Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Music · Local Musician Spotlight: Charlie...
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Local Musician Spotlight: Charlie Millard

Kristi Kates - May 26th, 2014  
Singer-songwriter Charlie Millard is a complicated mix of yesterday’s vintage and current musical Americana.

He plays his songs at local cafes and street fairs around Northern Michigan, but his sound would be equally at home in a Hemingway-era pub in the 1920s, surrounded by a cloud of cigar smoke and Lost Generation peers.

Tracks like “Paperboy” and “Cardboard Box” feature both melodies and lyrics well beyond Millard’s years. And it’s that uniqueness that’s generating plenty of buzz for his music across the region.

KRISTI KATES FOR EXPRESS: Charlie, you and your live shows are probably best known so far in Petoskey. Is that your hometown, as well?

CHARLIE MILLARD: Well, I live in Alanson, just northeast of Petoskey, but I feel like a local in Alanson, Petoskey, and Indian River. They are all special places to me.

EXPRESS: How did you get started in music?

CM: I was first introduced to music through my father. He had his guitar setup in the kitchen, and was always playing something. I started out playing guitar, but changed over to piano at about age 11.

EXPRESS: And when did you start performing live?

CM: When I was 14, I started playing guitar at local farmers markets and selling my CD. I also walked into The Perry Hotel to see if I could play their beautiful black grand piano for their fine dining room. This will be my fourth summer playing there. I love it; I get to play all sorts of music, and I love the people there.

EXPRESS: In addition to performing cover songs, you of course also write your own music. What, or who, inspires you?

CM: I am a big fan of the legendary songwriters like Tom Waits, Greg Brown, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Van Morrison, George and Ira Gershwin, The Doors, Leon Russell, and Johnny Cash, but also artists like Patrick Watson, Conor Oberst, Feist, Vic Chestnutt, Jack White, Sparklehorse, and Ryan Adams. Ray Charles is right up there in my top five artists. There is so much great music to explore … I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my time.

EXPRESS: Some of that time was obviously spent working on your album, “Hattie Jane.” Would you tell us a little about it? Was it recorded locally?

CM: Yes, we recorded and produced “Hattie Jane” right here in our home studio on our own record label, Hattie Jane Records. It was released in July 2012, and we have sold more than 1,000 copies to date. All the songs are originals, and the album is available everywhere you can download music.

EXPRESS: Is there a theme, or a thread, to the album? Each song seems to have its own associated character or personality, from the title track onward.

CM: Each song does have a story behind it. But I like the fact that some people tell me their own personal interpretation of a song, what it means to them, or what they think it’s about, and it is completely different from what our original idea was, which is really cool. The song “Hattie Jane” was the last one we wrote and recorded for the album and really represents where we were heading with our songwriting.

EXPRESS: Now that “Hattie Jane” is finding its audience, what will your next step for your music be - another album, or a tour?

CM: The only thing that I am really planning is writing and recording songs. I am just hoping to put out quality music that will find an audience. And then, to enjoy playing it live. Throughout May, I’ll be performing at Cafe Santé, The Perry Hotel, and Red Sky Stage. This summer I’ll be at Blissfest, Petoskey’s Festival on the Bay, Crooked Tree Arts Center, and the Big Wood Show. And I’ll also be playing original music at Harbor Springs Street Musique, Petoskey Rocks, and Boyne’s Stroll the Streets. I am having a blast.

For more on Charlie Millard and his music, visit reverbnation.com/charliemillard or find him on Facebook.

 
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