"You can have all the technical
skills, but the music has to flow from the hear. Music is an
expression of the soul." -- Charlie Christopherson
Charlie Christopherson demonstrates
his fluid technical skill and heart-felt soul as a result of a
lifetime of music. Born in Cleveland to Robert, a violinist in the
Cleveland Orchestra, and Rosemary, a concert pianist who still
teaches piano, Christopherson, his three older brothers and younger
sister each found a place for music in their lives.
Christopheron's technical proficiency
derives from classical violin training from ages six through 12. He
studied music theory at the Cleveland Institute of Music. As a
natural transition from his formal training, at age 13, he was
inspired by Jimi Hendrix's music and began to play the guitar. His
commitment and desire to play comes from an absolute love of
Hendrix's music. Christopherson also studied engineering basics at
Beachwood Recording Studios.
A release of Christopherson's first
CD, "Good and Plenty," features his guitar and vocal abilities. Six
original compositions are combined with his tip-of-the-hat covers of
Hendrix and BB King songs. It is recorded under the Sandcastle
One of seven national finalist in the
Hendrix Festival in Seattle, Washington in January, 1998,
Christopherson's guitar work has already earned him much acclaim.
Competing guitarists paired original compositions and Hendrix
renditions, playing to a full house including other guitar greats.
Jimi Hendrix's father, Al, who was in attendance at the midwest
regional semi-finals presented Christopherson, winner of the Jimi
Hendrix/Fender Electric Guitar Competition regional semi-finals,
with an autographed Fender Statocaster. Christopherson also won a
scholarship to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California.
"I like mixing it up," drawls
Christopherson in his soft-spoken voice that gives no clue to his
vocal talent. He refers to playing with various musicians, on
various stages where he integrates his skills into blues, rock and
jazz formats. In addition to performing throughout the Cleveland
area, his band, Midnight Lightning, played three consecutive years
in the Erie Summer Festival of the Arts. Surrounded by musical
influences, he plays with reggae, blues, jazz and rock groups in
Cleveland and Boston. Christopherson met former Hendrix band member,
Billy Cox, at a Hendrix tribute in Chicago. So impressed was Cox
with Christopherson's talent that on Cox's tour stop in Cleveland,
Christopherson and Midnight Lightning shared the bill.
Christopherson has frequently played with the lengendary Robert
Lockwood, Jr.'s Allstar Band.
... Good and Plenty, drenched
in electric blues and blues/rock, has an irrepressible joie
de vivre that's darn near infectious...
...Originals like..."Think About You"
and the more rocking, almost Cream-like "Going Downtown"
have a righteous, in your face feel...
...Christopherson's best song may be "Fly
Away, the original he played at the Hendrix competition.
It's an intricately plotted web of music, a spellbinder that
sound incredibly difficult to pull off."...
...Christopherson, like Hendrix, his
idol, goes for more than technical brilliance. He goes for
...A refreshing mix of jazz, blues and
rock, Good and Plenty jumps from the speakers and pounces
on the ears and feet...
...The (Hendrix) influence stands out in
his sharp, aggressive, soulful playing...
..."Fly Away" is unlike any other
on the disc. Layered in a thick, hypnotic groove and riding the
waves of sound, this sonic poem has a strong Middle Eastern
flavor, underscored by a steady but pulsing bass line...