\'A stellar release - \'A New Leaf\' shines as bright and bold as autumn colors. Contains so many great cuts, it\'s hard to single out one or two as standouts.\' - Bristol Herald \'The best blues-based CD I have ever heard, including all the classic blues recordings. There is always some deficiency in all records, but not in this one. Listening to \'A New Leaf\' from beginning to end is truly a musical experience.\' - Blue Rapture \'Hip-shakin\' deep blues and rock \'n\' roll - just as I like it. No weak titles. The better ones are: \'You Don\'t Love Me\' - a big band without the jive, \'Just Your Fool\' (Little Walter) - real deep blues, \'Friend\' - a slow \'60\'s Elvis, \'Obviously\' and \'Miami Tammi\' - rock \'n\' roll ala Elvis, and the good covers of \'Just A Little Bit\' (Rosco Gordon), \'Boppin\' The Blues\' (Carl Perkins), Marie Marie (The Blasters), and Takin\' Care Of Business (Freddy King). Can\'t wait for the next CD.\' - Bernard Boyat, Le Cri Du Coyote, France \'Apparently, there is a phenomenon of a new man in America. An authentic American original, Lightnin' Charlie, with his Stetson hat and Fender Stratocaster, has hit the mark with a FANTASTIC new CD, "A New Leaf" on Blue Chip Records. Lightnin' kicks the door down with rockin' covers like Carl Perkins' "Boppin' The Blues" and Dave Alvin's "Marie Marie" - a cover version of this song that finally meets with my approval; also very good versions of Chicago blues classics like "Just Your Fool" with Harmonica Todd on harmonica, and the gospel-tinged tracks "Down In The Alley" by the Clovers and the traditional "Come By Here". But the real treats are his own original masterpieces such as the title track, "A New Leaf", and "The Blues Are To Blame" which shows he has the makings of a true blues master, and the steamy and cool "Obviously" and "Miami Tammi". GREAT ALBUM! **** (4 stars) - ROOTSTIME, Belgium \'A unique combination of gutsy vocals, smokin\' guitar, and high-energy showmanship. Lightnin\' Charlie was simply amazing - not because he\'d play his guitar behind his head and with his teeth, but because of the way he could make it sound. An exceptional guitarist.\' - Carolina Blues Fest Tennessee's Lightnin' Charlie proves a versatile guitarist and a smooth singer on a A New Leaf (Blue Chip 3371). Musicians will dig his range of punchy tones, and most listeners will enjoy the way his band (and engineer) blur distinctions between vintage and modern. Top-notch material is A - Plus; Charlie covers Junior Wells, Rosco Gordon, and Magic Sam and submits fine originals like the jumping "Obviously" and the front-porch acoustic tune "Blues Are To Blame." The backwards shuffle "Miami Tammi"; the Johnny Watson-inspired ballad "Friend," where stinging guitar bounces off cooing background vocals; and a drum-less reading of Freddy King's "Taking Care Of Business" stand out. - Blues Revue Dec/Jan 2006 \'In the concert setting, Lightnin' Charlie & The Upsetters are known for long-winded sets of blues music that sometimes skirts jazz and rock'n'roll territories. While his shows run the gamut from a slow boil to torrential fury, Lightnin' Charlie keeps the temperature hot. A deft instrumentalist, Mr. Charlie performs astounding guitar histrionics that will amaze everyone from blues neophytes to the most studied guitar afficionados.\' - John Sewell TriCities.com For those who have enjoyed Lightnin' Charlie Dolinger's high-octane live sets over the last fifteen years, his new album A New Leaf is precisely what you hoped for. Yet it may not be what you expected. What Lightnin' Charlie has delivered is a powerful, polished and fresh original release. In an age where the increasingly commercialized Americana genre seems more bloated than ever- here is a release that truly sounds American. Although Charlie is known as a blues singer (but anyone who has seen his live shows understands just how diverse he can be) this album demonstrates that Charlie is at his best when he is turning out nuclear-powered hybrid music, somewhere between classic rock'n'roll and Chicago blues. Yet nothing on this CD sounds derivative. Instead, from the moment you hear the opening notes of Magic Sam's "You Don't Love Me" you know that Charlie is working from the deepest respect for the music. That song, which is a straight cover (indeed one you may hear at one of his shows), has never sounded crisper than here. Lightnin' Charlie, however, demonstrates that he can reinterpret a classic with originality as well as style. Nowhere is this more apparent than on his remake of "Down in the Alley". Covering this song requires bravery. Dolinger is neither intimidated nor overawed by the past versions of Elvis or the Clovers. Instead of offering a slick copy of the originals, he delivers a vibrant delta blues