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Blue Hawk Records Artist of the Week: Charlie Krause

Charlie KrauseSinger and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Krause transferred to Monmouth this semester, after studying at The University of the Arts and Philadelphia Community College. Now, the junior communication student has found his way into Monmouth’s music scene, having written and recorded an original song on Blue Hawk Records’ 17th compilation album.

He described his song on the album, titled “Those Green Eyes,” as having an early ‘70s, soft rock, acoustic vibe, reminiscent of old-school artists like Jackson Brown, Elton John, and Neil Young.

“It sounds like your standard rock/pop song about somebody’s eyes. I mostly chose green because it seems like all the other one syllables were taken, so that’s what I was left with,” he chuckled. “The theme I’m running with is the idea that a lot of people will end up being with the type of person they think they deserve. It’s like a case study… It’s not even a love song as much as it is observing what people are doing and why they choose certain types of people to be with.”

Although Krause has been dabbling with all kinds of instruments for about ten years, including bass, guitar, and even the flute, he picked up piano about two years ago after making the decision to leave the jazz program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

“It wasn’t exactly what I wanted. It was a really intense program,” he said. “After about a year of that, I decided to pick up some gen eds from Philadelphia Community College. I really just wanted to be a piano player. I had all this free time when I wasn’t doing homework, so I just spent time practicing. Here we are two years later, I’m mostly a piano player now…I decided that’s going to be my instrument.”

It was also around this time that Krause joined forces with sophomore business administration student, Ross Owen, and his band, The Ross Owen Tribe. In fact, Krause described joining Owen’s band as a pivotal moment in his musical career.

“When I had gotten back from community college in Philadelphia… I really had a point when I was done with music,” said Krause. However, it wasn’t until he reached out to Owen, asking if he needed a piano player for an upcoming set at Café Artiste in Ocean Grove, that he got back into music.

“I hadn’t played piano with a band up to that point, because I separated myself from mu-sic,” Krause explained. “After that night, I was like, ‘Man, I’d like to do that again.’ From that point on, one thing sort of led to another, and I suddenly just really enjoyed music again.”

“He’s the only musician who’s reached out to me to accompany me,” said Owen. “I gave him some songs of mine that were released and he showed up at my house with a book of all the songs written out. His work ethic was insane coming and knowing all this stuff and having analyzed all my music. I’ve never met another musician like that.”

Aside from the song on Blue Hawk Records’ album, Krause is also working on a full-length album with Owen, which will be released on Owen’s record label, Virtually Atomic, in early 2021.

“While [Owen] is trying to get his name out there, he wants to help out his friends and musical acquaintances,” said Krause. “It’s nice to be a part of this communal type of music where everyone’s really helping each other out and pulling strings for each other, no pun intended.”

“He’s down to earth and a very knowledgeable musician,” Owen said. “He knows what he’s doing and can interpret things with his ear really incredibly.”

Last month, Krause brought in Owen and his band to Lakehouse Recording Studios to record “Those Green Eyes.”

“I gathered people from Ross’s group, and the entire band ended up being on the song. I’m not really an experienced leader when it comes to bands, I’ve always been a sideman. Being a leader, I was really out of my comfort zone,” Krause said of the experience at Lakehouse. “It was a learning experience, for sure. And I enjoyed it. It was nice to be able to spend our free time doing something like this that is rewarding and productive…That’s one of the perks of being a musician.”

“The best part of recording at Lakehouse was that we did it as a band,” he continued. “There’s this raw power that comes with recording as a band, as a unit, and capturing that live energy.”

The song will be released with the rest of the Blue Hawk Records album on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Moving forward, Krause hopes to continue improving at his craft, and is looking forward to where music will take him.

“I just hope I can find a way to keep doing it,” he said.

 

PHOTO COURTESY of Charlie Krause

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