Charlesy decided to learn the guitar when he was a student working on a French vineyard and travelling around Europe. He ended up working on an island near Bordeaux where there were no shops and bars – just a couple of Irish workers who had taken their guitars on their travels. They knew numerous songs and entertained their fellow workers for weeks as everyone drank the local free red wine because the water on the island was unsafe to drink!
Prior to learning the guitar Charlesy had always written lyrics, partly inspired by his father who had several novels published. On picking up the guitar he could now marry the lyrics with the music and his passion for songwriting was born.
These days Charlesy is a songwriter and music producer although was previously a founder member of the Accelerators. Initially on guitar/vocals, he later moved to bass/vocals. The Accelerators enjoyed 21 years of playing gigs across the south-west of England and achieved airplay on BBC Radio Two, ITV soap Emmerdale and on many other radio stations around the world.
Charlesy also played gigs in the Dominican Republic with Los Tres Rebeldes including 3 memorable gigs in the women’s prison at Najayo to publicise prison reforms which were put in place to make them more humane.
With regard to his songwriting Charlesy says, “My songs are not easy to categorise as they range through country, folk, rock and roll and acoustic etc. I’ve long since given up trying to ‘formularise’ the songs. They will just, well….emerge…..!`. Perhaps this is not surprising as his earlier musical influences included Neil Young, David Bowie, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, The Clash, the Sex Pistols and Pink Floyd.
Some years ago Charlesy was stuck in the corporate rut and hating every minute: the dull meetings, long hours, corporate politics, tedious presentations and Sunday evenings spent dreading the week ahead. He recalled that “it was like wishing your life away”. It was very difficult for him to make the break from the grind, downsize, write songs and still be able to pay the bills.
In fact all that Charlesy ever really wanted to do was to write songs and get them recorded to a reasonable level in the hope that they finally reached a wider audience. Whilst he sings most of his songs, he states that `my first love is as a songwriter`.
The artwork for his song covers often derives from his original photographs. After ‘dropping out’ of corporate life one way that he found to pay the bills was to take and sell photographs. He says, “This gave me a great opportunity to indulge a love of travel and spending time in my beloved campervan!”
His latest songwriting project is the country album `Nine Country Nuggets` by the Charlesys. Produced and written by Charlesy, the album was recorded in Nashville by some truly wonderful musicians. As the album is all about the songs, `The Charlesys` are the songs themselves.