version that leaves us hungry for more. There is no imitation here - it is all honest and personal, and listening to Charlie's new interpretations of these old classics will give the listener a real sense of his lifelong love affair with American music. Yet the strength of A New Leaf lay not in it's cover songs, but in Dolinger's original material. In the midst of the powerful remakes are superb originals such as "Friend" where Dolinger's silky smooth vocals are backed by bassist George Hammonds' game of slip'n'slide, while the background vocal strands of Charisma riff behind them, Jordanaires-style. Charlie's songwriting works hard at being original instead of imitative of the classic blues, soul and rock records that he obviously adores. "If heartaches was money you know I'd be Rockefeller," Dolinger sings. Although the line sounds like pure Johnny Cash, the music is pure Chicago. Together it is refreshingly original. If A New Leaf sounds slick and tight it is because of the care and detail that Dolinger has put into making this album. This CD has been over three years in the making with Charlie recording songs between his many live shows and family responsibilities. Charlie reflects, "When I started A New Leaf, in the summer of 2002, my wife and I had just bought a house and naturally we had to renovate it from top-to-bottom. Our son Sam was born three weeks after we moved in, and as it's been reported often in the press, I am â€-Mister Mom' to my two boys who are only eighteen months apart while my wife works." "At the same time, I am playing five nights per week, driving four hundred and fifty miles per week to get there and that's when I started making this record. So I was pretty covered up and I had to go in to Classic [recording studio] as time and energy permitted. I sure picked a tough time to start producing my masterpiece!" "It was three grueling years," Charlie said recently, complete with playful huffing and puffing. "It took a long time because I didn't want to owe anyone for this one, artistically or financially. I made the commitment to myself, much to the chagrin of others who would've preferred another Lightnin' Charlie -fast-food' CD, to stay in there as long as it took to get what I wanted - a record that I could be proud of for the rest of my life. I needed a CD that sounds like Lightnin' Charlie and represents Lightnin' Charlie as an artist. And baby I got it!" Dolinger brought the musicians in to record, some from as far away as Chicago, presided over the recording and mixing, layout and design, and even did the photos on the CD himself. "I had another set of ears throughout this project â€\' my friend and blues brother in Chicago, â€-Harmonica' Todd Levine, who helped me every step of the way. We built this record from the bottom up." But Lightnin' Charlie fans, affectionately called "Lightnin' Bugs", will appreciate that A New Leaf is a record done his way. "From the beginning I refused to compromise on anything," he added. And it sounds like a CD with no compromises. It is fast and fun, with a deep sense of and appreciation for it's influences. Dolinger makes no apologies, this is the record that he chose to make and the listener will be grateful that he did. For those who don't realize what it takes to make Lightnin' Charlie into the relevant recording artist he has become, he tells us on the album, "I am what I am - and the blues are to blame." -Aaron Crawford Loafer Magazine The Lightnin\' Charlie Story... In June of 1961, a small wedding ceremony taking place in a church in Miami Beach, Florida was interrupted when a bolt of lightning struck the steeple on the roof of the church. Besides startling everyone present, especially the groom, no major damage resulted. Nine months later, to the day, baby Lightnin was born to very proud parents. Charles\' father, Sidney, had moved to Florida from New York in the 1940\'s to open a restaurant/nightclub in the playground of the rich and famous, Miami Beach. By 1960, he was running the restaurant in the Eden Roc hotel on Miami Beach, which, along with the Fountainbleu next door, were the two premier hotspots on Collins Avenue. They were frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Elvis Presley. Elvis\' first public appearance, upon his return from the army, was on Frank\'s television show, which was filmed at the Fountainbleu in 1960. It was here that Lightnin\' Charlie\'s mom and dad met ...and fell in love. Charles\' mother, Barbara Ann, grew up in Greeneville, Tennessee, the daughter of a policeman and a seamstress, and one of seven children. Born in the midst of the Great Depression, Barbara became somewhat of a sensation as a child preacher. Gaining a local reputation for preaching the Gospel at tent revivals and churches as a nine and