Described in reviews as "a contemporary Australian classic with a twist", Charlie Keller is a must see for anyone craving a truly original, entertaining performance with heart.
The Australian singer/songwriter draws inspiration from Paul Simon and Paul Kelly, and emulates their distinctive storytelling abilities. “They understand that the song is the master, not the artist,” says Keller of his influences. His songs move across a broad array of genres – sometimes latino, country, rock; but they generally find their way back to the quirky acoustic folk-pop sound that Keller is known for.
December heralds the international release of Keller’s debut EP 'Life's Much Easier When You're A Cowboy', a diverse collection of quirky, folk-pop-rock tunes, propelled by a tour of 20 shows across the USA and 30 shows in Australia.
Keller began his musical journey at age 11 learning Christian songs on guitar from an ex-reverend. Inspiration struck at age 21, during a trip to Costa Rica. “As I was dropping off to sleep one night, I noticed there was a complete song going around in my head, and I’d never heard it before,” says Keller of his first songwriting experience. “Since then, most of my songs have come that way – fully formed. I don’t know how they come to be there; I simply feel that I’m lucky to be hearing those songs and I want to share them with others. I don’t really question it beyond that.”
Receiving national recognition in 2012 for his track ‘The Girl From Kosovo’, Keller placed as a finalist in the MusicOz Singer/Songwriter Awards. Tackling the issue of asylum seekers, Keller felt the story was one that needed to be told, and went on to perform the song at Brisbane's Pinkenba Detention Centre as part of the Refugee Action Collective. International recognition came when Keller's "Hold Me" placed as a finalist in the UK Songwriting Competition.
On the advice of ARIA Producer of the Year (2001), Steve James (The Screaming Jets, Sex Pistols), Keller took a year out to focus his efforts on his songwriting. The result is the upcoming EP ‘Life’s Much Easier When You’re A Cowboy’, recorded and produced by James in Byron Bay.
“The songs picked are an introduction to everything I’m about,” says Keller. “I want people to hear the stories I need to share.”
Keller's live act has become known for being quirky, diverse and entertaining. “It’s a whole experience for everyone. I think people are a bit taken aback that there’s dialogue between songs, and interaction between the band and audience. It’s a bit Devandra Banhart-esque,” says Keller of his live shows.