Char
Gig Seeker Pro

Char

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Jim Vallance"

"It's honest and full of subtlety and nuance. Very cool." - .


"Char Spins the Waterwheel"

Char spins the Waterwheel


Andrew Topf/News staff
Langford singer-songwriter Charlene Birkbeck is performing this Saturday.
By Andrew Topf
News staff

Aug 08 2007

Writing songs comes naturally to Charlene Birkbeck.

The Langford singer-songwriter, who goes by the name Char, will be giving voice to her soulful lyrics during a performance this Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Waterwheel Pub.

Char, who moved to the West Shore from Ontario a couple of years ago, says her passion for music was born, quite literally, through osmosis.

While growing up in Hamilton, her parents would take frequent road trips, sometimes for weeks at a time, and Char would ride along listening to country music.

Life on the road gave Char an early appreciation for country greats like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, and Canadian country icon Stompin’ Tom Connors.

That early exposure to country, combined with a knowledge of older and newer musical styles gleaned from studying jazz in college, has metamorphosized into a soft blend of vocals Char describes as “rocky bluesy”.

The 24-year-old musician says she loves the songwriting process, which often involves piecing together fragments of ideas.

“It’s kind of like a mirror. I look at it as a piece of artwork,” she said. “I’ve got hundreds of ideas. I just take a fragment of an idea and just keep going with it.”

Char, who jokingly described herself as the typical “starving artist,” said moving to the Island was the best thing she could do for her burgeoning music career, noting people in B.C. tend to be more accepting of artists than folks back east.

“I came out here with two suitcases, and I had one friend fix up a car and give it to me,” she said. “People here are really supportive.”

Char said when she’s not working part-time to make ends meet, she spends most of her time promoting herself through myspace.com, which she called “one of the best things to happen to independent artists.”

She eventually hopes to make a living from her music, with her next project likely to be a songwriting collaboration.

“It only takes two seconds to get somebody else’s ideas,” she said. “It’s kind of like a ball that just keeps rolling.”

Char plays this Saturday, Aug. 11, 9 p.m. at the Waterwheel Pub in Langford, following opening act The Roper Show. - Goldstream News Gazette on Aug 08, 2007


"Critic's Picks"

FOLK POP

What: Char with The Roper Show
When: Saturday, 9 p.m.
Where: Waterwheel Pub, 2792 Peatt Rd. in Langford
Tickets: Free
Why: Earthy singer-songwriter Char -- short for Charlene Birkbeck -- hails from Toronto's North York area, and studied jazz at Mohawk College in Hamilton. But she cites Victoria, her current home, as her biggest musical influence. And how -- her debut EP, Blame it on the Moon, evokes everything from Solace-era Sarah McLachlan to Feist's more organic moments. The 24-year-old is celebrating the release with a free gig Saturday at the Waterwheel Pub in Langford. -- Mike Devlin - The Victoria Times Colonist


Discography

Blame it on the Moon- EP Available on ITunes worldwide. Featured on CBC on numerous occasions.
Live at The Yale 2009

Photos

Bio

Char(short for Charlene Birkbeck), grew up on the road as an only child. Her love of music and imagination was spurred by sheer boredom while traveling the world with her parents who always had the country station on in the front of the car, while Char had her headphones glued to her ears listening to alternative and pop music from the 90's. After high school, she acquired a diploma for Applied Arts-Jazz in 2004. While musicians were a dime a dozen in Hamilton Ontario, Char felt a strong pull for the West-coast after graduation. Going through various blues, experimental rock, and pop bands in Victoria BC, Char had her own songs she was writing on the side. In 2007, Char independently released a solo cd titled "Blame It On The Moon". Now she's is back in the studio recording her second album set to release in November. In September of 2008, Char successfully toured Canada as a solo artist. With Char on keys, guitar, loop station and belting out vocals her live show is a blend of upbeat folk-rock, ballsy and emotive blues and magnetic minimalism. Char has received many raves for her live performances and was recently honoured as a guest soloist for a New Music West showcase. She was also a highlighted act on the recent 'Live from the Cornerstone Cafe' compilation CD that received raves from Victoria's Monday Magazine. Honest and full of subtlety and nuance, the songs on her latest album "Blame it on the Moon" have charted well at college radio stations, as well as receiving airplay and being featured on CBC radio. She has been honoured to play a number of festivals and showcases and to grace the stage with many fine talents such as Crimson Star (formerly The Caroline Spence Band), Los Gringos Locos, John Gogo, and Jupiter Sunrise at festivals such as Fernfest and NewMusicWest. Recently, Char succeeded at her first Canada tour in September 2008 and is in the process of booking another tour for Aug 2009. Visit www.singerchar.com for more details and video of live performance!
After high school in 2001, enrolling in Applied Arts in college in Hamilton, Ontario and specialising in Vocal Jazz and Jazz piano broadened Char's horizons and continued to pursue her love affair with music when she felt a strong pull for the West-coast after graduation. Going through various blues, experimental rock, and pop bands in Victoria BC, the past few years Char had her own songs on the side. In 2007, Char independently released a solo cd titled "Blame It On The Moon"
Now, Char is back in the studio recording her second album with the same producer as her last cd, Hayden Cyr. In September of 2008, Char successfully toured Canada as a solo artist. Her live shows consist of looping drum beats, vocal harmonies, guitar parts, and keyboards which create a very unique sound. A sound that she is now perfecting by performing shows throughout Canada and consistently writing on a full-time basis.

Visit www.singerchar.com for more details and video of live performance!