ten year-old, she traveled as far away as Washington D.C. to preach revival meetings, and even had her own radio program in Greeneville at age eleven. She continued playing piano and singing in her church choir until her family moved to Florida in the late 1950\'s. When Charles was growing up, his Aunt Jeanette would play him records by an old friend of hers from Tennessee...a crooner by the name of Elvis Presley. In 1957, when Jeanette was sixteen, her mother (Charles\' grandmother) had written a love song that she thought Elvis should record. So she put a very reluctant Jeanette on a Greyhound bus bound for Memphis to deliver the song to Elvis. In retrospect, it seems crazy to put a teenager on a bus, by herself, en route to a big strange city 500 miles away, to deliver a song to the biggest recording star in the world. But, crazy or not, that\'s just what they did. Arriving in Memphis, Jeanette\'s only chance to see Elvis was to hang out all day at the now-famous gates of Graceland along with dozens of other fans. She explained her mission to the friendly gatekeeper, who introduced himself as Travis, and he invited her to his home to have supper with his wife and kids. Jeanette gratefully accepted and when Travis Smith\'s shift was over, he put her into a golf cart and drove up the driveway towards Graceland. \'To his car\', Jeanette thought. But at the top of the hill, Travis got out of the golf cart and told Jeanette to come on in. It seems that the gatekeeper, Travis Smith, was Elvis\' uncle, and that he and his wife, Lorraine, lived in a house trailer adjacent to the main house with their two sons, Bobby and Billy. After supper, they took a stunned Jeanette over to the house and introduced her to their famous nephew. Ironically, the song, according to Jeanette\'s recollection, was never even mentioned to Elvis. Jeanette returned to Graceland many times through the years, and remained good friends with Travis and Lorraine for the rest of her life. Aunt Jeanette\'s stories of going to movies and roller skating with Elvis and his fledgling Memphis Mafia would leave quite an impression on her not yet famous nephew, Lightnin\' Charlie. Lightnin\' Charlie\'s first memories of music are from a console stereo at his grandmother\'s house. \'An old Magnavox, blond wood, console stereo. It sounded fantastic. It dropped 45 RPM records onto the turntable with that big spindle - FLOP! And the giant stylus arm that looked like a catsup bottle. She had a huge house and everybody lived there, all my uncles and their families and kids. It was a family gathering place every holiday. The first song I remember hearing was Jewel Aikens\' \'The Birds and the Bees\'. I must have been 2 or 3 years old. I remember being just tall enough to stand at the edge of that monster and peer over the side and watch those 45\'s spin. My mother says that I used to sing \'Standing On The Corner (Watching All The Girls Go By)\' by Dean Martin when I was 3 years old. All the grown-ups must have really gotten a kick out of that!\' In 1972, Charlie\'s dad bought him an acoustic guitar for his tenth birthday. It was then that he started playing. And it was then that Lightnin\' Charlie started dreaming. In October 1977, when Charlie was fifteen, his beloved father passed away after a long battle with cancer. Elvis had passed away less than two months before. This made the teenager dream a whole lot harder. In 1979, after graduating in the middle of his high school class, young Lightnin\' kissed his mother goodbye and, along with his guitar, moved to Tennessee to see if dreams really came true. In 1980, Lightnin\' Charlie made his first public appearance, singing and playing guitar at an informal church dinner/social in Johnson City, Tennessee. He performed some of the same hymns and gospel songs that his mother had played and sung years before. In 1983, Lightnin\' Charlie played his first paid performance, with his new band, in a Johnson City strip club. The Eastern philosophy of Yin and Yang was alive and kicking, even in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee. At his debut performance as a professional, Charlie remembers having to pay full price for a coke at the bar, which took a good part of his pay for the night. \'It was the middle of summer, and on the afternoon of the gig it was probably 95 in the shade, and I was out on a ladder, putting our name up on the marquis in the parking lot of the club. They weren\'t going to do it. Their sign read: \'Dozens of beautiful women and three ugly ones.\' A real class joint. I came back into the club, pouring sweat - hotter than Michael Jackson at Boys Town - and gave them their ladder back, and asked the bartender if I could please have a coke, and he said, \'That\'ll be $2.75.