December 4, 2012

Charlie Robison: Truly the "Life of the Party"

Sitting next to Charlie Robison backstage at the Bowen Classic gave us all we really needed to know about ol’ Charlie.  As he sat there with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, wearing Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt, he conversed with whoever would pass by…and for the most part minded his own business.  He was as cool, calm, and relaxed as a sunset, but still had the aura of someone you can’t help but notice and pay attention to when they show up at the party.  If you looked up “presence’ in the dictionary, a picture of Charlie flipping you off would be there.  It was also those same Bermuda shorts and t-shirt that he later performed in, which just kinda added a little more of a ‘cool factor’ to him.  You have to admire a rock star that doesn’t take himself too seriously.

We have had the fortune of seeing Mr. Robison here, there, and everywhere; playing in Waco at the Bowen Classic doing an acoustic set, tearing down the house at an outdoor stage at a Houston BBQ cook-off, sweating his ass off while celebrating his yearly birthday bash in Gruene Hall, countless performances at Lone Star Jam, and most special of all…recording his long overdue Live at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.  Point being, catch him in any type of setting and a good time will come knocking at your door momentarily.  The specialty of seeing him record his Live at Billy Bob’s was to see him take his rightful seat at the table with all the other legends of the Texas music scene that have graced the stage before him.  Charlie is a hard touring, possibly hard living, mainstay that has added much more to the music scene than he has taken. 

His music?   You see, this is where it gets difficult to pin Charlie down.  Charlie falls into the same category as Stoney Larue, Whiskey Myers, and before their demise, Cross Canadian Ragweed, among others.  In trying to describe the music to a new fan you can’t quite put your finger on it.

 A little country, a little rock-n-roll, with some blues mixed in could be one way; “not your Dad’s rock-n-roll” might be another.  We’ve just resigned to telling people to come to a show with us and if you don’t like it, we’ll personally pay your door fee.  Haven’t had one person even broach the subject of a refund yet.

  His music runs the gamut of slow and introspective to hard charging rock, third person observational to tug at your heart truths.  He has a way of not sugar coating things and being direct and to the point.  There’s a growing back catalog that has true treasures and gems scattered throughout for any type of fan.

His concerts are littered with sing-a-longs such as “Barlight”, “Life of the Party”, and of course “My Hometown”.  But it is the finely tuned rockers and confessionals such as “Loving County”, “Desperate Times”, “John O’ Reilly”, and sunshine in a bottle “Beautiful Day” that really find Charlie at home.  Tearing away at his axe, letting his backing band the Enablers blaze through solos, and being an overall conductor of a 2 hour party is where he seems at ease.  He never lets it get out of hand and knows exactly how to channel the energy from the crowd (and band) into a stellar performance. 

Charlie, born in Houston and raised in Bandera, literally has music in his veins.  With brother Bruce, sister Robyn Ludwyck, a distinct former relationship with a high profile country artist, and the growing stable of label mates at 36D Management, he is surrounded by talent that has boundless opportunities to see the world and bring their creative forces to the forefront of the music scene.  Mr. Robison gives you the impression he may have already lived out some of his nine lives, but his Cheshire smile lets you know he’ll just come out the other side clean as a whistle.  Growing up along with his music has been a pleasure; it’s been the soundtrack to many different occurrences in our lives.  Live at Billy Bob’s should be released early next year and he even dropped a (not so subtle) hint that it should be followed up quickly with a brand new studio album.  “No divorce songs on this one” he recently said on Twitter, and you could almost hear him grinning ear to ear.

Check out where you can see Charlie in a town near you at:

To see the rest of the images from Charlie's LIVE AT BILLY BOB's show, check out:

Article Written By: Matthew Ricketts ~ Senior Staff Writer, LoneStar Outlaw Review
Photography Rights belong to LoneStar Outlaw Reivew,
courtesy of ©KelleyStroutPhotography

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