Charley was born and raised in rural Delaware on a farm near Blackiston Crossroads. He started playing guitar at the age of nine. His travels carried him south to St. Augustine, Florida where he studied on the styles of Merle Travis and the late Gamble Rogers among others. These days he makes his home in southeastern Utah and performs throughout the Intermountain West from Salt Lake City to Telluride,Co. He was the 1992 Utah State Flattop Champion, the 2002 Wyoming State Fingerstyle Champion and the winner of the 2003 Gamble Rogers Fingerstyle Competition. Says Charley of the CD, ' It's a tribute to my early influences on guitar, some newer influences and a couple of my own thrown in for good measure' 'red hot fingerpickin extraordinaire'- Intermountain Acoustic Musician 'a must see in musical entertainment'- Aspen Daily News 'Simmons' picking will heat up the night'- Glenwood Springs Post Independent ------------------ Have you grown weary of slick, over-produced, and commercialized music? Do you crave something pure, delicious, and uncorrupted by the technology of the recording studio? Here is a CD to satisfy your craving. 'Full Circle' is a collection of thirteen songs and instrumentals by the extremely talented guitar player and singer Charley Simmons. Mr. Simmons accompanies his singing with masterful finger-style guitar music. His voice is a combination of dry, long-cut shag tobacco and honey, which is complemented perfectly by his guitar work. All the selections were played on a Breedlove C-25 Northwest. For you guitar aficionados and aficionadas, this is an extremely sweet, well-balanced guitar, punchy and quite piano-like in tone. The CD was recorded cleanly, without any over-produced effects. Just one voice, one guitar, pure and unprocessed. Turn up the volume, and it sounds like a live performance in your living room. Some of the tunes are traditional, others are by writers such as Greg Brown, Bruce Cockburn, Keb'Mo', and Doc Watson. Two of the tunes are by Mr. Simmons. His closing tune of the CD, 'Sunrise Over Sinbad,' is breathtakingly beautiful. The compositions on the CD range in style from Delta to country blues, to Doc Watson-style to Akins-Travis-style fingerpicking. In the liner notes, Mr. Simmons cites Doc Watson, Chet Atkins,Merle Travis, but especially the late Gamble Rogers, as strong influences on his guitar style. 'Full Circle' includes an extremely energetic rendition of Doc Watson's 'Southbound' and 'Doc's Guitar,' a heartfelt version of Greg Brown's 'Your Town Now,' an astute and haunting interpetation of Bruce Cockburn's 'Pacing the Cage,' an old favorite, Jesse Fuller's 'San Francisco Bay Blues,' and John Loudermilk's 'Windy and Warm,' which you will recognize instantly when you hear it. The seven other tunes are played with an overwhelming sense of competence, compassion, and soul. Although the guitar picking on all the tunes is impressive, the solos on the other of Mr. Simmons' compositions, 'Suffocation Blues,' in particular, will make you smile, squirm with delight in your chair, and shake your head in wonder. The pieces are played with dexterity, aplomb, and great heart. Mr. Simmons has a wonderful touch on the guitar, thumpy, steadfast, rhythmic, sweet, with a terrific sense of syncopation and subtlety. There is nothing as satisfying as that alternating-thumb bass pattern in a fingerpicked tune, especially when it's executed with this much finesse. Go ahead, have a tasty auditory experience. Invite Charley Simmons to play in your living room. Howard Gotfryd Desktop Publisher Guitar Player New York, NY.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of