Talent does not always get you recognition, as Charlie Sayles can tell you. A hugely talented harp player with a superb technique and a great voice, he incorporates the style of Chicago‘s early legends into his wide repertoire of Blues, Rock and Funk influenced material. Charlie has recorded only four albums in forty years of playing and spent most of his career blowing his harp on street corners.
Charlie plays at a Public Library in 2003. Scintillating stuff!
Regular playing gave Charlie a warm, confident performing style, as he engages in witty banter with his audience between songs, and an unreleased recording of Charlie performing with his band in 1982 is well worth finding on You-Tube. Charlie’s recording career got going again in 1993 with the release of ‘Night Ain’t Right’ on the British JSP label, which contained many of Charlie’s own compositions. The follow-up, ‘I Got Something to Say’ had Washington club legend Bobby Parker guesting on guitar, but again sales were not huge outside his East-coast stomping grounds, and ‘Hip Guy’, released in 2000, didn’t fare any better.
Charlie performing on a Washington street corner;
Charlie has teamed up with guitarist Tony Fazio in a band called the Blues Disciples, and also recorded with Tony’s band Electrofied, and has recently been the subject of a documentary film. He continues to play at small clubs and Festivals, and also on street corners, and when you hear the quality of this man’s playing and his authentic Blues voice, you have to wonder why he isn’t better known. However that may change, as Charlie is rumoured to have spent time in China, so don’t be surprised if there are a billion new Blues fans soon!