Robert Charels
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Robert Charels

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Aug
28
Robert Charels @ B.B. King's Blues Club

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

Jun
21
Robert Charels @ Time Out New York's Make Music New York at The Shops At Atlas Park

Glendale, New York, USA

Glendale, New York, USA

May
22
Robert Charels @ B.B. King's Blues Club (Lucille's)

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

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Robert Charels
Three Leg Dogs
& Old Skool Cats
(Fountainbleu)

When esteemed bluesmen Duke Robillard and Michael Hill produce records, they usually find a unique aspect in the artist's approach. Robert Charels brings an entertaining, amiable, yet funky quality to the table. For his first release in six years, he's brought aboard Michael Hill as guitarist and producer. (Robillard produced Charels' Metropolitan Blue).
The disc begins with the funky "Good People" and then kicks into some high-powered guitar-fueled blues with a cover of Honeyboy Edwards' classic "Ride With Me Tonight." Drummer Dennis Cotton, bassist Eric Mauriello, and the twin guitars of Bob Petrocelli and Anthony Steele comprise Charels' core band for these sessions. "Three Leg Dog" is a funky, comical tune, expressing some jealousy over the carefree nature of his dog's antics. "Playin' On Me," penned by Sir Mac Rice," is also funky.
Michael Hill contributes the ballad, "We Hardly Make Love," and takes the lead vocal on his own "Clarence Loves Suzette." These two tunes differ from most of the set with their background vocals and hints of soul. "Mean Old World" by Jerry LaCroix brings back the syncopated rhythm driven by bass and drums. Petrocelli offers "Hey Shellena" as a vehicle for his soaring guitar solo. Kim Wilson's "It Takes A Big Man To Cry" sounds as if it came straight from a Muscle Shoals session. Charels is one soulful cat whose phrasing, attitude, and swagger establish a strong presence throughout.
– Jim Hynes
- Elmore Magazine, Feb. 2008


Robert Charels
Metropolitan Blue
Fountainbleu Records

Robert Charels is no ingenue. He's been performing for several years with his old band, Blue Rules, around New York City and Long Island. Rock 'n' roll and bubblegum were what the local radio stations played during Charels' formative years in upstate New York; it reportedly was a discovery of the old PBS Soundstage series that gave him the taste for blues evident in the music he makes today.

It's not surprising that he comes off here as a vocalist in the manner of Sugar Ray Norcia: Metropolitan Blue was produced by Roomful Of Blues charter member Duke Robillard. In fact, the whole album has a Roomful feel. Much of the material is served up Chicago style, infused with generous portions of New Orleans and soulful R&B. The title track and "Tend To Your Own Business" are framed in the latter mode, with a James Brown-stuyle arrangement propelled by two rhythmic guitars and the drumming of Tony Coleman (sitting in for Dennis Cotton). Other guests include Michael Hill, who plays lead on "Mr. Losing Streak," and Gordon Beadle, who teams with Roomful sax player Doug James on "Who'll Be There" and "You Can Suit Yourself." Robillard's own guitar comes to the fore on "Bop All Night Long."

Charels alters his delivery and inflection to remarkable effect. He favors a Kim Wilson pose on "Whatcha Tryin' To Hand Me" and "Got Away" and calls to mind Charlie Karp of Slo Leak on "Mr. Losing Streak." Another thing: Note the absence of backup singers on Metropolitan Blue. If a producer's confidence in a vocalist is in inverse proportion to the number of backups used, Robillard must have felt he recorded a very good blues singer in Robert Charels. He was right.

M.E. Travaglini - Blues Revue


Radio Airplay Report

Robert Charels -Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats - Too Cool Music

Blues Deluxe - Syndicated
WYEP - Pittsburgh - Pennsylvania
WPSU - State College - Pennsylvania
WQSU - Selingsgrove - Pennsylvania
WZXR - Williamsport - Pennsylvania
WCXR - Louisburg - Pennsylvania
WQLN- Erie Pennsylvania
WCNI -New London - Connecticut
WHUS - Storrs - Connecticut
WECS - Willimatic - Connecticut
WITR - Rochester - New York
WVBR - Ithaca - New York
WFDU - Teaneck - New Jersey
WNEC - Henniker - New Hampshire
WATD - Marshfield - Massachusetts
WUML - Lowell - Massachusetts
WMPG - Portland - Maine
WMEB -Orono - Maine
WBOR - Brunswick - Maine
WIZN - Burlington - Vermont
WWSP - Stevens Point - Wisconsin
WVPE - Elkhart - Indiana
WRTB - Rockford - Illinois
WDCB - Glen Ellyn - Illinois
WKIE - Arlington Heights - Illinois
WDEK - DeKalb - Illinois
WRZA - Park Forrest - Illinois
WGLT - Normal - Illinois
WMNC - Traverse City - Michigan
WCMU - Mount Pleasant - Michigan
WEMU - Ypsilanti - Michigan
WRHC - Three Oaks - Michigan
WTJU - Charlottesville - Virginia
WWCU - Cullowhee - North Carolina
WRQR - Wilmington - North Carolina
WETS - Johnson - Tennessee
WNSI - Atmore - Alabama
WOAB - Dotham - Alabama
WIVI - St Thomas Virgin Islands
WUCF - Orlando - Florida
WMNF- Tampa - Florida
KNON - Dallas - Texas
KTEP - El Paso - Texas
KUAF- Fayetteville - Arkansas
KXCI - Tucson - Arizona
KKTO - Reno - Nevada
KMFB - Willits - California
KRBS - Oroville - California
KSCU- Santa Clara - California
KZFR - Chico - California
KXGO - Eureka - California
KXJZ - Sacramento - California
KSJS - San Jose - California
KXJS - Sutter - California
KUOP - Stockton - California
KQNC- Quincy - California
KCHO - Reading - California
KVNF - Paonia - Colorado
KHEN - Salida - Colorado
KDNK - Carbondale - Colorado
KCCK - Cedar Rapids - Iowa
KUCV - Lincoln - Nebraska
KIOS - Omaha - Nebraska
KFAI - Minneapolis - Minnesota
KMSU- Mankato - Minnesota
KMSK - Mankato - Minnesota
KSPQ - West Plains - Missouri
KGLT- Bozemont - Montana
KRVM - Eugene - Oregon
KSKA - Anchorage - Alaska
KTOO - Juneau - Alaska
KMXT - Kodiak - Alaska
CFFF - Petersborough - Canada
3 Way Radio - Australia
Hot FM - Australia
Near FM - Doublin - Ireland
Radio Drome - France

Radio Promotions by:
Todd Glazer Promotions
Po Box 230531
Anchorage AK 99523
Ph/Fax 907-279-8546
Email toddg@gci.net

- Todd Glazer Promotions


Robert Charels
"Three Leg Doggs & Old Skool Cats"
FountainBlue Entertainment
www.RobertCharels.com
CD review by Roger-Z (10/19/07)

"Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats" by singer Robert Charels mixes the best of the old with the new. Though he calls himself a blues singer, he presents a wide variety of material here, ranging from a Muddy Waters medley, to Fifties style ballads, to funk. Indeed, the CD contains only two shuffles! Although Charels touches upon the usual themes of love and cheating, he also throws in a dash of positive thinking. Harking back to the Yardbirds, Charels ups the ante by showcasing two flame-throwing guitarists. Produced by legendary bluesman, Michael Hill, this album showcases everything that's right about contemporary blues.

The band consists of Robert Charels (vocals, percussion), Bob Petrocelli (guitar), Anthony Steele (guitar), Eric Mauriello (bass), Dennis Cotten (drums), and Michael Hill (guitars, vocals). In the best blues fashion, the rhythm section of Dennis Cotten and Eric Mauriello provide a solid platform while never intruding into the spotlight. That job falls to the vocalist and two lead guitarists.

Robert Charels sings higher than most blues singers, slightly reminiscent of Paul Butterfield. Charels brings a positive, healing vibe to the music as evidenced in the self-penned, funk-powered "Good People." "Let's get together to make it better. We have the power of me and you. We're gonna make it if people care. There are good people everywhere." Many times, he sounds more on the r&b tip, as in "Playin' on Me." Here he chides a lover who puts more energy into her outside men than into her main squeeze.

This song features both guitarists at their best. One strums a creamy-smooth rhythm part while the other lashes out with stinging, Les Paul style guitar leads. They complement each other perfectly. As a matter of fact, this album serves a primer in English, blues-rock guitar. Just listen to the opening turnaround on the slow blues "Don't Even Know." Or catch the licks spread all over "Need a Friend." This guitarist definitely studied Jeff Beck. And then added a tasty dose of dissonance. The lead guitars also shine on the speeded up Muddy Waters medley, "Mud On The Tracks." And let's not forget the tasty Allman sounding rhythm riff on "Three Leg Dog."

Unlike many of the today's blues albums recorded live in the studio, this CD sounds put together Seventies style. The rhythm section lays down the basic track live, and then everyone else overdubs. You can tell the singer and guitarists put a lot of time and effort into getting every riff right. The diversity of rhythms and song structures insures that the listener's interest never lags. Check out the vocal harmony on Michael Hill's "We Hardly Make Love."

If you like your blues playful and positive, and you love your guitars creamy, loud and rough, pick up Robert Charels' latest CD, "Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats."

