You've heard of taking coal to Newcastle? Selling ice to the Eskimos? How about an Australian guitarist leaving his home in Melbourne, and going to Chicago, to show the locals how to play and sing the blues?
That is what Michael Charles has done, with remarkable success. Michael met the great Buddy Guy during one of his Australian tours in the late '80s, and Buddy extended an invitation for Michael to play at his club, Buddy Guy's Legends, should he ever make his way to Chicago. Michael made that pilgrimage in 1990, and again and again in the following years. Having felt right at home on the thriving Chicago blues scene, Michael decided to move there permanently in 1995.
Has the move been a success? Michael has played alongside such names as Buddy Guy, Phil Guy, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Eddy Clearwater and Jimmy Dawkins; he has played all the best-known blues clubs in Chicago, the Chicago Blues Fest and other major blues festivals in North America. He has earned 8 Grammy nominations. And in 2015, he had the rare honour of being inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame.
He has recorded over 30 albums in his time in the States, and was the subject of a documentary, All I Really Know, From A To Z, which was released in 2018. So yes, on the whole, we can say the move has been a success story.
Michael Charles (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals) will be joined by Arch Mattocks (rhythm guitar), Greg Williams (bass guitar) and Taleb Taleb (drums).
"Australia's answer to Stevie Ray Vaughan" - Chicago Tribune
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