Everything I Say
(Robert Charles Music)


From the opening strains of “Moon River,” you just know that guitarist Robert Charles means business. Although its only six cuts deep, there’s plenty of musical meat and muscle at work on Everything I Say, released on CD in 2009 by Charles on his own label. Fans of instrumental rock and jazz fusion will love just about everything about this CD. Although he admits, ‘I like to believe my vocals are honest, which is good enough,’ Charles decides on diversification with a closing vocal number, also entitled “Everything I Say.” Charles might benefit from a bigger production budget, yet overall there’s not much out of place on Everything I Say. Recording up in Seattle with a range of talented backing musicians, on Everything I Say Charles has found a real musical sweet spot—that point in music where genres wondrously collide and no one cares if its called jazz, rock or whatever. As one key writer has noted, if there's any deficiency here at all, it's that there's only six cuts and by the end of the CD you wish there were another six tracks to go! Even so, if you enjoy electric guitar instrumental music in the spirit of giants like Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton with a chaser of Steve Cropper and even Dregs founder Steve Morse, then Robert Charles is your man.

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Musical Background

I started playing guitar at about 15 years old. After graduating HS I majored in music at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. I studied mostly classical theory, which was invaluable, as it taught me the language of music. I took a few semesters of jazz guitar from a local teacher in Worcester for college credit and that opened up a world of musical color for which I was desperate. Prior to that I was strictly a blues guitarist.

New CD

My new CD is entitled Everything I Say, which is the name of the last track on the CD and the only song on which I sing. I started the process of recording this album back in the summer of '06. I was eager to lay down my new ideas but knew I couldn't afford the studio time, especially the time involved in getting my solos right. I bought a Mac and Pro Tools and laid out the structure of all the songs. I then had some of the best players in Seattle come to my home studio and lay down their parts. Most of the tracks were recorded in my studio, but the drum tracks were recorded at the Garey Shelton Studio here in Seattle, WA.

Favorite Guitars

I own two Fender Stratocasters. A '73 and a '94 anniversary model. Both are modified and contain EMG pickups. I like the EMG's because they're quiet! I used the '73 on “All Of Me” (and Dexter's Song) as that guitar gets a great fat blues sound, especially in the neck position. The '94 Strat has a humbucker in the bridge position and I used that on “Moon River”, “I Fall To Pieces” and “Didn't Even Rain” as it gets great sustain. I bought a "65 Amp" with a tax return and used the amp for a lot of my clean tones on the album. That amp gets a wonderfully pristine clean sound! I also used Amplitube extensively in the recording and was quite happy with the result, although it takes a lot of tweaking to get those sounds dialed in right. I've been experimenting with a lot of new pedals for live performance and I like the Xotic, Zvex and Tonebone pedals. I use D'Addario Strings 9-46.

Musical Influences

The first guitar record that really blew me away was Kooper Session with Shuggie Otis. Shuggie was only 15 when he made that recording and he plays his ass off. It gave me a lot of inspiration that I could become a great guitar player someday. After that it was the early Johnny Winter albums, especially The Progressive Blues Experiment. I became a member of the church of Jimi Hendrix and will always regard him as the most special of all electric guitar players. To me, Jimi is just as important as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Larry Carlton with Steely Dan was the guitar player I had been waiting for and the solo on “Kid Charlemagne” literally changed my life. He fused rock and jazz in way that I had never heard before. I became a huge Danny Gatton in the early '90's, he was truly amazing, but my all time favorite guitar player is Jeff Beck. He is the most original and creative player I've ever heard and is always growing as a musician. He is never stagnant, always breaking new ground. The greatest!

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