America, meet Joe Charter. With his debut CD, this versatile, compelling songwriter emerges as a fresh voice on the pop scene. With more hooks than Captain Ahab, a slew of fine melodies and some introspective, moving lyrics, Charter covers a lot of ground on 'Delorean' as the songs' vibe move from rip roaring rockers to pensive love meditations. The singer/songwriter, who comes from a family with a history of musicianship, should obviously step beyond the pack of artists filling up the airwaves these days. Charter's music touches something deep within and will, no doubt, have people wondering, 'just who is that' when they hear his songs for the first time. To get an idea of just who Joe Charter is, read on: Over the past few years with the success of people like Norah Jones, India. Arie, John Mayer and the re-emergence of Bruce Springsteen, there has been a shift in pop music towards a more song oriented focus. This seems to be in line for you to breakthrough because you obviously are a song based artist. Is this how you see yourself and do you think the climate is just right for a Joe Charter record right now? Yes, I believe I've been focused since the age of 17 to becoming a stronger, mature 'song based artist' that I am today. I do think it is time for Joe Charter, I have been stepping out on a limb to predict the success of this record and this music delivers a certain feel of what I'm about. You move fluidly between some jagged rock with lean, muscular guitar work to melodic, subtle love songs. Do you try to vary your musical approach as much as possible to create a balance? I'm sure for many artist's, it becomes an issue to not to try not to make one song sound like another that you have already written and sometimes I judge my own songs in that light. I naturally write love ballads and have a very large collection of them. The other side of me 'wants to Rock' thus the variation. And I am in the process of recording a second CD to be released in the fall of 2004. There sounds like there are a lot of influences in your guitar style from the Allman Brothers to George Harrison. How did you pick up guitar early on and how did you develop your style? I am the youngest of four brothers, and they were all into music tremendously as I was growing up in Wheaton Il. There was a natural interest in the guitar, and percussion. I took a few lessons from a friend of my brothers at the age of 10 for guitar, and that was the start. My style? Well it could have been so many!! I was a huge 'Rock & Roll' guy. I was always into bands like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, even Black Sabbath. There was also the southern rock era of my life. Acts like Molly Hatchet. Neil Yong was inspiring as well, but Three of the most inspiring artist to me were, Neil Diamond,Carly Simon, and John Denver. I just have always loved a 'love song' and they all wrote very great ones. What spurs the songwriting process for you? Do you have a disciplined way of writing--dedicating time each day--or is it out of inspiration and spur of the moment? It's funny, I think when you first start writing music, it's all about you, or your experiences, and this has been true for me. But now I write with the listener in mind as well as myself, and try to incorporate them together. I still like an inspiration type song, maybe from my own life, but I will always add a little twist to make it more interesting. I do seem to wait for the inspiration rather than the discipline process. I seem to have a lot of inspiration. What's the toughest thing in coming up with something that's new and original? You try a number of different production flourishes throughout including using saxophone and textured keyboards. Did you try to come up with a sonic correlative to the lyrical ideas in the songs? My goal has been to write popular sounding music. I think that is the toughest part--how do you write something original? But will be accepted by the world community? I think you have to be true to yourself, and not try to be someone you're not. As far as the 'sonic correlative' I definitely did. I had to see first, how each of my songs would evolve after laying down the initial percussion/tempo and acoustic guitar, and then decide how best to compliment the song. I am hoping everyone who listens to this record will come away liking at least two of these songs enough to want to buy it. Also I am hoping radio will embrace the music and put it into rotation. So what's the preoccupation with the Delorean? Inquiring minds want to know. Are you a car buff? I am far from a car buff, but this is a good question. I was on my first trip to Nashville back in 1993. I stayed at a camp ground north of Nashville. I had my 4 track cassette recorder in my camper trailer ready to record the 'next big hit' to hit the country music scene (I came to Nashville for inspiration) So I just tried to come up with an interesting song that showed my ambitions for music. That's what this song is really about 'my ambition for music' and it is Nashville born! Love is in the air throughout the record? You say the heart knows what it knows. Are the love songs born out of personal experience and do they map out the roadway for the ways of contemporary romance? I am a romantic. I have had my troubles with love, but I have had 'the best love' too. So I hope people will draw from the love the songs portray. I don't really like a sad love song, so you will rarely hear one from me. What's the most important thing for you to convey to your listener? Are you always trying to create a bond through emotional commitment and make the listener have a personal stake in the music? I think it would be that they would feel the music and take a few phrases from my lyrics for reflection and conversation as well as enjoy the unique sound of the instrumentation of my work. That would please me very much. It would even better if a listener gets an emotional lift from one of my songs and, perhaps, just a 'good cry' I think all good singer/songwriters of the past have been able to do that on every record they produce, so if this happens, I will be tremendously excited!!
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