SONGBROKER ARTIST PROFILE: LI'L CHUCK THE ONE MAN SKIFFLE MACHINE
When did you realise you wanted to make music?
We always had music around the house growing up. Older brothers and sisters helped me absorb everything from The Sex Pistols to Shakin' Stevens. Dad played Ragtime and Boogie Woogie piano but there were 3 other major catalysts that paved the way to becoming a professional musician.
In my teens (mid to late 80's) I was growing up in Manchester, England and heavily into Metal / Rock / Blues and oddly Bluegrass! Every band played in or around Manchester and I went to tons of gigs and thought, "I could do that" but, I couldn't play an instrument. Damn!
In about 1989 I saw a 'one man band' busker playing on the streets in Manchester called 'The Little Big Band'. He blew me away and I bought his tape for 5 pounds and started to try figure out what he was doing. In 1992 I had a light bulb moment after I walked into a pub and saw the most amazing Roots / Blues duo called JC & Angeliana playing, we became firm friends and they soon proved to me that with enough determination, enthusiasm and hard graft, I could make a living as musician. From that day to this I knuckled down, crafted my style and have never stopped.
Name two major musical influences and why?
In addition to the ones above there are so many! If I had to narrow down to two, Then Steve Earle and Michelle Shocked...I discovered them both in the late 1980's via my brother. Both artists cover a huge range of writing and music styles and can not be pigeon holed. Just listen to Michelle Shocked's albums Captain Swing v. Deep Natural or Earle's Albums Guitar Town v. I Feel Alright. to see what I mean!
What do you find most challenging about the creative process?
Time / Children! Because of limited time, I have learned over the years to be able to turn creativity on at will. When I only have snippets of time here and there I can't waste it.... use it or loose it! My last session yielded 5 songs.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
That I had fun making it, that it is not too introspective and that my lyrics have been constructed well.
What’s in the pipeline for 2016?
On the strength of 'Blues In Full Swing', I am going to start recording the second album this winter. The album is pretty much already written. Summer is pretty busy with festivals and gigs. I am going to use these gigs to get the new songs all shipshape and Bristol fashion.