Charlie Worsham has hit the ground running with his debut single “Could It Be.” His smooth vocals, impressive playing chops and writing ability are about to take country fans by storm with his upcoming album “Rubberband” due out August 20th. The Mississippi native has a unique style that is all his own. The album features a refreshing sound that mixes a traditional sound with a certain spice that is all Charlie’s own creation. He also enlisted some pretty impressive company to join him on the song “Tools of the Trade.” Vince Gill and Mary Stuart, two of Charlie’s heroes, lend their voice to the song that has a bit of a bluegrass flare. Charlie recently took some time out to talk to CMTT about his musical influences, song writing and he gave us the scoop on recording over at Vince Gill’s house!
CMTT: Let’s just start at the very beginning…where are you from?
Charlie Worsham: I am from Granada, MS. It is about 100 miles south of Memphis.
CMTT: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
Charlie Worsham: It ran the gamut, but the constants were Vince Gill, and Marty Stuart. I went through a big Arrowsmith phase in terms of rock and roll…I love those guys! My dad loved the music of the 60’s and 70’s like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and I as I got further along sort of past the high school crushes of music, I discovered a lot of greats. I am on a Guy Clark kick right now! Keith Urban’s “Golden Road,” Eric Church, Miranda…those are some of my current favorites.
CMTT: The new single, “Could It Be” has already been quite successful. How would you describe your style and sound to new fans?
Charlie Worsham: It is acoustic turned on its head a little bit. It is hard to put into words. I grew up writing and playing for other artists and being in the studio. I was Sort of doing all these other jobs in the industry. So now it is sort of like the guy who has been playing back up guitar has his own thing and can go crazy for the first time. It is all these influences now coming together. Banjos, mandolin, and acoustic guitar with electric and harmonies added.
CMTT: The album, “Rubberband,” comes out August 20th. You co-wrote all of the songs right?
Charlie Worsham: Yes. Some songs I had more of a hand in than others, but they are all a combination of personal experience and the best stories I could come up with to tell. The hope is that once the songs are written and recorded they cease to be mine and that they connect with people who love country music and become their stories. It is certainly not about me. It is about the people out in the audience every night whether it is Tim McGraw, or me… no matter where you are in your career, it is about country music fans.
CMTT: Have you always been a songwriter, or did you start writing for this debut album?
Charlie Worsham: My first experience in music was as a player. I played a lot of bluegrass and banjo growing up and sort of graduated to electric and started singing for the first time in high school. I was in bars every weekend in high school playing music, for the pure LOVE of music. I didn’t start writing until later in my high school years when I got some recording gear. I started really working on the craft of writing and focusing on it in college.
CMTT: What was it like to work with the legendary Vince Gill and Marty Stuart on the song off the album “Tools of the Trade?”
Charlie Worsham: It was like waking up in the middle of daydream that I had many times growing up. Marty came to the studio where we were working and you open the door and see him and it looks like he got his outfit from Johnny Cash and he probably did. He had his mandolin strung around his shoulder and he couldn’t have been more gracious. He took his time with us, and played. When it was over he sat down on the couch with us and told stories. With Vince I got to his house. I remember as I was getting ready to leave, in addition to him just blowing my mind, he was just standing around barefoot encouraging me and telling me stories about when he was just starting out. He said, ‘Don’t worry, you will be fine. I heard your stuff on the radio…it sounds good.’ We also shared funny YouTube videos! I never thought I would be sitting around sharing funny YouTube videos with my hero…it was crazy! Then as I was walking out the door there was a framed lyric and the title said “Randall Knife” and it was two pages ripped from Guy Clark’s personal songwriting notebook. They were given to Vince as a gift and that was the only time Guy Clark had ever taken pages from his notebook. I asked Vince about it because of his song “The Key” which is one of my favorite songs. Basically that song (“Randal Knife”) helped inspire a part of “The Key.” Then Guy surprised Vince by giving these lyrics to him and of course that is sitting next to the bust of Vince’s face that is also sitting in the Hall of Fame. That was no ordinary shelf.
CMTT: The instrumentation to the title track, “Rubberband,” is really unique and captivating. As a musician are you always looking for that perfect blend of instruments?
Charlie Worsham: Absolutely! In fact trying to juggle the different hats of producer, player and singer my default is to be the player. Many of the detours I took the band on in the studio was because I was too stubborn to quit being the player. “Rubberband” was this beautiful moment for me, which is why we named the record “Rubberband.” Forgot the bad pun, but I really got to stretch all of my influences. In the central instrumentation I am playing a 60’s Martin D-28 with the string tuned incredibly low and plugged into an amplifier with distortion which is just not your normal thing. It was so fun to record that I wanted that to reflect the tone of the entire record and that is why is the record is called “Rubberband.”
CMTT: There is this beautiful blend of voices on the song “Mississippi in July.” Who is singing on that with you?
Charlie Worsham: I love when this question comes up because she is such a great artist. Her name is Madi Diaz. We became friends at Berkley in Boston during our college days. I studied production and engineering, which was my major, and one of my projects was to record a song with someone else singing and put the session together. I chose Madi for that project because she rips my heart out every time she sings. So of course she was at the top of the list when it came time to put background vocals on the record. On “Mississippi in July” she really out does herself.
CMTT: What do you want fans to know most about you and about your music?
Charlie Worsham: Well first I want them to know how grateful I am for their support. Everyone who has ever tweeted me, bought my song, or anything…if my music has resonated with them and they let me or their friends know it, which is really the greatest thing ever. I would also hope that when someone becomes a fan of my music they don’t stop there. I came to town with a really cool group of folks. The Brothers Osborne who are just getting started, Kacey Musgraves and more. We also connect with heroes who will take a fan back further into the story of country music. If someone likes my music I think they will also like Rayland Baxter, Madi Diaz, Kacey Musgraves…and so I just hope they don’t stop with me. It goes all the way back to our heroes, Vince Gill, and Marty Stuart. That is the cool thing about being a fan of music. I am fan of music…I am one of them. You can dig as deep as you want to dig.
Charlie is passionate about music and it clearly shows when you talk to him and when you listen to his music. “Rubberband” is definitely an album country fans are going to be talking about. His single “Could It Be” is available now and “Rubberband” will be available everywhere on August 20th. Be sure to check it out! For more information on Charlie head on over to www.charlieworsham.com