We had a chance to chat with Charlie Worsham last week and for those who don’t know Charlie here is your chance to get to know one of the most talented individuals in music today. I have thankfully had the opportunity this past summer to see Charlie open for Brad Paisley at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, and to say this Mississippi boy is talented would be an understatement. Honestly if you don’t read this article and click on a few of the links to find out how talented he is. It would truly be an injustice to your senses. Trust me you won’t be disappointed! Oh ya, here is how it went down.
Sound Check: Thanks for taking the time to chat today Charlie. Almost a week away from joining Dallas Smith across the frozen Tundra of Canada on the Western dates of the Tippin Point Tour.
Charlie: Hey Thanks Corey, I appreciate it. Well, I am from Mississippi and it snowed once when I was a kid so it’s all new to me. I bought a Goose Down jacket just for the occasion and I did spend a couple of winters in Boston when I was in college so I know a couple of things about the colder weather. But what I am mostly excited about the landscape though. I know Canada is so beautiful so being covered in snow it’s a different kind of beauty. Looking forward to it.
Sound Check: So our readers may not know who Charlie Worsham is?
Charlie: (laughter) I don’t know if I do. (Sarcastically spoken)
Sound Check: Maybe tell us a little about Rubberband your debut album? Tell us how it came about and how long it took to put together.
Charlie: Absolutely, well I am really proud of that first record Rubberband. It was a chance for me to produce with one of my best friends Ryan Tyndell. We worked on and produced that together and I learned so much and I lived so much life and grew as a musician and as a person throughout that process. We made about half that record before I signed with Warner Bros. And the wonderful folks at WB loved the originality of that record and how country it was. But also how out there it was for the times as the title track features an old bluegrass acoustic martin guitar plugged into an amp with distortion and tuned way down to a super low note. Kind of like Audioslave meets the Soggy Bottom Boys (snickers) You know it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I am so proud of what it did. It wasn’t a chart buster or sales record thing by a long shot but in terms of beginning to find my audience and making a statement for the country music I love and believe in. Where I want to personally lead this format in the next decade. It couldn’t have been a better first soonest for me as an artist. I am looking into making my second record right now and getting started on that. I think that it’s going to be an evolving sound but I am really happy where I have started. And the fans that I have made, we toured over 145 shows last year. I met so many country music fans and it’s just a beautiful thing and it’s just all I have ever wanted to do. Ever since I realized how bad I was at Tee-Ball (says while starting to laugh) and music was awesome I have been fortunate it’s all I have ever done.
Sound Check: So you had it rough with the Tee-Ball days as a youngster?
Charlie: You know, I just don’t know if I have got that kind of coordination.
Sound Check: But your fingers can pick the hell out of a guitar.
Charlie: Well Thank you, Man it’s crazy my high school job was playing bars with guys that were twice my age. I loved it I really loved it. It was so much fun.
Sound Check: I have listened to the album a couple dozen times since I saw you on the Brad Paisley tour this past summer. I purchased the album and would have to say my personal favorite is Young To See. I really just love the story of the song.
Charlie: Thank you, that’s one of mine to. I wouldn’t change a thing if I could go back and do it again. But I do think I picked the songs with the least personality for my singles and it’s just my perception at the time. But there’s a lot more life in there whether its Young to See or Mississippi in July or Tools of the Trade and those are kind of the heart of the record. And I appreciate you listening to that whole thing so much. I found the fans I have made are the album folks. The ones that will give someone’s music a real shot like that.
Sound Check: I think it was Eric Church that said it on a recent award show that “this is the time of the album” more so than anytime.
Charlie: That’s right, it tells a story as a complete piece of work.
Sound Check: So the new album you mentioned earlier, you’re heading north of the border for the Tippin Point Tour with Dallas Smith is there any chance the West Coast fans will be treated to some new Charlie Worsham material?
Charlie: Absolutely, ahh man you know the songs off Rubberband but do have a few new songs that may or may not end up on the new record. And I will likely try one of those out each night. I love not playing the same show night to night. So we will try different stuff in different cities. I am just excited to immerse myself in Canadian culture and everyone that’s told me that’s been talks about how cold it is and that you really can’t hang out outside and the only way to hang out in the winter months is to just go to the bar or the show and enjoy the music together. I am just going to go in and dive into that head first. And I am bring my banjo, I might play an Ozzy or AC DC song on my banjo you never know.
Sound Check: Nice love that
Charlie: Ya, it’s something I have done for quite a while with Cover Challenges on YouTube, and all you have to do is type in “24 Hour Cover Challenge” and my name and there is a bunch of tracks there.
