Harvey Charles – Here And Now (Independent)
Harvey Charles has certainly paid his musical dues. He began playing professionally in the mid-‘60s on a Florida television station, opened for the Beach Boys, Turtles and Four Tops, and moved onto to radio jingles and a record deal that went bad, which put him off recording for a number of years. In the late ‘80s he relocated to Los Angeles, played gigs whenever he could, and eventually found his way back to Florida in 2005. Since his return he’s begun recording again, releasing “Only Thing I'll Ever Miss” in 2009 and “False Profits, Love, & Border Towns” in 2011. “Here And Now” is his latest offering, and its mix of traditional American folk and acoustic blues is easy to enjoy.
Recorded quite simply, with the minimum of production frills, “Here And Now” relies on Charles songs and their arrangements, together with his vocals and musicianship to carry the day. He doesn’t disappoint. There’s warmth to his style that completely engages the listener, and on standout songs such as “Reason to Stay” and “Time to Cry” it’s impossible not to be swept along. His voice, somewhere between Presley’s deep tones and Lloyd Cole’s croon, but with added fragility, is especially effective on the ‘50s inspired twosome, “Pittsburg” and “Tell Moma (I Ain't Coming Home)”.