©2007 Roger-Z
- More Sugar Magazine


By Faith Rackoff

Robert Charels may be the most accomplished blues artist you aren't familiar with – yet. What other singer from this area has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival (twice), been interviewed by Dan Aykroyd for the national House Of Blues Radio Hour, and is readying himself for his third national release – the Michael Hill-produced Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats, hitting record stores and iTunes on May 8?
"My head still spins thinking about how lucky I am to work the people I have," said Charels, a former Long Islander who now lives in Queens, who collaborated with such blues stars as Duke Robillard, the producer of the singer's critically acclaimed previous album, Metropolitan Blue. He's also performed onstage with B.B. King, Robillard, John Mayer, Jimmy Vivino, Leni Stern, The Holmes Brothers, and Coco Montoya. Despite all that, Charels decided to slow down to a complete halt in 2003.
"I lost two key band members, so I regrouped," said the personable Charels, who has become somewhat of a regular at B.B. King's Lucille's Grill in New York City recently. "Now, we are just about ready again to do what we used to do. One of the reasons I've been able to have some really big fun is that I've made my own luck. I used to run my own record label, which led to me getting signed – and then I got out of town as much as possible. I got down past the Mason-Dixon line and played blues for audiences that want, you know, blues. That's not an insult to this area at all, it was a reasonable business decision. We knew we had a great act," he laughed, "but why try to sell ice cubes to polar bears?"
The quality of Charels' touring bands has been stellar; past members have included Gerry Sorrentino, Mario Staiano, and Dennis Cotton, all of whom have gone on to become members of Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown. Charels' current group includes Long Island's Anthony Steele (Buddy Miles) and Bob Petrocelli (Naw'ins Funk Band) on guitars, Eric Mauriello on his remarkable eight-string bass, and Broadway musical veteran Bill Lanham (Les Misérables) on drums.
Together, this unit and Cotton recorded Dogs, a daring album that's equal parts raw funk, traditional blues, guitar rave-up, social commentary, jazz recording, and flat-out rocking jam. Charels recorded at Grammy-nominated John Paul Gauthier's Lakewest Studios (John Hammond, Jay McShann) in Rhode Island, and mastered at Integrated Studios in New York City with Larry Lachmann, who in the past performed similar duties for Santana and Bo Bice. His choice of top studios reveals that Charels has a modern approach to blues music.
"All the vibes have to be right," said Charels, a self-admitted worrywart and perfectionist. "The choice of our studios, and to work with a real innovator in Michael Hill, was of major importance to me. With this new band I believe we deliver outstanding performances and we are going to get back out there and entertain people as best we can. Some real blues people like what we do, so I hope the people who come to see us will feel the same way."
At this point in his career, Robert Charels is now a national recording artist, but he does want to perform in Long Island and Queens, more than ever before.
"There are some hot cats around here," said Charels. "I heard Kane Daily recently and was just blown away. Lil' Cliff is great, and I used to work with Jim Moran, who is amazing. So I have ties to the area, as I used to play the South Shore years back. Now I want to come back, to come home, in a way. It's a challenge, but I know if the music is good you can create new friends wherever you go – and good gravy, who doesn't need as many friends as they can get?"
For more information on Robert Charels, log on to myspace.com/robertcharels or RobertCharels.com. Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats hits stores nationwide on May 8.
- Good Times Magazine, May 2007


Discography

Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats (2007): Produced by Michael Hill
Metropolitan Blue (2000): Produced by Duke Robillard
Deception In Your Eyes (1997): Produced by Rhett Tyler & Robert Charels
Robert Charels also appears on Do It In Style (1995): By Rust/Charles
All Robert Charels music is available on iTunes and all Internet music shops, and CDs are available wherever music is sold

Photos

Bio

New York’s Robert Charels is the most accomplished blues singer that you probably aren’t aware of ... but after you see him perform, you’ll be able to say you enjoyed a unique blues and R&B star on the rise.

In September 2005, the personable Charels, whose last national CD release was Metropolitan Blue (2000), produced by blues legend Duke Robillard (Roomful Of Blues, The Fabulous Thunderbirds), took part in a classic blues jam at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Nashville in a stage filled with luminaries such as King himself, Gary Tallent (of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band), LeRoy Parnell, and Coco Montoya. That’s only one of many great moments during this exciting singer’s touring life.

Today, however, finds Charels in a “starting over” mode. He’s put together an entirely new touring band, and recently he found himself back on the studio working on his next national release on the TooCool Music/Fountainbleu Entertainment label. The highly anticipated new disc is produced by blues star Michael Hill (“Bloodlines”). There’s something about Charels’ smooth-yet-robust singing style that continually makes the stars of the music world take notice; he’s shared the stage or the bill with such legends as B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Duke Robillard, Michael Hill, Little Milton, John Mayer, and countless others.

Charels (pronounced “Charles”) is now ably backed by an accomplished new touring group featuring guitarist Bob Petrocelli. All were eager to join this veteran yet youthful blues vocalist, who has performed at such major events as The Chicago Blues Festival (two consecutive years) and at top blues clubs throughout the United States. Charles has even been interviewed on such programs as The House Of Blues Radio Hour by “Elwood Blues” himself, Dan Aykroyd. Why all the acclaim? Spend an evening at an upbeat and exciting live performance by Robert Charels and you’ll find out what all the hubbub is about! Even with all his recording success, most fans find Charels is at his best as a live performer - one of the most exciting blues vocalists working today.

Robert Charels’ albums "Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats" “Metropolitan Blue” and “Deception In Your Eyes” are available nationally at all retail stores, as well as through iTunes, Rhapsody, and most Internet music sites. His newest album, “Three Leg Dogs & Old Skool Cats,” was released in May 2007.

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