Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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