Guitarist Bobby Charles said he has always preferred to play rather than sing, so when it came time to cut a CD, naturally he would produce an instrumental. Charles released “Forever and a Day,” on Sept. 11; however, he emphasized the date has nothing to do with the 2001 terrorist attacks. In fact, his music is meant to be “relaxing yet interesting.”
“I never really considered myself as a singer and I’ve just always had much more enjoyment expressing my music instrumentally,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Ann Arbor, Mich. “I think sometimes words are limiting, and it was just something I wanted to do.”
A music therapist by day, Charles has practically lived music, tuning his guitar to play a wide variety of genres and venues over the years. He also studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, Calif. (now Musicians Institute) and Michigan State University. Before that, he and friends appeared in local nightclubs, such as the former Kips in west Toledo, playing rock ‘n’ roll until he was 23. At about age 12, Charles related, he and a friend were hanging around when they spontaneously decided to start a band, and two musical careers launched.
“One of us said – I don’t quite remember who said what – ‘You play guitar, and I’ll play drums,’ and that was what we did and we ended up playing music for quite a few years,” he said.
While in Los Angeles, Charles discovered bluegrass, adding to his repertoire. He said he tried to convey his L.A. experiences through the song, “Prairie Dog Companion” on the CD, resulting in the track breaking ranks with the rest of the tunes meant to inspire tranquility rather than a hoedown.
“That just kind of came out; I wasn’t planning on it, but it’s probably the one up-tempo song,” he explained. “I call it the black sheep of the CD. The vibe of the CD was really to create a relaxing yet still interesting CD.”
Other songs include, “Grace,” which plays like a soft ballad, “Morning Dance,” a guitar interlude with soft percussion accompaniment, and “Fly Away Jack,” an uplifting piece with subtle country undertones.
“I’m always writing and have ideas,” Charles said. “Of course, doing projects like this is a pretty big financial commitment, so I kind of want to get this thing off the ground, then I’ll start plugging away at another CD.”