Chicago blues singer, guitar player, harp player and bandleader.
Charlie Love, born on the South side of Chicago in 1956, was introduced to the blues by his mother and father at an early age and quickly fell under it’s spell. His father often played the harmonica while Charlie and his mother would dance and sing along to the sounds of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and B.B. King. For his parents the blues was a celebration of the human spirit and helped them to endure the stresses of everyday living. It’s value and potential as a positive spiritual force was instilled in Charlie and he maintains this philosophy today.
One could say the blues called on Charlie.. It didn’t take him long to realize what he wanted to do with his life. He bought a guitar at the pawnshop and soon began accompanying himself. Working in assorted factories around Chicago, he always had his guitar and his first performance was for his co workers who would hear him play and sing during coffee breaks. Later they would ask him to perform at their house parties. There could be no better playground for Charlie than Chicago’s exploding blues scene. It was Lefty Dizz and Buddy Scott, two of Chicago’s blues greats, that took Charlie under their wing and gave him his first opportunity to take the stage at the famed Checkerboard Lounge.
It wasn’t long after Charlie began playing four nights a week on the South Side with his own band, the Hotlinks. His is blend of silky smooth vocal savvy and distilled raw power that Charlie brings to his performance creates a soul drenched marriage between beauty and abandon that adds up to 100% rockin’ Chicago blues. His ability to cover equally well a wide range of repertoire is an important ingredient in Charlie Love’s approach to music. When he steps to a microphone he serves up a Chicago blues stew that has been bubbling since his days hearing the music for the first time in his parents living room. Whether he’s singing the Muddy Waters classis, “Long Distance Call,’ Sam Cooke’s southern flavoured “Somebody Have Mercy,” or a more contemporary title like the self-penned, “Blues Keeps Following Me,” Charlie is still all the way at home.
Charlie has had an illustrious career and has shared the stage with many great musicians including Mighty Joe Young, Big Time Sarah, J.W. Williams, James Cotton, Buddy Miles, Junior Wells, Jeff Healy, Tom Jones, Greg Allman, Jeff Dale and Jeff Stone.
Chicago showman Charlie Love is a consistent feature at the Chicago Blues Festival. Charlie is recognized as one of the city’s outstanding performers and his sound keeps his audiences on their feet. Currently his band is called ” Charlie Love and the Silky Smooth Band “. They are considered one of Chicago’s premiere blues bands and have been a mainstay at the venue Blue Chicago. The band also performs regularly at Chicago venues including Kingston Mines and Buddy Guy’s Legends and was the opening act for B.B. King at the 25th Anniversary of the Chicago Blues Festival. Charlie has also opened for other legendary blues artists including Otis Rush and Honeyboy Edwards On one auspicious night at the famous Chicago Blues venue ‘Buddy Guy’s Legends’, Charlie was the feature artist when legendary musicians Ron Wood and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones entered the club after their concert at Comiskey Park. It didn’t take long until club owner and blues legend Buddy Guy joined Charlie’s band on stage.
Soon after Mick Jagger joined in with Charlie and Buddy and sang a version of “Little Red Rooster”. Then Ron Wood picked up a guitar and joined in to play with the band.
Charlie Love and the Silky Smooth Band have one feature recording called “So Happy I Could Cry”. A new recording of the Silky Smooth Band is in the works. Charlie has recorded on numerous other projects with artists including Little Milton, Liz Manderville, Three Faces of the Blues and The harmonica Project.
Charlie has taken to the road in recent years performing at many international jazz and blues festivals. In 2014 he was invited to the Durban International Blues Festival in South Africa as the blues ambassador for the United States. When performing at festivals Charlie is often asked to present workshops on the blues as part of his presence at such events. His knowledge and connection to the blues offer audiences great insight into this vital part of American music and culture. Charlie believes his musical persona is an accumulation of all the great musicians he has heard and performed with during his life.
Charlie performs regularly with the Silky Smooth Band as a feature guest entertainer on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Charlie believes music is power on a universal and spiritual level. This is evident in his music which is well received by audiences the world over.