Laurel, Mississippi singer/songwriter Charlie Mars is currently on tour with The Dixie Chicks, and has a show in Oshawa at the General Motors Centre on Friday, November the 8th. Before the show this Friday, A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with the folk-rock artist to talk about touring with The Dixie Chicks, the blues, new material, and Honey Boo Boo.
AMBY: Hello Charlie, cheers for speaking with us. What have you been up to?
Charlie Mars: Well I hope you fix my punctuation is one thing I’ve been up to and in addition to that :) I’ve been on tour for about two years supporting the release of my latest album “Blackberry Light”…which came out awhile back. I’ve supported some great artists on their tours over the last year…Steve Earle, Citizen Cope, Tedeschi/Trucks Band, and now the Dixie Chicks…as well as doing my own solo and band shows all over the United States. Other than that….I drink coffee…try to keep my clothes clean…and get to watch the New Orleans Saints every now and again.
AMBY: How would you describe your sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Charlie Mars: If while making “Graceland” Paul Simon went to the beach…built a bonfire…and took some performance enhancing drugs…it would probably sound something like what I’m going for
AMBY: Does hailing from Mississippi have an influence on your music? And if so, how?
Charlie Mars: The blues of north Mississippi…namely…RL Burnside…has been a big influence on me. The pulsing…driving…rhythms of his music and live shows were so special. I grew up going to a Methodist church in Laurel, Ms, that had beautiful music….but mostly I grew up listening to the radio and albums and wanted to be as good as the people I loved…Jackson Browne…Bill Withers…NEIL YOUNG
AMBY: You’re now playing some shows with Dixie Chicks! How’s the tour going so far?
Charlie Mars: The tour has been amazing so far…in that we are playing for huge audiences…I’m having a blast…and the girls have been so gracious and welcoming towards me. I probably should have figured out it was Dawson…and not Dawson’s Creek…when I went there…I thought I was gonna get my ass kicked on stage when I said Dawsons creek 8 times :)
AMBY: Which three items could you not live without while touring?
Charlie Mars: My brown leather Trafalgar bag that I’ve done every gig with since 2008…tank tops (I’m guilty)…and my Gibson hummingbird
AMBY: Your second single How I Roll is fantastic. What inspired the song?
Charlie Mars: Driving under the influence and thinking the cops were behind me…and how sometimes I do stupid self destructive things and why
AMBY: Your latest record Blackberry Light was released back in 2012. What’s next as far as recording goes?
Charlie Mars: I’m going to do another record early 2014…probably in Texas…can’t wait for that…I’ve been writing a lot of new songs
AMBY: Who would be in your ultimate concert line-up?
Charlie Mars: Bob Marley. Bill Withers. Dire Straits
AMBY: Your music has been featured in shows like Up All Night and Parenthood. But if you could have your music featured in any TV show, which would it be?
Charlie Mars: I really like Boardwalk Empire right now…or Honey Boo Boo.
AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?
Charlie Mars: I wouldn’t know but I really like head and the heart’s 2 albums
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Charlie Mars that nobody knows yet?
Charlie Mars: I’m afraid of heights and I wish I could have a dog. Like now.
Thank you Charlie Mars, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout