Charles Ecker

 

With the understated confidence of a seasoned musician and songwriter, Charles Ecker has calmly established himself as a successful songwriter and force in country music.
 

Charles Ecker is founder and manager of C.R. Ecker Band, a country music group that was established in 2011 and features original material written primarily by himself.  The band has received widespread recognition for their growing body of work. They were named ‘2013 Country Band of the Year’ at the Independent Music Network. Their song ‘Whispher Sweet Nothins’ won ‘2013 Song of the Year’ at The Starliner's Radio Network (Europe) multi-genre competition and ‘My Dear Lord (I Am Your Servant)’ was selected as Christian category winner at the Hollywood Music in Media. Charles Ecker's song 'Your Smile Says It All' also enjoyed months of heavy rotation on prominent stations in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Sydney and London. Charles was a long-time member of the former Los Angeles Songwriter's Showcase and was mentored by Sam Brown, who was a songwriting coach at one time for Michael Jackson. Michael has been a musician, performer and producer beginning his career as a guitar player at the age of 15 and has shared the stage with the likes of Kenny Rogers, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.  Alexis Adams recently caught up with this intriguing musician/songwriter to learn more about his musicial inspiration and plans for the year ahead.

ALEXIS: When did you first discover your love of music?
CHARLES: I took three piano lessons when I was eleven but I was too eager to learn on my own, so I taught myself to play rock, then country on the 88s. When I was in college, I entertained friends at parties playing ‘Five Note Charlie Music’ where I would be given five notes and within five minutes, would have a basic original song done, melody and chords. Fun, but I would forget them fast.

ALEXIS: Your song 'Your Smile Says It All' has received a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
CHARLES: It has evolved that ‘Your Smile Says It All’ has generated the most positive radio response, by far and it has been extremely gratifying as a composer. When I first heard it, I felt so good because of the deep meaning it has. It is now widely considered to be my ‘signature song.’

ALEXIS:
What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
CHARLES: I wrote the original in pop form, as a wedding present to my wife. When the reception began, she was expecting ‘The Wedding Song’ but heard a live version of ‘Your Smile Says it All’ and was so very happy. We have two other country-casting versions now, one sung by our Amber Rose and the other by Michael Stanton, our male lead singer.

ALEXIS: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as your debut radio single?
CHARLES: Ever since the launch of The C.R. Ecker Band in the summer of 2011, I have composed and recorded many songs of love, and love lost. So yes, there is a continuation of the emotional aspects of ‘Your Smile Says It All.’ But as we progress, our band will be moving to a more up-tempo sound staying true to our heartland roots. We will also continue to expand our production values to maintain what has been called a ‘touch of lush’ in our music, utilizing, at times, up to 30 tracks per recording.

ALEXIS: How would you characterize yourself as a musician? (ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving...)
CHARLES: I pay much attention to detail when it comes to the art and craft of songwriting, which I take seriously. I was fortunate back in the days of The Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase to be mentored by Sam Brown, who ten years earlier was Michael Jackson’s songwriting coach. He taught me to make every word, and every note, count. His mantra – ‘No wasted effort!’

 

ALEXIS: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
CHARLES: I did not come from a musical background, with no family members so inclined. So I have been walking the long, dusty trail by my lonesome.

ALEXIS: What do you find most rewarding about being a musician? What do you find most challenging?
CHARLES: What I find most rewarding about composing is to hear the finished product once the master has been completed. To me, my songs are my ‘kids.’ The most challenging aspect, and I share this with thousands of others, is getting airplay and resultant sales amidst the clatter and clutter of today’s country music scene.

ALEXIS: Who are your role models in music?
CHARLES: For pure creativity, Jeff Lynne and all the music he has created under the ELO umbrella and beyond. Next up, for his ability to write and perform commercial, entertaining songs year after year after year, Paul McCartney. In country, Garth Brooks. He set a gold standard that will never be broken. And all three will be remembered through recordings, I wager, for hundreds of years.

ALEXIS: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
CHARLES: My most memorable performance took place in college with my garage band at the time- for all the wrong reasons. After much effort, we finally got booked into the school’s massive auditorium with 1,000 other students awaiting us on a Saturday night as we proudly took the stage. My keyboard breaks and I had to get through a complete set playing a clavietta! Ouch!

ALEXIS: What advice would you give to young, aspiring musicians out there who are unsure and need guidance?
CHARLES: Be energetic but be informed. The digital age is full of conflicting information and ever-changing technology. Be mindful that music is subjective so one person’s opinion may be completely different than another. As for me, I have read ‘The Future of the Music Business’ by Steve Gordon, which is on my desk to use as a guide. I highly recommend it for others starting out.

ALEXIS: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
CHARLES: Early in 2015, we are releasing our first words and music L.P. called ‘Down the Back 40– Risin Sun.’ I make that point of difference because our first L.P., last Summer, was a collection of ten instrumental versions of songs I wrote interpreted by three of our musicians. That was called ‘Charles Ecker: Speechless.’ Turns out no other country artists have covered their own music in this way and as a result, received a ‘Best Instrumental’ Akademia award and best multi-genre instrumental album nominations at Hollywood Music in Media and the L.A. Music Awards. In late 2015, we plan to release ‘Down the Back 40– Straight Up,’ which will feature a variety of up-tempo compositions I am working on now so that all members of the band can get behind the microphone to have fun and entertain our constantly growing audience.

ALEXIS: I look forward to hearing the new album! Thanks for taking time out to share your story with me. I wish you good luck and continued success!

www.thecreckerbandmusic.com

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