Michael Charles
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Michael Charles

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"Awesome Aussie String Bender Rocks Region"

During the last decade, guitarist Michael Charles has spent more time on
these shores than those of his native Australia.
“I go back from time to time, but mostly I’m over here now,” he said.
“It’s been about 12 years since I’ve released anything in Australia, but
that’s about to change,” he said.
Charles has been spending a lot of time lately in his state-of-the-art
Chicago recording studio, which is also the home of his own Moonlight
Records label.

There, Charles just completed work on a batch of songs for his latest
album, Nobody’s Fool. He recently wired those recorded tracks via the
internet to a studio in Australia, where they are being tweaked out to
perfection and then mastered by producer Greg Williams.

This marks the first time in years that Williams has twisted knobs on a
Charles album. Williams helped the guitar player become a big enough radio
star in his homeland to land him in regular rotation on the Australian
version of MTV.

“This will be my first album released in Australia in a dozen years, so
it’s sort of a come back for me there,” he said.

Nobody’s Fool is expected to be released in America by early summer via
Charles’ Moonlight Records. In Australia, it will be released as a joint
venture between his Moonlight label and the Aussie imprint, New Market
Records.

“Because of technology available to us today, Greg and I are able to work
together again” he said. “Because everything is digital, musicians can
work from one side of the world to another these days without losing any
quality or anything in the transfer.”

Charles began playing music at age five after discovering his father’s old
guitar sitting in the corner.

“My dad was always fiddling around with his guitar. He never played as
his occupation, but he could hold his own,” said Charles. “He taught me
the rudiments, the structures, basic chords and things like that. I still
remember the day he looked and me and said, ‘You don’t need me no more
son. You’re on your own.’ Playing guitar is all I’ve ever done. I’ve
never had a day job.”

Looking back with hindsight from middle age his career choice, Charles
puts it honestly. “It’s had a lot of ups and downs. It’s a very hard
life, being a professional musician. Especially, when you have to leave
your home, your loved ones and your friends behind to chase your dream.
It’s not been an easy life, but it’s been a good life and it’s been my
life. I have no regrets, because I can’t imagine not playing music and I
can’t imagine doing anything else for a living.”

Numerous singles and five strong selling albums have landed Charles on
several Australian television programs, radio stations and in plenty of
magazines over the years.

All told, the artist has released more than 25 recordings over the last
two decades, ranging from straight ahead guitar rock to old school blues.


“I started out playing rock, but then I discovered the blues,” he said.
“I love the blues, but it can be limiting, so recently I have been moving
more towards rock again, but definitely with a strong blues feel.”

Charles has been hailed by in the media as “Australia’s answer to Stevie
Ray Vaughan” and he cites Eric Clapton as being his primary influence.

That said, it seems almost kismet that Buddy Guy, a friend of both those
legendary guitarists, was the person responsible for bringing Charles to
the United States for the first time in 1989.

“My manager contacted Buddy’s manager about be playing at his club [Buddy
Guy’s Legends],” he recalled. Charles told how his first flight here was
delayed for hours and that when he landed at O’Hare International Airport,
he was whisked immediately to Legends, where he joined Guy live on stage
in mid-jam.

“I’ll never forget that night,” he laughed. “I was terribly jet-lagged
from the long flight from Australia and I’m pushed on stage. I’m trying
to talk to the other guys up there playing [with Guy] to find out what key
they are in, and they can’t understand me because my accent was so strong
back then. So there I was... tired, nervous and winging it...while on
stage playing with Buddy Guy.”

Surprisingly, Charles did not crash and burn that night. He has been
asked back to Legends many times since then, including to bend strings at
Guy’s Annual All-Star Birthday Jam.

After several years of being consistently on the road touring, Charles
explained that he took a break two years ago to build his Chicagoland
studio and “to kick back a bit and relax for a while.”

When the itch to play began getting stronger and stronger, Charles
assembled a new live combo which is currently doing a handful of regional
dates at small clubs with these new musical mates, in anticipation of soon
hitting the tour trail again.

While the guitarist slips into his live set some customized cover versions
of traditional blues numbers like “The Sky Is Crying,” “Everyday I Have
The Blues” and “The Thrill Is Gone”, his live concerts are largely spent
showcasing the deep songbook he himself has created over the years. - Midwest Beat


"Keep Walking"

Michael Charles
Keep Walking
http://www.michaelcharles.us

Continuing the ongoing wave of talented musicians coming into the US is Australia’s skillful guitarist Michael Charles. If you are into excellent guitar work, then do yourself a favor and listen to his 1999 release, Keep Walking.

It needs to be mentioned that Charles himself and this very record were nominated in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Rock Record at the 42nd Grammy Awards. So you should already assume it is going to be good. Well, they didn’t nominate this record for no reason, because it definitely is good.

I could do without the opening noise, which I think is rain, because it goes on longer than you think it should, but once you get past that, you are in for a musical treat. Simple Day Living is a great track to kick off the record, and what Charles uses well is his ability to blend different forms of musical styles together well. He uses elements of blues, folk, rock, and even some jazz and world to craft his music. MC Shuffle and Started Again are tracks that make this record good, but easily the standout track has to be Keep Walking. It is clear to see why this is the title track to the record since it is the most identifiable. Charles is talented with a guitar in his hand and he showcases that throughout Keep Walking. I have read that Charles was touted by some as Australia’s answer to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Not so sure I would go that far with the comparison, but it might be pretty close to it.