\' I was getting a real good education on my first night as a professional musician!\' In the wee hours of the night, just days before Christmas 1983, Charlie woke up in his house trailer smelling smoke. Seconds later, he was sitting in the snow, coughing but alive, watching flames quickly consume all his worldly possessions...except his two guitars. Lightnin\' had taken his Fender Stratocaster out of the burning home and had gone back into the smoke-filled death trap to rescue the acoustic guitar his father had given him. It was then that Lightnin\' Charlie stopped dreaming and started doing. In early 1984, Charlie saw a little-known guitar slinger by the name of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Stevie was appearing in a small club in Charlotte, North Carolina and Charlie was able to get right in front of him for his set and even got to meet him briefly after the show. To Lightnin\' Charlie, the world had changed and he would never look at guitar playing the same again. He said later, \'It was like I had been to the mountaintop. I had seen the promised land. Of guitar playing. You just couldn\'t get any better than that. Stevie had it all - every gift a guitarist could have. There is a level of musicianship that one cannot go above. And the ones that are at that level, you can\'t say one is \'better\' than another. Just different. It becomes a matter of style. Can you say that Frank Sinatra is \'better\' than Mahalia Jackson? Or that Sunnyland Slim is \'better\' than Hank Williams? Was Moses was a \'better\' prophet than Isaiah? The term \'better\' doesn\'t apply to these guys. They\'re musicianship is on an infinite, spiritual level that one cannot even describe in finite terms, or with mere language. And there are a lot of guys, in my opinion, on the very top of the guitar heap. Freddy King and Albert and B.B. and Lonnie Johnson and Magic Sam. But there\'s never been, and never will be, a guitarist that can say that they\'re \'better\' than Stevie Ray Vaughan. He\'s tops. You know, there\'s guys by the bushel out here now, copying his every lick, note-for-note. They\'ve got his amps and their guitars set up like his. They wear their hair like him and have hats and stage clothes like him and make faces like him. And they miss the whole point. They\'re like Elvis impersonators. Have you ever heard an Elvis impersonator that was even half as good as Elvis? And there\'s not one of \'em that\'s even CLOSE to sounding like Stevie. Nor will there ever be. Why is that? Well, I\'ll tell you friend, that\'s when you know you\'re dealing with something that\'s not of this world, when man can\'t copy it. Edison invented the electric light bulb - a great accomplishment. But his work can be copied exactly by any 4th grader doing a science project, and you can\'t tell the difference. It\'s easy to copy the culmination of someone\'s lifework. You\'ve got the blueprint. But saying the Gettysburg address doesn\'t make you Lincoln. I thank God for Stevie Ray. And Jimmie. I have the same birthday as Jimmie Vaughan. Man, they blew the lid off of everything. And seeing Stevie, in the flesh, from a foot away, changed my life, my ambitions, and my musical outlook, forever.\' In 1989, after five years of fronting the locally infamous Chicago-style blues band, The Southside Sheiks, Lightnin\' Charlie formed The Upsetters. Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters were then, and still are, a three-piece group - Lightnin\' Charlie on guitar and vocals, with bass and drums. The small band boldly tackled all kinds of American roots music, and took to the road. Charlie explains, \'I wanted a small band, because I work best within a small group, and that\'s the only way to survive on the road, financially. It makes for a lot of work for the guitar player, though. When people would tell me, \'Man, I\'ve never seen a guitar player like you before...you play it this way and that way...\' I\'d tell them, \'Man, I\'m just trying to hang on to that thing - I\'ve got me a tiger by the tail!\'\' The name, the Upsetters, was taken from Little Richard\'s killer road band of the 1950\'s. Charlie picks up the story, \'They were supposedly the first band to get funky with the rock \'n\' roll beat. And they were monsters. Richard\'s Specialty recordings were usually cut with the great Specialty house band, featuring Lee Allen on tenor sax, that also backed label-mate, Fats Domino on all his records, but the Upsetters were his touring band. They only recorded two songs with Little Richard, \'Keep A-Knockin\'\' and \'Ooooh My Soul\'. Listen to those two songs compared to the other Little Richard records. The band sounds like a runaway Mack truck. And I thought it would be a cool name for my band because we seemed to have a knack for upsetting folks.