CHARLIE WORSHAM NO BONES ABOUT TV MURDER
“You can starve me for affection/ till my soul's just skin and bone/ and make the words "I'm sorry"/ feel the same as throwing stones/ in a room full of you, I might be standing all alone/ but love don't die easy.” - Love Don't Die Easy - Charlie Worsham.
Art didn't imitate life when struggling country singer Colin Haynes, played by Mississippi singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham, was murdered in Fox TV series Bones.
Haynes body was found in a shallow grave before the Bones investigators discovered he was also the victim of deceitful dealings by his record company.
“My acting career got killed off before it began,” Worsham, 32, told Country Music Capital News and Nu Country TV from Sydney during his Australian tour with South Carolina born star Lee Brice and Georgian Kip Moore in April.
But, unlike his character Haynes, this singer didn't suffer deceit from his record company Warner
“That part had no bearing on real life,” Charlie explained.
“Warner has been great to me. They could dig up the receipts for me and say ‘where's the money?' Warner has been very supportive. I put my first record out Rubberband and I got this random call from the label one day. I was in Los Angeles . They heard my song Love Don't Die Easy and wanted to use it in the show and wanted me to play the part. I didn't have a lot going on at the time. I said absolutely, are you kidding? It was a fascinating insight into the world of television production.”
Although Worsham didn't end up in an early grave he shared struggles with many peers.
“We have a lot of folks in Nashville who are sort of like that character where they're super talented world class voices and instrumentalists. Outside of Nashville nobody knows them but they're always valued in the Nashville community and lifted up,” Worsham added.
“Brandy Clark (one of Worsham's touring partners) is criminally under-rated. It's not just the singer-songwriters, sometimes it's the musicians, people like Paul Franklin who is one of the world's greatest steel guitarists that ever walked the face of the earth. Jedd Hughes - an Australian here - is a fine musician and artist in his own right. There are a lot of Dierks Bentley fans out there who have heard the guitar solos and don't know it is Jedd.”
Love Don't Die Easy featured on the Bones soundtrack after being on his 2013 debut album Rubberband.
Worsham - son of a banker and drummer in small town Grenada , population 13,092 - may not have yet reached the fame of fellow Grenada graduate Ace Cannon, now 83, but is here for the long haul.
Charlie emerged as a mandolinist-singer in embryonic band King Billy who cut an EP in 2010.
Like late mentor Texan Guy Clark, he accepts his role as a slow burning artist with help from Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Miranda Lambert and touring partners diverse as fellow Mississippi born belle Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
She helped Worsham set up his Follow Your Heart Scholarship , dedicated to supporting talented young artists in hometown Grenada , in pursuit of their dreams.
The scholarship name stems from an autograph Marty Stuart gave him.
It's tattooed on his arm that he photographed as he jogged around Sydney near the Opera House on his arrival.
Charlie donates proceeds from his photographic story book Follow Your Heart , with a forward by Stuart, to the Foundation.
“Marty and I grew up in Mississippi that is a pretty crazy place to be from,” Charlie confessed, “it gave the world Elvis Presley, the father of country music, Jimmie Rogers, B.B. King, Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers and many others.”
MISSISSIPPI IN JULY
“These delta roads, everyone I know/ by the cotton fields and railroad tracks/ it's more than just the heat, most folks/ who would get the chance to leave but don't come back/ last time I thought about you in a wedding dress/ I would've been holding your hand/ but at seventeen you promise things/ that you don't really understand.” - Mississippi In July - Charlie Worsham-Ryan Tyndell-Ben Ford.
Worsham is renowned for memorable songs Mississippi In July, 1-55 and Southern By The Grace Of God - salient signposts to his roots.
It reunited him with close friend - Eric Masse - from his pre-recording era at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Masse and Texan born co-producer Frank Liddell - husband of Lee Ann Womack - persuaded Worsham to expand on his Mississippi roots on Beginning of Things , released on April 21, 2017.
