Charlie B & the Groove Crew
Calgary International Blues Festival (2017)
Originally from Philadelphia, Charlie was born into a home that thrived on music. His father, a career military man, sang Gospel and listened to Beethoven. His Mom introduced him to the music she knew... originally from Georgia, her father a sharecropper, she introduced Charlie to tunes from Big Mama Thornton, Lavern Baker and Bessie Smith.
Honouring his father's wishes, Charlie began his musical career at the age of eight, with classical violin. A few years later he started making money when he put the violin to rest and picked up his guitar, entertaining the neighbours in his back yard for a nickel.
After a stint in the military, Charlie wanted to become a professional musician and moved to New York. He drove a beer truck and worked for a time at a factory before forming a band and performing in the East Village. This is where he found opportunity, performing with Grover Washington Jr, Brook Benton and Gladys Knight & the Pips.
Charlie was inspired by artists like Ray Charles, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Boy Williams and Muddy Waters, among them. He combined elements from these many influences to come up with his own funky, bluesy, jazzy style.
Charlie's impressive guitar skills, rich baritone voice and mix of styles gave him international appeal, his music sending him around the globe to perform across Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, the USA and Canada.
Backed for his Calgary Bluesfest performance by the Groove Crew, Charlie is joined by guitarist Yuji Ihara, bassist George Phillips, drummer Casy Davis and keyboard man, Ferdi Braithwaite.