Artist Watch: Let's Do The Time Warp Again With Baby Charles

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Their funky music is simultaneously tight but loose, heavy but soulful and dirty yet beautiful."

---With that description, we are already well acquainted...

Baby Charles is that group that brings back all those memories of me sprawled on our den floor browsing through Audio Dad's record collection and experiencing the sounds of funk-soul instrumental groups like Cold Blood and Graham Central Station. There is something comforting in that sound, all I need is the smell of dusty old vinyls and I'm good to go back into a time warp.

Hailing from Brighton, United Kingdom, Baby Charles' sound is reminiscent of that Southern soul n' funk bucket shuffle, lots of wailing bass and organs with a mindset stuck in the late 60's/70's soul mindset. Before you kind of roll your eyes and go, "well isn't everybody doing that soul revival stuff this day in age", the thing to understand about Baby Charles is that their 2008 self-titled debut sounds like it was recorded some 30 to 40 years ago. Literally. Right down to the album cover, which shows lead vocalist Dionne Charles, this album could've been pressed on black wax for Stax Records with the band performing in the seediest of jook joints. Yet its 2009 and Baby Charles' are kickin' it around like it's 1969, and this feels so authentic to me. Dionne Charles is the real force behind the group, as her voice blares with an earnest and gruff appeal, reminding me of voices like if Janis Joplin, Betty Wright and Gladys Knight just procreated this wailing funk-ta-fied baby. Take a listen if the words in the post still haven't convinced you.

Treading Water
Hard Man To Please
Indecision

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