Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Rockie Charles, known as “the President of Soul” has backed soul legends Little Johnny Taylor, Percy Sludge, O.V. Wright, and Otis Redding in the 1960’s when he was based in Nashville. After moving back to New Orleans, he recorded three singles for the Soulgate label, including his signature song, “The President of Soul”.Share
His album “Born for You” with Orleans Records is an unpretentious album of original Southern soul that owes more to the music of Al Green and O.V. Wright than to blues or even New Orleans R&B.
Charles plaintive vocal are laid back and serviceable. His sparse clean guitar work reminds you of Stax-era Steve Cropper as it fits in perfectly with the horns and organ.
Thomas J. Cullen, Blues Revue
“Born For You” (1996)
Rockie Charles recorded a handful of well-crafted 45s during the 1960’s and ’70’s, but until recently on the most fervent blues and soul record collectors and New Orleans club goers were familiar with his downhome style. Charles’ CD, “Born For You” (Orleans Records) has created a stir among fans of gritty soul and blues, however, and the skillful guitarist, clever songwriter, and emotive singer has finally begun to step out of the shadows.
Jeff Hannusch, Living Blues
“Born For You” sounds like what might happen if the ghost of Otis Redding sauntered into a Mississippi juke joint one night with a sheaf of half finished songs in hand. Charles’ uniquely affecting vocals obviously reflect the polished surfaces of Al Green or Pops Staples, but the improvised drive that prevails in them is pure Stax ballad riffing. And the music behind them is pure sympathetic genius. Blended with Charles smooth and chunky rhythm guitar licks are perfect amounts of coarsely ground organ fills, unrefined horn charts and the sweetness of an angelic country-church choir.