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With her debut album, Memories of Mine, Charlsey Etheridge soulfully delivers an exquisite compilation of largely acoustic tunes that blend gospel, folk, bluegrass, and a touch of swing and jazz. Co-produced by Grammy-award winner, Randy Kohrs, the album pays homage to traditional roots music.
“It was such a great experience recording with Randy Kohrs, as well as the long list of amazing musicians who shared their talent in the making of this record … Shad Cobb (John Cowan), Jeremy Abshire (The Grascals), Tim Crouch (Alan Jackson), Aaron Till (Mark Chestnut), Charlie Chadwick (Suzie Boguss), Buddy Greene, Richard Smith, Rory Hoffman, and Cody Kilby (Ricky Skaggs), just to name a few. I feel extremely humbled and blessed.”
Almost immediately upon relocating to Nashville from her home in GA, Etheridge had the opportunity to work with Grammy-Award winner Harley Allen, as well as Grand Ole Opry member, Steve Wariner. In a town where relationships mean everything, Charlsey found herself casually jamming with the likes of Vince Gill, Dierks Bently, Del McCoury, Brian Sutton, Ronnie Bowman, and John Paul Jones of Led Zepplin. Soon, she was sharing an opening stage for Little Big Town and also performing at the world-famous Bluebird Cafe. She studied resonator guitar with Jack Pearson, formerly of the Allman Brothers Band, which led to a great musical friendship and the beginnings of a Christmas album.
“Hopefully one day we will get around to finishing it!” Etheridge says of the project with Pearson.
Although Memories of Mine contains covers and traditional tunes, Etheridge is an accomplished songwriter. Her original tunes are penned with simplicity and honesty.
Music is in her roots and the spirit of the South runs through her veins. Her parents and grandparents were among the powerful influences of her youth.
“My first concert was Emmylou Harris in 1985. I was mesmerized,” Charlsey recalls. “With a guitar my dad bought for me, I learned to play chords from an Emmylou Harris songbook my mother had.”
A devoutly Christian grandmother shared stories and both gospel and old war songs. A great-grandfather known as ‘General’ was a moonshiner. The varied and colorful stories from her own roots continue to influence Charlsey.
“Filipino Baby” was a childhood favorite, learned at her grandmother’s knee, which landed on the debut album.
With a strength of spirit instilled by a loving family, and an apprecitaion for Southern culture and story-telling, Charlsey Etheridge is a refreshing voice on the music scene.
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