\' For a long time, the secluded mountains of East Tennessee had Lightning in a bottle, but now the top was off of the bottle, blown off, and the world was taking notice. \'Tri-Cities band plays the blues like the masters.\' - Johnson City Press \'Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters are known from Miami to Chicago as one of the hottest rockin\' blues combos going. The band is fronted by singer/guitarist Charlie Dolinger, whose charismatic stage persona and off-the-wall guitar antics grab an audiences attention like a snake-handling preacher.\' - Weekly Beat magazine \'Charlie Dolinger is an exciting, accomplished guitarist, but there is no shortage of wonderful guitarists. The thing that, for me, sets Charlie ahead of the others is that the boy can sing, too. He has not neglected his vocal skills at all.\' - Ann Rabson of Saffire (Grammy Award winner) In 1991, LCU took home first place in the Piedmont Blues Society\'s Blues Talent Contest. This was the break that the boys had been waiting (and working) for. Their performance not only showcased their talent to a lot of insiders, including the owner of Hipshake Records, a local independent label, but got them spots on big-time blues festivals, like Memphis and Bull Durham. Charlie recalls, \'Literally, overnight, we went from playing little honky-tonk bars and even parking lots to playing baseball stadiums with B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and Albert Collins. And really going over with the audiences. I have video of us at the Bull Durham Blues Festival, where the people would just not let us go, they kept cheering for more. I don\'t know how many encores we did, but it was unbelievable. Here we were - just an unknown little opening act, and these people that had bought tickets to see a legend like Bobby Blue Bland are getting us back up for encores!\' Rave reviews seemed to follow Lightnin\' Charlie everywhere. \'This band has the potential to break out big. They won the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society\'s contest in competition with bands from five other states. They\'ve appeared everywhere from Miami to Memphis to Chicago and wowed \'em everywhere.\' - Focus Magazine \'I\'ve been to every one of these (National Amateur Blues) contests, and Lightnin\' Charlie might be the hottest guitarist they\'ve ever had. He\'s got Stevie Ray Vaughan written all over him.\' - ESP Magazine \'A unique combination of gutsy vocals, smoking guitar, and high-energy showmanship. Lightnin\' Charlie was simply amazing - not because of the way he\'d play his guitar behind his head or with his teeth, but because of the way he could make it sound. An exceptional guitarist.\' - 1992 Carolina Blues Festival Newsletter In 1993, Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters stormed blues mecca, Beale Street in Memphis, and took home third place in the Blues Foundation\'s National Unsigned Band Contest, beating out hundreds of bands from all over the world. \'If you want to see who SHOULD have won (the W.C. Handy award for amateur performance), check out Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters, who hail from East Tennessee. During the after-show jam, the Upsetters held court for over an hour and nearly burned down the house.\' - Memphis Music Monthly \'I can still remember the chills when Lightnin\' Charlie did Magic Sam\'s \'Everynight, Everyday\'. A band that really needs to have an eye kept on them.\' - Bob Vorel, Editor Blues Revue Quarterly \'Charlie Dolinger whipped up some 12-bar blues gems and put on a show that too many missed.\' - Living Blues Magazine In 1994, on the heels of their triumph at Memphis, Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters was signed to Hipshake Records for a one-record deal. Their debut CD, \'Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters\', was a good representation of the band, with wicked blues and butt-rockin\' originals. It was recorded at Daxwood Recording Studio in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a funky little studio that their manager (and owner of Hipshake Records) had used before. They cut the record live-to-tape, the band playing together, with only a couple of overdubs. The entire CD was recorded and mixed in a day and a half, and was taken to Nashville to be mastered by a man named Randy Kling, who had mastered discs by a number of notable artists. But one artist Kling had worked with, in particular, caught the attention of Lightnin\' Charlie. \'We took it (the CD) to Randy Kling in Nashville to be mastered. I don\'t know how our manager hooked up with him, but he had a great reputation and had mastered a ton of records put out in the \'70\'s and \'80\'s. It seemed every truck-stop cassette tape we\'d buy on the