16 Dec. 2008

Guys, Girls, Tattooed Hands and Music – Makes Sense [Part 2]


It’s time to end the suspense.

You can all breathe a long sigh of relief.  You don’t have to wait any longer – just read on to find out what the “Tattooed Hands and Music” part of this title means and it will all make sense!

Charley Cripe's Permanent Musical Notes

Charley Cripe

Last week Barrett and I were in a meeting at Birdy’s Bar and Grill.  We were discussing some of the different things that will be happening at the IndyConcerts.com Launch Party on January 3, 2009.  The conversation went from talk about the VIP options to tickets and capacity.  While we were meeting a guy started to set up two keyboards for the show that night.  We were about to wrap up and finalize some things when this guy starts banging on one of the keyboards for a supposed “sound check”.  That was it for me.  I couldn’t really concentrate on the meeting anymore – my thoughts had been jarred from the sheer volume.

The meeting ended and Barrett continued to talk to Mike and Jeff from Birdy’s.  I wanted to know who was playing that night – Mike and Jeff had said it was a girl – so I walked up to said Loud Piano Playing Sound Check Guy and asked him who he was setting the keyboards up for.  He just kind of looked at me and said… “Me.” 

I have to admit, I was kind of taken aback.  The guys from Birdy’s had said a girl was playing.  And this tall, head-shaven, muscular, ARMY shirt-wearing, tattooed guy was definitely not a girl.  And he was going to play the piano and sing.  I was intrigued.  So I talked to him some more to figure out if this all was for real (I don’t know why I was so unbelieving, but I was).  He gave me his CD and told me to give it a listen to find out for myself… so I did.

I’ve listened to Charley Cripe’s CD quite a bit since he gave it to me.  And I’ve had my roommate listen to it.  Our reactions were very similar.  Charley Cripe definitely was a pleasant surprise.  Both of us were very impressed with what I called the “raw” feeling to his voice and what my roommate called the “pureness.”  With just a piano behind his voice, the songs on his demo come off as very vulnerable and real – something that sometimes seems to be lacking in today’s artists.  The song “Mistake” has a haunted feel and Charley’s voice floats effortlessly through it.  His lyrics are creative and will make you think about what they really mean… and I always like that challenge of that.  And by keeping it somewhat subjective, each listener may find their own meaning and have the songs speak to them in a different way.

I wish I could have stuck around at Birdy’s for Charley’s set.  After listening to his demo, I think it would have been a great experience.  Hopefully I’ll have the chance in the future.  I mean… the guy has music notes tattooed on the top of his hands.  If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is.

Check out Indianapolis-based musician Charley Cripe at http://www.myspace.com/charleycripe or go to his next show at Locals Only on January 9, 2009.

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