All in all, this is a nice solid chunk of straight forward guitar rock that you are sure to enjoy. It definitely is time for you to look up Michael Charles, and it is time to become a fan.

by Brian Campbell - Chicago At Home


"I'm Nobody's Fool"

Michael Charles
I’m Nobody’s Fool
www.michaelcharles.us

Michael Charles is just like a bottle of fine wine since he just gets better with time. Somewhere between 1999’s Keep Walking and the recently released 2006 I’m Nobody’s Fool, Charles got better; a lot better.

I’m Nobody’s Fool is a venerable blues clinic, full of big sounds and wailing guitars. The grooves are better on this record, and so is the overall vibe. There isn’t any filler, just solid guitar riffs and some smooth backing music to go along with it. The guitars are so special on I’m Nobody’s Fool; they are sweet, subtle, massive, churning, and every other adjective in-between. Not to mention that Fool is a sexy record; the vocals, the guitars, the drumming, everything. This record has a definite swagger to it that few may be able to match.

Take the title track for example. This song leads the early charge of the record with talented soloing and a singable hook. Charles is good at crafting first-rate blues tunes, but also delves into some jazz and jam work as well, with tracks Rag, Addition and Jumbo. The instrumentations are silky smooth and thoroughly enjoyable, and offer a good break from the traditional blues rock on this album. Gave It All Away is one of the better tracks because of how musically flowing the song is, and it might just have the best chorus on the record.

Above all else, it’s the guitars that are really at the forefront on I’m Nobody’s Fool. Don’t get me wrong, the vocals and the drums should not be overshadowed. He is so good at writing full songs that employ the use of vocals, but he is equally as good writing straight acoustic tracks.

You will get into I’m Nobody’s Fool, that is a given. Charles is sincere and real, and it is clearly evident that his guitar riffs and his words come from his heart, and aren’t pre-processed or over-produced in any way. Charles is real and so is his music. It’s that simple.

- By: Brian Campbell www.chicagoathome.com


Discography

Grammy Elected in the 2008 50th Grammy Awards for latest release "I'm Nobody's Fool"

Michael Charles' twenty releases are a great discography of originals with quality recordings and superb musical orchestration. The same quality is definitely present on the live stage along with the bonus of seeing this artists’ phenomenal guitar performance and his never ending energy!! The tunes, the show, Michael Charles, you won’t want to miss any of them!

45rpm's - 7 inch
I'm A Puppet / feel the magic
Time Just Keeps Calling / rock 'n' roll music
Imaginations And Mind Games /
play a simple tune
Long Way To Go / hard days & long nights
She's My Woman / Everlasting Love

45rpm's - 12 inch
Without Your Love (for company)

LP Vinyl - 12 inch
Try Another Key
Home Through The Streets
The Wind

Cassettes
Home Through The Streets
The Wind
My Shadow

CD Singles
Simple Day Living
MC Shuffle
I’m Nobody’s Fool / Work So Hard

CD Maxi Single
Crawling On The Floor

CD's
Hard Days & Long Nights
Home Through The Streets
The Wind
My Shadow
Keep Walking
Recall
I’m Nobody’s Fool

Photos

Bio

Michael Charles and His Band
We would like to bring to you one of the best shows ever heard or seen!! Australian blues-rocker Michael Charles spellbinds his audience with his phenomenal guitar performances, a variety of music ranging from blues to rock to R&B and long 2 and 3 hours uninterrupted sets! Our show is designed to keep the people in the house drinking, listening, and dancing! We have acoustic and electric shows available.
Michael brings to the stage exceptional and unique music from a discography of 21 releases. Performing in some of the top festivals and venues in the country, including the House of Blues in Chicago, Legends, and the Chicago Blues Fest all the way to the small corner bar. They are all important and great to us!
Michael has a wealth of history as he was originally brought to America by Buddy Guy. MC has played with Buddy, Junior Wells, Eddy Clearwater, and a host of others, and toured for a year with Jimmie Dawkins.
Charles has been seen on WGN television, JBTV, read about in the Chicago Tribune, heard on a multitude of radio stations, and his latest CD and song "I'm Nobody's Fool" elected in the 2008 50th Grammy Awards.
About Moonlight Label
Moonlight Label is a drug-free enterprise and Michael Charles and His Band are full time professional musicians providing a great selection of shows while being courteous, prompt and cooperative. We understand business and are willing to work with a venue's budget. Once booked Moonlight Label Presents is very aggressive with follow through promotions to make your show one of the best advertised and attended possible. Posters will be sent, a fan base of 10,000 plus will be emailed, the performance and dates will be posted on a multitude of websites, shows will be listed with Reverbnation and Demand It. Local papers and radio will be contacted for proposed articles, interviews, and radio airplay. Television will also be approached if available. Paid advertising wiil be done where necessary.