road was mastered by Randy Kling. So we\'re in his studio, and I\'m looking at the pictures on the wall, and here\'s a picture of Big Red, the RCA mobile recording truck, which was a gigantic, red bread truck, parked on the lawn at the back of Graceland. I asked Randy about it and he said that he was the engineer for the infamous \'Jungle Room Sessions\' at Graceland in \'76, when RCA sent it\'s mobile unit to record Elvis in his den (the \'Jungle Room\' ). The album \'Recorded Live On Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee\', which was a better title for the record than \'Recorded In Elvis\' Den\', was recorded by Randy Kling! So now I\'m in hog-heaven and Randy\'s telling me all about mixing Elvis\' \'68 TV Special, and living next door to Roy Orbison, and I\'m having a ball and wanting to hurry up and cut another record so I can come back here to hang out with Randy Kling!\' The record sold well, received lots of radio airplay, and along with the reputation of their live show, caused an international stir. \'One of the most popular live blues bands around, and a must for all the major blues festivals.\' - Blues and Rhythm Magazine England 1994 \'In the \'90\'s, many young musicians who are taken with the blues give it an honest try, yet capture only style, not substance. But Lightnin\' Charlie, live and on this record, deliver the real goods: deep feeling, power and spontaneous fun.\' - Bob Margolin Alligator recording artist Guitarist, Muddy Waters Band \'Passionate, rootsy style and unique showmanship.\' - Metro Spotlight \'One of the best new recordings I\'ve heard in some time.\' - Blues Revue Quarterly Released overseas, Lightnin\' Charlie\'s debut CD received rave reviews in such respected foreign press publications as \'Il Blues\' and is a regular on the play list of Europe\'s longest-running blues radio programmer, Eduardio Fassio. \'A dramatic performer, Lightnin\' Charlie sang with the gritty panache of Howling Wolf and played the guitar with the dynamism and flair of Jimi Hendrix.\' - Style Magazine \'Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters are one of those bands that you need to see now so you can tell your kids, \'I saw them back in my college days\'. Once you\'ve seen Charlie play the guitar with his teeth and every other way but normal, and participate in the overwhelming crowd response, you\'ll be hooked.\' - Highland Cavalier \'Lightnin\' looked disreputably cool, sang like Howling Wolf, while the rhythm section smoked behind him. Displaying exquisite timing and dynamics, tonal variety and electric communication, the small band put out big sound and feeling on blistering blues.\' - Style Magazine \'Bo Diddley on acid.\' - Johnson City Press Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters have been featured at the Memphis Blues Festival, the Bull Durham Blues Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, the Carolina Blues Festival, and many others. Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters have appeared on television and radio, as well as at roadhouses, juke joints, fairs, parties, weddings, receptions, charity benefits, nursing homes, senior citizens\' centers, marriage proposals, high school reunions, showrooms, nightclubs, baseball stadiums, and dance halls all across the United States and Canada. Lightnin\' Charlie has appeared with: B.B. King, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Koko Taylor, Rod Piazza, Charlie Musselwhite, Tinsley Ellis, Anson Funderburgh, Dr. John, the J. Geils Band, Kenny Neal, the Kinsey Report, Marcia Ball, Magic Slim, Lil\' Ed and the Blues Imperials, R.L. Burnside, Chubby Carrier, John Jackson, Big Jack Johnson, Yank Rachell, Rufus Thomas, Bob Margolin, Mike Morgan, Eddie Shaw, Bobby Blue Bland, Jim Thackery, Ann Rabson, and Albert Collins, to name a few. He has also appeared with some notable non-blues artists such as Hootie and the Blowfish, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks. In 1997, Lightnin\' Charlie and the Upsetters released their second CD, \'Don\'t Touch That Dial\'. The album was recorded at Classic Recording Studio in Bristol, Virginia on a mixing console that was built by Chet Atkins for RCA Studio C in Nashville in the 1960\'s. This console was a favorite of many legendary artists, including Elvis Presley, who recorded on it throughout the 1960\'s & \'70\'s. The eclectic \'Don\'t Touch That Dial\' featured ten originals and received immediate airplay on a variety of radio formats, internationally and in the states. And it kept the boys out on the road, doing what they do best...making music. \'Lightnin\' Charlie mixes his hip influences with his own fire and personality to make a record that is fresh, fun, and easy to enjoy. Clever originals and cool covers.