It was preceded by aptly titled inspiration single Cut Your Groove - a soulful confessional.
“Eric was part of my first record as well. We came up through the ranks together in Nashville . I remember when I was living in the attic of a small run-down house and I walked up the street and he was renting a small run down house as his studio at the time. We cut a lot of records there. Things started out real bad and real cheap. Steadily they got better and we both got better work pulling each other up over the years. I got my record deal and my budget and made my first record and then my second. Then I got to tour with Miranda Lambert and then Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton on You Can't Make Old Friends .”
Worsham says he indebted to Texan born belles Miranda and Lee Ann.
“Miranda and Lee Ann, when I want to listen to a record those two names are inter-changeable,” Worsham confessed.
“They're the two artists I reach to when I want music to hit me straight in the heart. I've been fortunate enough to tour with both of them. Frank and Lee Ann took me under their wing and took me out on the road to tour with them. I can't say enough good things about that family and Miranda as well. She took me in with Keeper of The Flame .”
It's a far cry from his childhood trips to Nashville with his family when he guested on the famed Ryman and Grand Ole Opry.
“I played the Ryman when I was ten which was wild and then the Opry when I was twelve which was also wild,” Worsham recalled.
In more recent years he recorded at the famed Abbey Road studios on a visit with his dad.
“You know my dad was 13 when the Beatles came to America and I was raised on his and my mom's music which was largely music of the sixties and seventies,” Worsham recalled.
“And obviously a lot of country and Vince Gill being the principal one of the artists for me. But The Beatles and the Stones were always it, and we got to tour the facilities there. But I had seen they had opened the Gatehouse Studio and they have a couple of new studios that are more budget minded.
“I did a mix of songs off both of my records that are out. Heavily leaning on songs off the new record. And I would go back and add a mandolin part here and a piano part there, you know. I couldn't tell you the whole list because I never looked up all day. I went to the canteen they have down in the basement, like for thirty minutes during the day and at the end of the day the engineer was very kind and bought me a pint. So I can say I had a pint at Abbey Road . I kept waiting for Paul McCartney to walk in and us just be best friends, but he didn't. But I think he was in the next week, which was pretty cool.”
THE KEY TO GRENADA
“Grandpa's whisky and grandma's bible will/ get you through when it's tent revival hard/ southern by the grace of God/ when I'm called home, don't need nothing fancy just/ lay my bones down in our family plot/ southern by the grace of God.” - Southern By The Grace Of God - Charlie Worsham-Luke Dick-Shane McAnally.
That musical embryo inspired his scholarship for home town peers.
“It gives young folks a sense of belonging and your best friend,” Charlie proudly proffered, “your guitar becomes your best friend for life.
“I think as long as I've got breath in me and strength to smash down those guitar strings I will keep on making music. It's what I love. It's opened up my experience to a bigger world. I don't think that ever stops. It's one of my favourite things to share with people - whether they're old fans or someone I just met. I can't imagine not playing music in some capacity. I guess I can't imagine retiring.”
But if he does he has an accessible entrée card - hanging on the hallway wall in his Nashville home is the key to his hometown Grenada.
“A couple of years ago, I was back home visiting, and my hometown gave me a key to the city,” Worsham said. “They gave it to me and I just kept thinking, 'Good lord, y'all,'" I'm up there on the courthouse square with these people that have known me my entire life, and I'm thinking ‘what have I done to get this?' There are teachers who have saved lives, as well as policemen and firemen, veterans, people who are true heroes. I thought I need to keep this ‘give back' theme going. My dad has always been a banker, but has always been a drummer, and my mom was a teacher. So, music and education have always been my things. They would drive me an hour and a half each way to Starkville for banjo lessons, paying out of pocket for them every week. I want the kids growing up in Grenada now to get the same opportunities I had.
"We've got army veterans and teachers who've changed lives and nurses who've saved lives and here I am still trying to be a permanent part of the music business."