Charlie has released three blues CDs under the name "Charlie & The Fez Kings". You may find these recordings on iTunes radio as well as stations in eight countries as well as the United States and Canada. Click on the album covers below to sample the tracks or even buy the CDs. Also available on Amazon.com and other fine retailers. We suggest CDbaby for better success. All tracks were performed and recorded by Charlie. Artwork by Mr. Adam Paige of Omaha, NE and Dark Bridges by Elaine Glasgow
This is blues music from the soul that captures the sounds of Chicago blues down to the delta where it all started. If you dig blazing guitars to mellow dobro, Hammond organ or harmonicas blowing hot blues, this is it! Honkin' blues for sure!
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 2011
Hot progressive blues with a touch of ZZ Top meets Steely Dan and Robben Ford. If you dig the sounds of the 70's, this montage of Fender Rhodes, Hammond organs and swirling leslies will capture your groove with rockin' guitars and soulful vocals.
Genre: Blues: Jazzy Blues
Release Date: 2012
2016 release of progressive blues and jazz with hot guitars and Hammond organ! Continuing from the last release with quirky tunes about a dark bridge over the Mississippi bridge and highway 61. Same lineup of players using real organic instruments and digital recording.
Genre: Blues: Jazzy blues
Release date: 2016
Charlie and the Fez Kings came about as I searched for an original name that would fit me as well. I always laughed at the Shriners on their tiny cars at parades. Fez hats planted firmly on their heads while determined to entertain the children and all dignity out the window. The Shriners do so much to help the children and you have to love that! I did some research and is seems that the Moroccans wore the Fez hat and still do to this day. The British officers often wore them with a smoking jacket for evening wear to fit in during their time in these countries and old movies on the TCM network will often show the costume from this bygone era. I find dogs wearing a Fez hat is even funnier, so my artist Adam soon came up with a concept that fit and the Fez Kings were born!
I recorded all the original tracks in my studio at home since no self respecting musician was coming to my garage in Omaha, NE at 2:am in the morning to freeze their tail off in the winter. After trial and error, I came up with a kerosene heater for the garage and kept a thermometer and carbon monoxide unit handy as well as a clock to keep me aware of my surroundings and air quality. Its'a wonder I didn't freeze to death or gas myself during these two albums.
The live shows were carried out by hiring my friends to work up a song list and we rarely covered the tunes I'd written or recorded except for most of the blues covers. Finding clubs that could stomach blues was another issue, so we played all sorts of music just to put it out there. My thanks goes out to all these great players and of course the radio jocks who gave me air play. The listeners and fans also have my gratitude and I've managed to sell a few CDs over time.
My first CD was mostly covers with only two original tracks that were penned by myself. The second CD had lyrics contributed on half of the songs by the late Steve Erlewine of Omaha, NE. Steve played in bands and owned a bar on the North side for many years and could speak of the lifestyle that I only witnessed. Steve could paint a picture inside a dark bar with neon sunsets. Sadly, liver failure got the best of Steve and took a wonderful friend and co-writer from this planet. The entire CD has more of a jazz twist to the blues and I'm thinking that this might have hurt it on straight blues radio. However, I do hear from some fans that they dig the vibe.
Dark Bridges is my next CD and it's taken the longest with moves and learning the Pro Tools system. I've recorded some tracks that I really like, but wish to redo the tracks with the quality that I'm achieving now. The move to Arizona along with my wife being out of the country for another six months has put a halt to things until we are settled in the desert! Now that she is back, it's time too pack it up!
I will set things back up again and start the process as well as finding some great musicians and clubs to play down south. My knowledge of Pro Tools software has caught me up to where I need to be and little changes like the vintage Sony C-45 vocal mic or the Eleven Rack guitar unit has improved the sound of my recordings. Using live drums has been a challenge with mic placement and tuning. The Steven Slate software and MIDI drums were fine on the first two CD's, but I'm after a natural sound and of course I'll be pulling in a Hammond M3 with 145 leslie that makes the hair on my arms stand straight up! So many changes and advances have made demands that I take my time on this recording and really do things right. If you're still reading this, I thank you as well and hope that you'll take a listen and enjoy blues the way that I hear it in my head...