If you love Texas raised singer songwriters, and their amazing way to tell their personal stories, then you really need to check out Charles Bryant. His songwriting is haunting, chilling, and a very real look into the life Charles has lived. And like any legendary Texas songwriter, Charles has a story to tell.
The story of Charles is one of overcoming obstacles in life. He has severe agoraphobia, which has kept him from playing his music in front of a large audience. His only audience for several years before he turned 50 was in a Nursing Home Ministry, playing his songs for the elderly. He just never could find the courage to go take his music to other stages. And then he had a bout with severe blood clots that nearly cost him his life. That experience was an eye opening moment of clarity in his life that he had to overcome his agoraphobia, and get his music out there. It started with a few open mic nights at places like Houston's famous listening room, McGonigals Mucky Duck, and then down to Galveston to the legendary Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe. The amazing part about Charles is that when he sings, you feel all of the struggles he has faced in his lifetime. My personal favorite is "The MRI Song" (Featured in the video), which details a very real experience in a humorous, yet haunting way. If you've ever been in an MRI machine you would know. In that song, he states "I thought I was a badass, but I was terribly decieved" before he met Jesus in that MRI machine.
Turn it to 2018, Charles now in his mid 50's, is regarded as one of the best kept secrets in Texas. I have many talented musician friends, but Charles's story is the one that inspires me more than anything. Like so many people in this world, I too battle depression and other personal issues that I struggle with. But I can look at Charles, hear his songs, and know that my life is going to be just fine. Struggle is a part of life's journey, and he has shown through his determination and perseverance that we all can overcome.
He has become a fixture in the Houston Americana music scene, and the legend of his folklore has spread to cities like Austin, where talented artists like Jaimee Harris, Bonnie Whitmore, & Jon Dee Graham have fallen head over heals in love with his style. Charles friend and musical peer Gabe Wootton (another fine Houston talent) tells me that Charles music is filled with phonetic grace, and no bullshit. Probably the best description of his music that I have heard. When he starts to play a song, he instantly captivates the room and the audience will become all in with his stories. Truly Charles is a special talent that continues to write, learn new techniques on guitar & banjo, harmonica, and just about anything that will make him a better storyteller. He is also simply a lover of other songwriters. He will often claim that the person he played with is the best songwriter he ever met. Truthfully, he has many favorite "best ever" artists. The thing about that is while he says that often about others, he truly means it. Charles himself has a strong catalog of songs that he has written. He has also written songs for other influential Texas artists. He is a soul that eats, breathes, and sleeps music.
Charles is looking for gigs outside of Houston, to allow him the opportunity to take his music to other cities that will appreciate his storytelling. Cities like Austin & Nashville are ideal stops for him to bring his brand of "real life" music. My goal is to help Charles in anyway that I can to expose his music to new listeners. He is a must see artist when your in Houston or Galveston. And one day, I look forward to seeing him headline stages across the country, and even the world. So to all of my musician friends, help me get this man some bookings in the Texas Hill Country, and up in Nashville. Charles is easily one of the most humble and kind human beings you will ever meet, and he just needs for his music to be heard.
Check out the embedded video of Charles recent performance at the Old Quarter in Galveston, Texas.
For more on Charles Bryant, check out his web page