News / Arts & Entertainment

Charlie Musselwhite Draws from Life Experiences on 'The Well'

Charlie Musselwhite Draws from Life Experiences on 'The Well'
Charlie Musselwhite Draws from Life Experiences on 'The Well'

Multimedia

Audio

Singer Charlie Musselwhite has been at the forefront of the contemporary blues scene for more than 40 years.  He's recorded over 30 albums, and played harmonica with some of the greatest names in pop, rock and blues.  Musselwhite is in top form on a new album that draws from his life on and off the stage.

Charlie Musselwhite delivers one of his most personal albums to date, "The Well." The title song is dedicated to then-18-month-old Jessica McClure, who, in 1987, drew worldwide attention when she fell into a small well and was trapped for more than two days before being rescued.  Charlie says her sheer bravery inspired him to overcome his longtime addiction to alcohol.

"She had to get out of that well.  On the other hand, how brave she was being was really moving to me," he said.  "And, it occurred to me what I thought of was a problem in my life really didn't amount to 'a hill of beans' compared to her problem."

Charlie admits he's always wanted to play the blues, especially after hearing it on the radio while growing up in Memphis, Tennessee.

"My dad gave me a guitar and I had harmonicas, and I had been listening to blues for a long time and I really loved it," he said.  "I thought it feels so good when you listen to it, it must feel even better to play it.  And I thought, 'Well, I've got a guitar and I've got these harmonicas I want to give it a whirl.  I'd go out into the woods with my harmonica and just make up my own blues.  And it just seemed like the most natural thing, I don't know, it seemed to make sense.  It just came to me very easy."

Charlie eventually made his mark on the electric blues scene in Chicago, and later, as a bandleader and recording artist in San Francisco. He says his music has taken him all over the world, and through good times and bad, the blues have magically kept him going.

"The blues is a spirit of 'keepin' on keepin' on,' and not giving up, and, 'We can do this.'  No matter how bad it is, we can do it, we can get through it," he said. "And it's never about giving up or being down.  It's [meant] to get rid of that feeling and be uplifting.  That's why I say it's your comforter when you are down and it's your buddy when you're up.  It's an all-purpose music for anything life has to throw at you."

Charlie was one of six musicians inducted into the Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

His latest album, "The Well", features a song written in memory of his mother, as well as tunes about his birthplace in Mississippi, traveling, and the healing power of the blues on the track, "Where Highway 61 Runs."

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”