Charlie Winston, 2009
Charlie Winston distills his music to its raw essence, a hearty modern gumbo of blues-folk, straight-talking lyricism, and soul, all laced with beatboxing and quirky instrumentation.
From the anthemic 'Like a Hobo' to the existential campfire pop of 'Kick The Bucket', from the passionately strummed critique of contemporary culture (or lack of it) in 'Generation Spent' to the whimsically melancholy 'My Life As A Duck,' the album playfully resists easy genre categorization yet maintains a spirited, contagious rootsiness that took off in France in a big way, eventually topping the charts and putting Charlie Winston before packed arenas of fans.
Winston's Real World debut, Hobo was put together in London, Paris and New York with David Bowie producer Mark Plati at the desk.
"soulful voice and instantly hummable melodies" - The Observer
- Charlie Winston - Like A Hobo How long before this talented singer-songwriter gets the break he deserves? Not long if this fantastic and laid back tune is anything to go by. Daily Record (UK)
- Bliss ...there's bag-loads of mellow blues-tinged, folk-rock on tracks like 'In Your Hands', 'Boxes', 'I Love Your Smile' and the pan-European smash 'Like a Hobo'...Verdict: Bliss Star Magazine (UK)
- Quality Shines Through ...Winston is clearly a full-blooded musician...Hobo's production is organic and fun, Winston's vocal refreshingly untreated. There's a light agility about his songs too, ranging from the straightforward chick songs - I Love Your Smile stirs thoughts of Randy Newman collaborating with a bunch of New Orleans' finest, and Soundtrack to Falling in Love...quality shines through BBC Online (UK)
- Full Flavoured, Deep and Rich in Quality Full flavoured, deep and rich in quality...Charlie Winston has a lot to say about life, in song and elsewhere. There is much to say about his exciting style and his many musical influences...soulful vocals that captivate and leave you under his mesmerising influence....This album has such flavour, depth and is of such amazing quality, that many would fall over themselves to have a copy...Lyrically, vocally and musically compelling, don't fail to enjoy and support this worthy British artist. Maverick (UK)
- A Compelling Performer The 30 year-old singer's purposely unpolished mix of folk, blues, bistro jazz, jaunty pop and beatboxing, delivered with a theatrical flourish, makes him an unlikely pop star, but a compelling performer. His control of the crowd was masterful...On several occasions fans took over entire verses of vocals while Winston backed them beatboxing...'Like a Hobo' had a charming tinge of spaghetti western to it and...it's uplifting melody should help it to replicate its continental success. The Times (Live Review from London Cargo) (UK)
- Triumphant He came on sporting a jaunty hat, waistcoat and tie, playing solo guitar and looking like an unexpectedly fashion-conscious folk singer, as he invited the crowd to sing back to him on Gone, Gone, a song that doesn't appear on the album. Then he brought on his band (apparently discovered on a Nice beach) for his finest song, the stomping and angry folk-gospel sing-along In Your Hands, before dramatically changing styles for a set in which he was transformed first into a white soul balladeer, then a music hall novelty performer. He switched from guitar to keyboards for the autobiographical Tongue Tied, showed off his gutsy vocals on the Spencer Davis Group favourite I'm a Man, then moved to sing-along pop cabaret for a cheerful song about death, Kick the Bucket. He then ventured further into music hall territory for the quirky novelty piece My Life As a Duck, with the audience singing the chorus back to him. He finished with a triumphant Like a Hobo, a burst of solo soul balladry... The Guardian (Live Review From London Cargo) (UK)