I am still and always will be a Florida (State) girl at heart. That means sweet tea is appropriate with any meal, beach days in the middle of our 80-degree “winters,” and flip-flop sandals no matter how cold it may be outside. Yes, it does get cold here…. anything below 65 🙂
This Florida (State) girl hails from Jacksonville, and although in some people’s minds that may trigger thoughts of the Jaguars (no, I don’t wanna talk about it!), in my mind it means I come from a big city with a small town mentality. Everyone seems to know everyone around these parts, and while that may not always be a good thing, there is at least one person who seemingly everyone knows and who no one can ever say anything but great things about—Charlie Walker.
Charlie has called Jacksonville Beach home for 8 years, and is a force to be reckoned with in the local music scene. His latest album Fortunetellers is a perfect blend of heartfelt lyrics about love and soul-searching mixed with the signature fun, beachy style of music Charlie is known for. The title-track appears on several of my playlists because of its catchy, upbeat melody and chorus. Other tracks like “Thy Will Be Done” invoke so much emotion in me and I find myself reflecting on the last 2 years of my life. It’s a powerful, spiritual anthem and features a verse sang by Charlie’s roommate and Split Tone front man, Ryan Campbell, who has an incredible voice and adds a special element to anything he touches thanks to his gift of rhyme and reggae style.
Aside from being a talented musician and songwriter, Charlie has a special quality that is hard to find in people these days—he will show you just the type of person he is in the first few minutes you meet him. His laid-back attitude paired with his compassionate nature and genuine concern for all people is apparent not only in his everyday life, but also crosses over into his music. Simply put: People love Charlie and Charlie loves people.
Who are your musical influences?
It started out with my parents. A lot of people don’t know this, but my dad was in the Army chorus for 2 years and toured with them all over. Both he and my mom played guitar and she also played the piano, so growing up I was always around them singing. Subconsciously I think my influences are people like Sinatra and Roy Orbison because that’s who they listened to all the time, but when I went out to pick my own stuff, the first album I remember buying was The Beach Boys—I always loved that beachy kind of music. As I got older, Dave Matthews became really popular when I was in high school and later on I got to play with him, which was a dream come true. After I became friends with certain artists and played on the bill with them, some of my influences didn’t just come from their music, but also by their character. Justin Nokuza and other local musicians like Ryan Campbell and Nate Holley also are big influences.
How would you describe your sound and how it’s developed over the years? My oldest album was influenced more by Damien Rice and The Beatles. The latest album is a bit more pop and singer-songwriter. I guess I was trying to take the singer-songwriter style and make it more popular. The last album went from no hooks, no chorus, no sing-a-longs and telling stories to this last album, which has heavy hooks, and I wrote to be more catchy. I still wanted to maintain the integrity behind writing a song though.
Who outside of your genre would you most like to collaborate with?
Keith Urban. Country! Then maybe we can have Drake to add some Canadian flavor.
What would be your dream tour?
One that I made money off of. I’d love to go on tour with Justin Nokuza again and bring along Ryan Campbell and Nate Holley. I have so much respect for so many bands that I almost don’t care who I would go with, but I’d definitely love to go on tour with Jack Johnson and The Black Keys.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I can do voices from Family Guy, and I stay up all night and normally go to bed at 6 in the morning.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Family Guy. No, I’m kidding. I draw inspiration from my quiet time and the people I respect and value—my parents and my best friends. Those conversations we have about life are where I really get it.
What can we expect from you in 2013?
Promote my new album Fortunetellers. I’m really looking forward to it.
Charlie plays all over Jacksonville every week.
Visit www.CharlieWalkerBand.com for the show schedule.