Nova Scotia’s Charlie A’Court Is Riding High Down Under

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Charlie A’Court must be doing something right. The Nova Scotia native, still riding high on the success of his most recent album, Triumph and Disaster, must also be racking up the frequent flyer miles.

A’Court, performing tomorrow evening at the Riverview Arts Centre, is enjoying his few remaining days in the Maritimes before he leaves for a five-week tour of Australia. It will mark the fourth time in the past two years that he is touring the continent.

The multiple East Coast Music Award and Music Nova Scotia Award winner tells the Times & Transcript that his career Down Under is building in much the same manner as it did across Canada. He and his team are doing it via Sun Is Gonna Shine, a compilation record that takes songs from each of A’Court’s records dating back to his debut record right through to Triumph and Disaster, which A’Court says makes up approximately one-third of Sun Is Gonna Shine.

“The good people I am working with in Australia thought the best way to introduce my music and myself to Australian audiences was to give them something that would serve as an introduction to the whole spectrum of my music,” Charlie says. “It is like putting my best foot forward. The same company I am working with did something similar with the Trews and found that it was an effective way to get my name out there.”

Charlie says that having the unique vantage point of looking back on his career in order to pick songs for Sun Is Gonna Shine was an experience he enjoyed. That retrospection helped shine a light on some pieces that, for the purposes of live performances, had simply been pushed to one side in favour of more recent material.

“I have been very lucky to have had a successful career in Canada. When it came to going to Australia where I am for all intents and purposes a completely new artist, I wanted to bring them material that they could connect with. Although in the back of my mind, putting out a hits compilation was always a kind of closet fantasy,” he laughs.

“The process of revisiting some of those old songs was interesting from a production and performance stand point, to see how they differed. What it all really boiled down to however was whether or not it was a good song to begin with. The album serves as the best opportunity to show myself off in a complete way. I am really digging that.”

While it might be easy to classify Charlie as a blues artist, his music actually encompasses multiple genres. His influences date back to the time he was a child, growing up just outside of Truro, N.S. He would spend hours poring over his father’s record collection, turning himself onto classic soul singers like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. Soon after, Charlie turned his attention towards the masters of the blues including B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Albert King.

These influences and more shine throughout Triumph and Disaster. Working with producer Chris Kirby on what would become his first record in more than six years, Charlie teamed up with fellow East Coast songwriters including Kim Wempe, Ron Hynes as well as Kirby to make a comprehensively collaborative album.

Although some songwriters shy away from collaboration, treating their songs like their children, Charlie relishes the opportunity to see and hear his songs from the point of view of others.

“I have discovered that I tend to write my best when I am writing with others. Having other writers dissect and figure out how to help make my material stronger is exciting. I like to believe that my best work is yet to come.”

His current work though, has earned him plenty of accolades.

At this past spring’s East Coast Music Awards, Triumph and Disaster netted Charlie awards for R&B/Soul Recording Of The Year as well as Blues Recording Of The Year. Triumph and Disaster is also nominated for Music Nova Scotia’s Blues Recording Of The Year; those awards will be presented in Sydney in November.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have my work recognized,” Charlie says. “To have the local industry get behind my work and put any amount of belief in what I do is amazing. To have six years between records and to return with an album that has been received the way that it has been is very humbling. I couldn’t be more appreciative. I am very proud of what I have accomplished.”

WHAT: Charlie A’Court
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Riverview Arts Centre, 400 Whitepine Rd., Riverview
TICKETS: $20 plus taxes and service charge. Advance tickets are available at Jean Coutu (438 Coverdale Rd., Riverview), Sobeys (1160 Findlay Blvd., Riverview), Frank’s Music (245 Carson Dr., Moncton) and online at riverviewartscentre.ca

Article published in the September 27, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript

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