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Charlie Howell playing music in Huntsville and Madison, Alabama

Singer songwriter | passion in his singing and performance | blues, country, classic rock and a touch of gospel, GENRES: Bluegrass, Blues, Classic Rock, Country, Gospel

Charlie Howell
Above: Charlie Howell (left) and Danny Hall.

parkerParker's Point of View:

What struck me most about Charlie Howell is the raw emotion conveyed in his singing. His vocals have a real connection with the songs - more than just words wrapped around a melody. When he sang "Angie" (Rolling Stones), you could actually feel the longing, the connection between him and the imaginary 'Angie'.
He got the crowd going as well. Perhaps it was the basement like beer soaked atmosphere of the Voodoo Lounge.  But there were lots of people singing along. Some were singing low just to themselves while others sang like they meant it.
Charlie performs both cover tunes and originals. After awhile it became a challenge to hear the lyrics because the crowd was having a rip-roaring time themselves, sometimes overshadowing Charlie's vocal amplifier. However, the passion in his performance was always crystal clear.
The night we were there, Charlie was accompanied by Danny Hall, who played  a wicked good guitar, often in a back and forth talk-response to Charlie's vocals.  If you can catch them both playing together, I recommend you do so.

Charlie Howell seems to be one of those friendly, country boys, who is now a seasoned performer comfortable playing his songs for you whether he is in his living room, the swankiest bar in town, or a guy’s man- cave, which is where we saw him. He was in another world as he played each original song, oblivious to the raucous patrons or the sketchy sound system. To me, this is the hallmark of a true performer.
Each song was introduced with a brief anecdote. I  like to know an artist’s inspiration, else my imagination takes off. He had a “rough around the edges” sort of swagger to his tunes and his stories, which included some mildly  crude language, though I feel this seasoned  artist can read the crowd. If he plays at your mamma’s next bachelorette party, expect him to clean it up a little.  Two anecdotes I recall still have me chuckling. He wrote one song “for his old deaf uncle” which included a train metaphor, and who doesn’t like a good train song? Introducing another original song inspired by his late grandmother’s expression for him when he bothered to attend church, “Well look who’s darkened the door!” He added, “My grandma was always giving me shit for skipping church.”  The crowd howled at that, and I’m still smiling.
Charlie's guitar work is excellent, his original songs were great, though lyrics difficult to discern due to the noisy patrons. Luckily, I am a good lip reader and was sitting close to the small stage. His lead guitar player for the evening was Danny Hall, was superb. His guitar riffs were excellent, without trying to steal any thunder from Mr. Howell. They played great together, and it was evident they are totally in tune with each other, to use a bad pun.
All the songs they played when we saw them were originals, except for the requested Rolling Stones’  “Angie”. They did a stellar job on that tune as well. Charlie's voice is raspy, bluesy, and rock rolled into one fine set of pipes. I highly recommend venturing out to listen to him.

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