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Blues Hall of Famer brings 40th-anniversary tour to Penticton

The musician is set to return to Penticton’s Dream Cafe once again

With more than 40 years behind him as a solo blues musician, Michael Charles is coming back to Penticton’s Dream Cafe.

The Blues Hall of Fame artist’s career stretches back even further, with 38 albums to his name, including a 30-year anthology, not something that many artists can boast of.

Speaking with the Western News, Charles was full of energy and a joy for performing that sounds like another 40 years of music in him.

“I think whatever you do in life, you better love it because, let’s face it, we work probably 90 per cent of our lives so let’s find something we love,” said Charles. “I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, I’ve never felt like I had a job, it’s just something I love doing. I’ve been blessed to still be able to do what I was doing when I was 20 years old.”

Charles has been coming to Canada for at least 18 years, and he can’t recall how many times he’s been to the Okanagan. His next appearance is set for April 13 at the Dream Cafe.

The Melbourne, Australian-based musician has coming to Penticton’s Dream Cafe since at least 2019, and it’s a venue he enjoys returning to.

“I’ve always had a great time at the Dream Cafe,” said Charles. “They always keep asking me back, and that’s a high compliment. We always sell the place out, so when things like that happen you always return and I hope they keep asking me to come back.”

Having toured around the world, Charles has also performed on television, radio, and alongside Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy.

After being invited to perform alongside Guy at the Legends in Chicago, Charles moved to America to work the blues circuit, although he doesn’t consider himself specifically tied to one genre.

“I mean, the industry, the people that come out and see me, the media, have all put me into the blues genre, which is a compliment but I look at myself as not just the blues guy,” said Charles.

Growing up as a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, Charles says he was influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.

“People like BB King, Buddy Guy and so forth,” said Charles. “I’m thinking we all come from the same cloth, it’s all Americana music.”

After 40 years as a solo performer, one of the things that Charles has learned is how to keep people coming back for more and to keep his music fresh for audiences.

“Even your early stuff, don’t try and always play it like the record,” said Charles. “As the years pass I revamp those early songs, because like it or not you have to keep performing a lot of your early stuff, and I change some arrangements, maybe change tempos. I just keep refreshing the music to make it sound like it was recorded yesterday.”

Tickets for the show are on sale now online through the Dream Cafe’s website. Tickets are $32 for the show.

READ MORE: Blues Hall of Famer Michael Charles to play Penticton’s Dream Cafe

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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