Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Rockie Charles, known as “the President of Soul” has backed soul legends Little Johnny Taylor, Percy Sledge, 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.”
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 vocals 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.
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
…will make any ardent soul-o-phile radiantly tumescent. Ergo, brothers ʻnʼ sisters, this is some fine shit here.
Jackson Griffith, Pulse Magazine, July 97
Charles Merrickʼs sweet comeback album contains the kind of radiant soul music testifying that changes listeners into evangelical zealots.
Pulse Magazine Sept 97, Lone Wolf Indy100
..one of the finest Southern soul singers it has ever been my privilege to hear, because Rockie has a stunning voice, plaintive soulfull, racked with emotion, and with an intensely eerie falsetto thats cuts straight to the soul…Rockieʼs vocals achieve an emotional intensity that literally give his pain and suffering a life of there own…Great songs. Stunning Vocals.Mick Rainsford
Mick Rainsford, Blues & Rhythm #118, England
Charles smooth and chunky rhythm guitar licks and perfect amounts of coarsely ground organ fills, unrefined horn charts and the sweetness of an angelic country church choir throughout the music is uncalculated one of a kind conception full bodied and mesmerizing…Born For You presents an unassuming and bewildering talent, gently preaching, quietly testifying and finally joufully paying tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. In the process Rockie Charles also manages to encapsulate the exposition of R&B as a native art form…
Roger Hahn, Offbeat Feb 97 vol 10 #2
This is simply an incredible disc by a magnificently talented and unique artist. This is classic Southern soul at its very, very best! Sanctified Southern soul. Full of feeling, beautifully arranged and executed and lushly produced and recorded…sure to bring a warm glow to every soul and R&B lover out there. A real unexpected but most welcome
AG, Real Blues Jan 97
Charles is all soul with a creamy voice which uncannily resembles that of Al Green. Charlesʼ clever writing rides relaxed, almost subconscious grooves that suit his clean, sparse guitar licks.
DW, Dirty Linen Aug 97
Charles wrote all the songs on Born For You and sings them in a voice that sounds like a fractured blend of Otis Redding and Al Green…a heartfelt effort that should appeal to those who are looking for something off the beaten path.Jim DeKoster
Jim DeKoster, Living Blues April 97