Charlie Winston performing on May 14th @ Mercury Lounge in New York

Doors: 6:30 pm

$10 advance / $12 day of show

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Telling the Charlie Winston story – Charlie for Chaplin, Winston for Churchill – is like recounting some improbable film. Born into a family of artists, his parents brought the family up in a hotel in Cornwall, a sort of open house where the kids were surrounded by impromptu orchestras, chess players, touring actors, Freemasons, some harmless drunks and a couple of local wideboys. With so many stimuli, Charlie unsurprisingly came through this period with a taste for music and ended up learning the drums (aged 8), jamming with local bluesmen and starting his first group “Body Clock” which – by his own account – wasn’t terribly good. At 17 he left to study in London, discovered piano jazz, composed for both the Rambert School of Ballet and the London Sinfonietta and met Ben Edwards, the incredible harmonica player who accompanies him to this day. Being part of the National Youth Reggae Ensemble, Charlie’s next group was inspired by the feeling of Bob Marley, the lyricism of Jeff Buckley and the modern punch of Roni Size, all with hints of Lee Scratch Perry and Junior Marvin… Aged 21, young Winston set off for a voyage to India where he learned the tablas and studied Indian music. Back home with new multi-instrumentalist skills and a world’s worth of inspiration now under his belt, his talent started getting recognised. He composed some music for short films, sung a cover version of Steve Winwood for a Volkswagen ad and – yes! – made a chance encounter with Peter Gabriel which got Charlie a warm up slot for Gabriel’s 2007 tour. And so it was that Atmosphériques finally snatched up this creative young man to record the “Hobo” sessions in Paris. Charlie played guitar, piano and even a Wurlitzer! Add Ben Edwards’ crazy harmonica skills, Daniel Marsala on bass guitar and Medi on drums, record extra horns in London and leave Mark Plati (David Bowie, The Cure, Robbie Williams) to work his magic on it and you have a polished collection of music with both the ideas and spontaneity intact. Charlie Wilson. A romantic, a traveller, in love with the 20th Century American myth of the hobo: a creative free spirit as embodied by Kerouac or Charlie Chaplin, a bluesman inspired by Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and Tom Waits. An old soul 30 years of age, eyes and ears wide open…