Bar Band Americanus – The Best of Charlie Picket And
Both as a music addict and “critic,” I hear lots of music that slips into cult following-status and/or obscurity while less talented musicians reap the big rewards. Take South Floridian Charlie Pickett for example. Throughout the1980’s he was a road-warrior of roots-rock long before the term became commonplace in America. He released four fine records (3 LPs and 1 EP) during that stint and played memorable genre-fusing shows all over the country before “officially” giving up on his dream of hitting it big in late 1988. He was convinced that he'd never be more than just a regional talent--but boy was he wrong.
Twenty years later, The Best of Charlie Picket And—the “and” subbing for his combos’ monikers “the Eggs” and “the MC3”—draws from his ‘80s discography for what is likely one of the best archival rock discs to be released this year. Bloodshot Records is giving his music new life and hopes to expand upon Pickett's cult following. A part of the reason Pickett was (and still is) so popular to some is because he drew upon classic rock—the Rolling Stones (up to ’72), Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Flamin’ Groovies, and the NY Dolls—along with proto-country-rockers the Flying Burrito Brothers and the raw electric blues of Howlin’ Wolf and J.B. Hutto—for a passionate, hot ‘n’ sweaty amalgam that could only be improved by at least two beers and the knowledge that you don’t need to wake up early the next day. What separates Pickett from many bands with similar approaches is conviction—his voice drips with real-world desperation while not taking his damn self too seriously. As for bonus material, Bar Band Americanus offers four previously unreleased live tracks that sizzle and give you new reason to believe in Pickett's music once again. -Mark Keresman
[Ed. note] In celebration of this release, Pickett is performing tonight at Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale. He wants to meet you, and you, and you too. So come out, buy his CD, and party with a local rock legend tonight from 7-10pm
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Radio-Active Records is at 1930B East Sunrise Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
(just west of the Galleria Mall on Sunrise Boulevard)