\' - Bob Margolin Alligator recording artist Guitarist, Muddy Waters Band \'Funny original songs such as \'You\'re The Boss (With Hot Sauce)\', a romping boogie stomp with hilarious words and solid guitar work abound. A send-up of the Elvis hit \'Burning Love\' reveals a knack for doing good knock-offs; Lightnin\' Charlie even sounds like the King sometimes. Another high point is his version of Hank Sr.\'s \'Jambalaya\', with a chicken-scratched guitar line working wonders with the rhythm. With such good originals and the added plus of tasteful covers, this is a powerful release.\' - Blues Revue Quarterly In 1997, Charlie married his dream girl, Elizabeth, and they have been blessed with two beautiful baby boys, Sidney and Sam. Slowed down slightly by the responsibilities of a family, Charlie has continued to play music full-time, sometimes with his band, sometimes as a solo (which has garnered him more high praise and rave reviews from the \'unplugged\' crowd), but has curtailed his traveling a bit. \'I am Mister Mom!\', Lightnin\' proudly proclaims. \'My wife is a physical therapist, and she works days, Monday thru Friday. I play nights and weekends and I take care of the boys every day. I have since the day they were born. And folks at my gigs often ask me why my eyes are so red! They\'re only 18 months apart and both still in diapers, so it gets a little crazy sometimes. But they\'re the most wonderful blessing in this world, and I wouldn\'t trade a minute of our time together for anything. I\'m proud to say that my kids haven\'t been in daycare at all in their life, and we don\'t plan for them to be. I\'m not knocking parents who have to put their kids in daycare so that they can work, we\'re just very fortunate to have a schedule that can work around them. Our boys are our number one priority. And I\'m not campaigning for any medals, either, we\'re just old-fashioned, I guess. We\'re throwbacks to a day when people got married, had kids, and took care of them. In that order. And that\'s the way it\'s supposed to be. Like Cool Hand Luke said, \'I\'ve got my mind right!\' And, you know, I really have a lot of babysitting experience...I\'ve been a bandleader for twenty years!\' Lightnin\' Charlie is currently riding the wave of his brand new CD that, according to Charlie, is his \'masterpiece\'. It features new sidemen and special guests, big band, small ensemble, and solo acoustic cuts. The new CD, titled \'A New Leaf\', is in stores and available online now. \'The best blues-based CD I\'ve ever heard, including all the classic blues recordings. Every record has some deficiency, but not this one. Listening to A New Leaf from beginning to end is truly a musical experience.\' - Ron Baisden, Blue Rapture \'A powerful, polished and fresh original release. Nuclear-powered hybrid music, somewhere between classic rock \'n\' roll and Chicago blues. Vibrant remakes and superb originals.\' - Aaron Crawford, Loafer Magazine Lightnin\' Charlie and his wife, Beth, have also been playing gospel concerts for local churches, assisted living and nursing homes, hospitals, etc. and are calling their gospel duo \'Charisma\'. Charlie explains, \'Charisma is the Greek word that\'s translated as \'gifts\' throughout the New Testament. Divine gratuity - free gifts from God. That\'s what we are and what we do, musically. It all comes from God\'s grace and was given to us freely. And we want to give some back.\' They are sometimes joined by Beth\'s beautiful alto-singing mother, Lynda. This is the trio that performs all the background vocals on Lightnin\'s new CD, \'A New Leaf\'. Charlie\'s favorite thing about doing gospel concerts is \'The look on people\'s faces when we sing something that touches their hearts, and then, in return, our hearts are touched. Like when my mother comes to see us in church, and we do one of her favorite hymns, like \'In The Garden\', which is also my son, Sam\'s, favorite song. It\'s very beautiful and is very rewarding for me.\' Charlie is currently working on a gospel CD that should be released in 2008. \'I\'ve been writing and working on songs for the new album, which is really going to be a lot of fun to do, and it\'ll be a very heavy record when God\'s done with it. I\'m just trying to stay out of His way. It\'s tentatively titled \'Good News\', and it\'s another tour-de-force CD like \'A New Leaf\', but with the Ultimate in subject matter. Look out.\' Lightnin\' Charlie, when asked to sum up his life and career in music, tells it like this, \'Every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times. I learned very early in life that, without a song, the day would never end. Without a song, the road would never bend. Without a song, man ain\'t got a friend. Without a song. So I\'ll keep singing a song.\'