedal bass and vocals, Renardo Ward on drums, and Gerard Harris (formerly of Kool and the Gang) on guitar - performed nightly at the King's Palace Café on Beale Street. During their tenure at the Palace such musical luminaries as B.B. King, George Coleman, Joey DeFrancesco, Alvin Batiste, Tony Reedus, Rufus Thomas, Georgie Fame and many others stopped by to sit in and play with the band. On a recent tour in England, Robert Plant joined Charlie onstage to sing five or six of his favorite Memphis R&B classics.
It was during his long residency on Beale St. that Charlie developed and perfected his own unique, jaw-dropping approach to the Hammond organ. Although he makes it all look and sound effortless the technical prowess his style demands prompted one reviewer to describe him as "the Art Tatum of the B-3." The virtuosity and dexterity required make it unlikely that Charlie's style of playing could even be imitated by other players, much less rivaled. Imagine one performer simultaneously doing all of the following: singing, playing great solos with his right hand, providing perfect rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment with his left hand, and walking a solid, hard-swinging bass line on the bass pedals. Throw in a healthy dose of piano and electric piano and an occasional bass solo (with his FEET, no less) and you have an idea of what a Charlie Wood solo performance is like. Just add other musicians to taste and serve hot!
Charlie's work has earned him numerous musical accolades, including the N.A.R.A.S. "Premier Player Award" for Keyboards and the Beale St. Merchants' Association "Entertainer of the Year" award. He has toured as a soloist, with his band and as a band member extensively in Europe and the U.K. Charlie is also an accomplished songwriter with four original CDs under his belt: "Southbound," "Who I Am," "Somethin' Else," and his most recent album on the Memphis-based Inside Sounds label, "Lucky," on which Wood not only sings and plays a variety of keyboards but also performs all the drum, bass and guitar tracks.
Since the beginning of his musical career, Charlie's studio and stage performances have been earning him rave reviews. Publications such as "Blues Review," "Downbeat," and "The New Statesman" have attested to Charlie's gifts as an artist and writer as well as his astounding musicianship. Perhaps William Lee Ellis, a talented musician in his own right (Yellow Dog Records) and the former music reviewer for the local Memphis daily, "The Commercial Appeal," put it best when he began his review of "Southbound" by saying simply that the Hammond B-3 "...has a name in Memphis, and it's Charlie Wood."


2006: Lucky (Inside Sounds) - Charlie Wood (Vocals, Hammond B-3, Piano, Clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Drums, Engineer, Producer, Songwriter, Horn Arrangements)

2006: Continuator - the Gamble Brothers Band (Fender Rhodes, Pre-Production Assistance)

2006: Fried Glass Onions: Memphis Meets the Beatles Vol. 2 (Inside Sounds) - Various Artists
(Guitar, Drums, Hammond B-3, Wurlitzer, Pedal Bass, Vocals, Producer, Engineer)

2005: Somethin' Else - Charlie Wood (Vocals, Hammond B-3, Piano, Clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Engineer, Producer, Songwriter, Horn Arrangements)

2005: Resting Place - Terry Robb (Piano)

2005: New Born - Calvin Newborn (Hammond B-3)

2005: Fried Glass Onions: Memphis Meets the Beatles Vol. 1 - (Inside Sounds) Various Artists
(Guitar, Drums, Hammond B-3, Wurlitzer, Pedal Bass, Vocals, Producer, Engineer)

2005: Billy Gibson Band - The Billy Gibson Band (Inside Sounds) - (Hammond B-3, Piano, Clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Backing Vocals, Engineer, Production Assistance)

2005: Art of the Motorcycle: Songs of the Open Road - (Inside Sounds) Various Artists (Hammond B-3, Pedal Bass, Engineer)

2004: Azul - Azul (Hamond B-3, Piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet)

2004: Jamie Baker - Jamie Baker (Hammond B-3)

2004: In a Memphis Tone - Billy Gibson (Inside Sounds) - (Hammond B-3, Piano)

2003: Live from Cell Block D - Tracy Nelson (Hammond B-3, Piano)

2003: Neptune's Army - Ed Finney (Engineer)

2002: Pra Sempre - Chris Wells (Hammond B-3, Piano, Fender Rhodes)

2002: R&B-3 - Charlie Wood (Vocals, Hammond B-3, Pedal Bass, Drums, Producer, Engineer)

2001: Instrumental Memphis Music Sampler - (Inside Sounds) - Various Artists (Hammond B-3, Producer)

2001: Go Jazz Artists: the Anniversary Edition - Various Artists (Performer)

2000: Who I Am - Charlie Wood (Vocals, Hammond B-3, Piano, Producer, Songwriter)

2000: Third Verse - Smalltown Poets (Hammond B-3, Accordion)

2000: Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today - Slobberbone (Accordion, Hammond B-3, Toy Piano)

1999: You Can't Win - Mason Ruffner (Piano)

1998: These Modern Nights - Kitchens & Bathrooms (Hammond B-3)

1996: Southbound - Charlie Wood (Vocals, Hammond B-3, Piano, Producer, Songwriter, Horn Arrangements)

1996: Never Never Land - Joseph Patrick Moore (Hammond B-3)

Set List

Charlie Wood & The New Memphis Underground:
Sign, Sealed, Delivered
I've Been Loving You Too Long
Love & Happiness
Night Time is the Right Time
What'd I Say
(Sam & Dave) (Stax) (Originals of upcoming album)

Charlie Wood & The Charlie Wood Trio - jazz, R&B, blues standards. Originals from released albums.