Sound Check: Actually, I have watched a couple of those videos and it’s a really cool idea of having such a short period of time to do the complete song yourself. So Charlie over the last couple years you have opened for such headliners as Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift. Maybe touch on what that experience is like playing the larger venues?
Charlie: You know, every tour is different. And every tour you take something away that’s different. I was just last night catching up with some friends from the Kip Moore tour. The thing about that tour for me was that Kip was just so encouraging and it was at a time for me that was frustrating and I hadn’t had much airplay and didn’t know what I was supposed to do. And he had been through all that before and him sitting down with me and giving me that encouragement was a big gift. And with Miranda she just loves country music so much. And my favorite memories of being on the road with her was that Air Stream that she takes out with her on the road. Just sitting in the Air Stream playing records or passing around a guitar and playing old country songs or new songs of ours that nobody had heard yet. And her passion is just inspirational. And Taylor, well how much time do you have. She is the biggest star in the world for a reason and it’s a good thing. I am just so proud of her and so grateful she gave me my first chance to tour. That was my first tour I ever did so that was cool. Brad Paisley his band and crew I learned why the crew is the hardest working crew in show business and they are such good people. And a lot of those guys use to work with Vince Gill on the road. And Vince is my hero. So I use to sit down at catering and ask for Vince stories and they would give them to me. The craziest thing about all that is right after this tour with Dallas which I am really looking forward to seeing what this tour has to bring to with Dallas. But then I come back to the states and I am going to do a little mini tour, And I am not opening but I am actually IN THE BAND with Vince Gill, Kenny Gill and Ashley Monroe and we actually sing and play on each other’s songs all night long. We are all in a band together and riding the bus together. So for me it’s like when you’re a kid and you dream that The Beatles knock on the door and want to jam. It’s just like that.
Sound Check: Social Media, maybe tell us how it plays into your interaction with fans and how you can reach so many people.
Charlie: Garth Brooks did say it best, “It’s a conversation”, but it really is. Taylor Swift is doing such a great job of interacting with her fans. We all have that opportunity as a touring artist to say here’s what I am doing. And people make jokes about posting what you had for lunch, but the thing is when you’re having Poutine on your first Canadian tour it is a momentous occasion and you post the pic and say tell me how you like your poutine. Then next week you meet a fan that talks to you about their favorite Poutine. It really is the start of a conversation that lasts.
Sound Check: But now when you Tweet out you’re tweeting to 44K people or posting on Facebook to the same audience you have 44 thousand people thinking they need to come to Canada to try our poutine.
Charlie: Ya, absolutely, but you know my latest thing on social media and I know it’s kind of a hot topic but it is Spotify. I am actually starting this Spotify playlist and would love for people to know about it and follow it. And I will start posting pictures on the other social media platforms about the songs we listen to on the bus. But it’s a Spotify playlist called Bus Jams and my favorite thing to do going through the night after a show is to listen to music on the bus and get turned onto new music. So everyone needs to follow me on Spotify at BusJams.
Sound Check: So you’re a great song writer maybe take us through that process.
Charlie: Thanks Corey, but it’s kinda like John Rich sang about Roll with the Flow. On Monday night I went out to see the Time Jumpers and I have had the chance to sit in with them before but I really had only planned on saying hey to Vince and he asked me to come up and sit in. And that just turned into my Monday night. I am kind of living the dream. Writing is easier to do at home but I am learning to do it on the road it’s a struggle but you can bite off small chunks.
Sound Check: So you played the Nashville Predators game a couple weeks back, how was that?
Charlie: Ya that was a blast, when I lived in Boston the Red Sox won the World Series and I felt for the first time what it was like for a city to embrace a team. And I got that feeling at the Pred’s game. It’s a cool thing to have that in my hometown now. Ya its good stuff.
Sound Check: Charlie thanks for taking the time to chat today, we hope you enjoy your west coast swing with Dallas and his crew.
Charlie: Thanks looking forward to it.
I want to thank Steve Waxman of Warner Music Canada for arranging my chat with Charlie. We would also like to give a big THANK YOU to Dallas Smith for bring such great talent north of the border with Sundy Best and Charlie Worsham. Canada has been treated to some AMAZING music so for that we thank you!
Catch Charlie on the below dates of the Tippin Point Tour
@charlieworsham – Twitter
Charlie Worsham Facebook
#BusJams – Charlie Worsham – Spotify Pl