Since 1997 and six albums later, Mississippi born musician Charlie Mars’ captivated fans, fine-tuning his blend of acoustic folk-rock with a touch of downhome dirty. Touring with artists like REM, Tedeschi Trucks Band and most recently hitting Canada with the Dixie Chicks, his latest introspective and equal parts romance and regret-filled effort, “Blackberry Light” displays growth and even ventures to new electro and reggae territories.
I connected with Charlie after wrapping up the Chicks tour run about his early musical memories, WTF moments with Willie Nelson and more below. Read his short and sweet answers that gave me a sense of “how he rolls”. Follow Charlie on Facebook and Twitter for new album and tour info!
1. Can you remember your first musical memory?
My dad always listened to Sinatra at Christmas time. I remember that when I was a kid. I went to a music store and checked out my first guitar after seeing CC Deville from Poison play a green guitar on an MTV video. What can I say? I was trapped in small town Mississippi.
2. How was it playing with REM, Tedeschi Trucks Band and the Dixie Chicks?
It’s fun to play in stadiums full of 20,000 people. REM were my favorite band growing up. That was a real milestone for me…it gave me a new confidence. I did the Dixie Chicks tour solo acoustic….it’s a trip being in front of that many people alone. Susan Tedeschi can sing her ass off. Every night. I know that much. So can Natalie Maines.
3. What’s been your biggest WTF surreal moment (i.e. you couldn’t believe you were doing what you were doing) in your career thus far?
I smoked a joint with Willie Nelson on his bus after joining him onstage. That was pretty WTF. My ride burned to the ground once and all that was left was the box springs on the seats. It happened in Alabama. That was pretty WTF. I’ve done a lot. I’m not a kid anymore.
5. What’s your favorite song you wished you’d written but didn’t?
The Joker – Steve Miller. Everybody loves that freaking song. Including me
6. Name something you’d be embarrassed to admit that’s in your music collection.
I can’t think of anything that would be embarrassing…probably my first couple of records :)
7. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you being on tour, on and offstage?
I wouldn’t even know where to begin. If it wasn’t for funny shit on tour…offstage tour life would be almost pointless.
8. Describe “Blackberry Light” in 5 words.
Trying to find the truth.
9. What do you want your musical legacy to be?
I get to do something that sometimes becomes a part of the fabric of people’s lives. It has also saved my ass. That’s all the legacy I need.
10. What are your plans for 2014?
Make a perfect record. I’m always fallin short.