It's always fun to talk music at World Records with out-of-towners. They generally have a very broad knowledge of recording artists, and are wanting to discover more.
Thanksgiving weekend brings them in. On Black Friday, I noticed a young lady pleasantly caught by surprise, who looked at me while pointing her finger up in the air, "You're playing Charlie Hunter! That's Charlie Hunter!"
"Yes," I replied. "We're listening to 'Music! Music! Music!,' the new album by Charlie Hunter and Lucy Woodward. They're playing here in three weeks."
"Here. In our theater."
"This record store has a theater?! Mom, you have to come to this show! I live in L.A. I've seen Charlie Hunter twice. He is one of the most amazing guitarists ever! He plays a seven-string guitar and mixes bass and guitar in a way that makes him easy to pick out. Really cool!"
And last Saturday, a young woman was all smiles when she walked in carrying her toddler, saying, "I just found out Charlie Hunter is coming this Friday! I've seen Charlie a couple times back home, in Virginia. He's awesome! My husband and I are new to Bakersfield and not ready for babysitters. So this will be Mom's Night Out!"
Bakersfield has some resident music searchers, which is why we stocked Charlie Hunter's first release in 1993 and stayed up with his career. Very few artists are so universally respected and admired that their career is spent exploring what's possible. Charlie Hunter's 26 releases are each loving showcases of music's past, present and future.
This latest release is a beautiful statement — great songs, by diverse artists like Blind Willie Johnson, Bessie Smith and Terence Trent D'Arby — revealed using just guitar, percussion and amazing vocals. The vocalist is Lucy Woodward, who has four albums of her own, and has toured with and recorded with Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, Gavin DeGraw, Pink Martini, Chaka Khan, Nikka Costa and Randy Jackson.
People who have seen Charlie Hunter in person are awfully excited he's coming to Bakersfield. Find out why at the show Friday.