Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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