Charlie Winston, 2013
"My sole objective on the album Running Still was to be able to engage people's feet first and slowly rise to the mind," says Charlie Winston. "So by the time they get absorbed in the lyrics, they're fully engaged but realize there's something more going on."
Opener 'Hello Alone' makes for an inviting call, a shared solitude, if you will, that's at the root of the art experience. But the next song, 'Speak to Me', makes it clear that no one should limit Winston in terms of expectations, the all-vocal beat-boxed tour de force showing one of his many facets, with more to come. The snappy 'Happiness' offers soulful yearning, while 'The Great Conversation' is in fact a chat with Beethoven, one of Winston's musical heroes, whose Moonlight Sonata can be found within the tune, though in shards. 'She Went Quietly' is a searching piano ballad (inspired by a heart-wrenching tale of separation involving his great aunt and, to lesser though crucial extent, the movie Million Dollar Baby). 'Until You're Satisfied' is '80s-referencing pop-funk celebrating Winston's Prince fandom. 'Lift Me Gently' is a stand out track for Peter Gabriel - "An amazing song, and possibly the best Charlie has ever written....". 'Wild Ones' is charging blues-rock, 'Rockin' in the Suburbs' is all vibrant energy ... and that's just part of the picture. Not a surprise given that Winston also, with natural ease, refers to such diverse inspirations as Nick Cave, Steve Reich and Jacques Brel (and T.S. Eliot, Wim Wenders and Ingmar Bergman, for that matter) in discussing the album.
Most prominently there's a sense of joy and discovery throughout the album, which follows up the breakthrough of his 2009 album, 'Hobo' - a big hit throughout Europe and Canada.
'Running Still' finds Winston and his richly talented band in collaboration with producer Tony Berg (Michael Penn, Aimee Mann, Bruce Hornsby, Ozomatli) to reach new emotional and sonic colors. The band features drummer Medi, bassist Daniel Marsala and harmonica ace Benjamin "Ben Henry" Edwards along with Winston's piano and guitar - with keyboard additions from Patrick Warren and a touch of guitar from Tiny B (Berg, under a Winston-bestowed alias).
- Britain should wake up now… File under deserving of proper attention... ... Winston's music has a funk and folk base onto which some astonishingly bravura musical adventures into hip hop, rock, even classical, are organically fused' Mojo (UK)
- Stakes out a territory somewhere between Jamiroquai and Paolo Nutini… '... Skirts the fringes of 30s Berlin nightclub burlesque, delicate piano balladry and Queen-meets-Beastie Boys arena posturing' Acoustic Magazine (UK)
- One To Watch... 'The organic production and refreshingly untreated vocals of Charlie Winston. Running Still mixes charging blues-rock with piano ballads. We predict great things for both the album and Charlie.' Candis Magazine
- ...intense lyrics wrapped in marvellous melodies... 'Running Still, his third record, continues in a similar theme (as previous album, Hobo), with intense lyrics wrapped in marvellous melodies. Opener Hello Alone sets the tone, with Where Can I Buy Happiness likely to soundtrack the lives of lonely souls everywhere. The final song, Lift Me Gently, is equally heart-rending, detailing the end of an intense relationship exquisitely.' Press Association (UK)
- ...quite delightful... Bouncy, beatbox fuelled, brooding, spacious... Winston's kind of pop is a moving and slanted thing, and quite delightful. It's utterly original, too. Guitar & Bass (UK)