Charlie Mars Captivates L.A. Café Audience
by Shammara Woods
The Hotel Café in Los Angeles was home to a packed audience on Tuesday, 20 July 2010, as dozens listened to the sultry baritone of Charlie Mars as he played a set of songs off of his latest album, Like a Bird, Like a Plane.
Strapped with an acoustic guitar and a steady tap to keep rhythm, Mars geared up with “The Only One,” a song he says puts him in the right mood to play. His melodic voice was synonymous with the red velvet curtains that hung behind him in the sense that they shared the same smooth, yet rich texture.
“Don’t go…” he crooned toward the end of the piece.
Throughout the rest of the night, the Mississippi native continued to draw his audience in, with his witty southern accent and a compilation of light-winded jokes and memorable stories. Before performing what he called a favorite, “What Are You Looking For?” he reminisced on how the song –which was originally intended to be a collaboration with Patty Griffin—“just didn’t turn out good.”
During one memorable segment of his performance, he vividly described how the idea for his single, “Meet Me By the Backdoor” came about. Mars said he was performing at a venue one night with two separate stages. While on the smaller stage Mars said he could hear the hip-hop music from the larger stage leaking through during his set. Mars said that he eventually briefed the larger stage that night and noticed how the crowd was moving to the rhythm, with their hands waving in the air.
“I wanted to create a song that everyone could move to, so that’s how I wrote this one,” he said. Following his recollection of the song’s influence, he gestured for the crowd to join him by waving their own hands and singing along.
Shammara Woods is a freelance entertainment writer based in Los Angeles.