Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Charlelie Couture. A French singer who is probably rock n' roll's greatest secret, and certainly the greatest musical secret living in the U.S. That's right. He doesn't even live in France anymore. He lives in New York. He's huge in the French-speaking world, but ironically, though he lives among us, we don't know him.
Charlelie is really a kind of musical miracle, having not just artistically survived since his debut in the 80's but become more innovative with age. While most rock stars in their 60's are living off fumes from their previous decades, Mr. C. continues to break new ground. In the past 20 years he's toyed around with surreal hip hop, grinding blues/RnB, a kind of Australian-influenced country music and hordes of genres and musical fusions that defy definition.
He's like a kind of French Neil Young, but even that is a limited description. One minute he can be lush and romantic like Bryan Ferry, the next a quirky, jagged jazziness like Frank Zappa or Tom Waits, or often somewhere between Randy Newman and Dire Straits.
His palette is not just enormous but his songs are frighteningly good. A plus for Oregon: he did come out to Portland a few years ago to mix his Fort Reveur album at Sean Flora's Rock 'n Roll BnB Studios.