Charlie Worsham’s Star on the Rise

by Rick Moore

charlie-worsham-feb2013Nashville is full of hopefuls who never get anywhere in the music business, but once in a while a young artist gets signed not because he or she has the money to back himself or herself up, but because he or she has the goods.

A lot of people think Charlie Worsham has the goods.

Worsham, a former member of Nashville band KingBilly, is a multi-instrumentalist who plays just about anything with strings, but, unlike most musicians, is also musically educated, having studied at the prestigious Berklee School of Music. Worsham’s first album on Warner Brothers is Rubberband, and he recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to promote the album. So he’s doing pretty well for a new guy right out of the chute.

Nashville-based writer Rick Moore caught up with the 27-year-old Worsham for a few minutes on the phone as the artist spent the day doing interviews and preparing for concert dates to coincide with the new album’s release.

You’ve been in Nashville about seven years now, right? So you went to Berklee in between leaving your home in Mississippi and coming here?

I graduated from high school in Grenada, Mississippi and went straight to Berklee in Boston. Then I came to Nashville, yes, been here seven years now. I had my mind made up on Nashville since I was a kid and the first time I went to (now closed) Opryland for the first time. I love the people, the energy, and I’m still close to my family here.

Vince Gill and Marty Stuart appear on the song “Tools of the Trade” on Rubberband. How did it feel to be working with the big dogs, people you’d listened to since you were a kid?

People talk about having dreams about things like the Beatles knocking on their door, and it was sort of like one of those dreams only it was real life. They were both so gracious, and of course the great musicianship of both of them…but my favorite thing was that they shared their experiences of when they were young artists, and they were so encouraging. We talked gear, and we talked records, and it was so cool to see the parallels. I have so far to go before I’m even in the same ballpark as them, but it just gave me so much encouragement.

Was it an almost surreal moment appearing on the Tonight Show?

The Tonight Show thing happened real quickly. Everyone was so kind and welcoming…I was sitting in the dressing room watching the TV, seeing my guitar sitting on the stage. It was such a rush.

So you co-wrote every song on the new CD?

Yes. I think all but two of them were written with Ryan Tyndell (Eric Church, Clay Walker), who has been so patient with me as a writer and really taken me under his wing. My big takeaway from Rubberband is that I’ve gotten to say the things I wanted to say, and that I got to write and grow and work with some of the best people who were so kind and patient. I’m real proud of the names that appear in the liner notes.

What are your tour plans to promote the album?

I’m going to be on the road with Dierks (Bentley) and Miranda (Lambert), and I’m so excited about that. They’re great entertainers and I’ve learned a lot from them. I’ve yet to be on the road with both of them at the same time so there’s no telling what kind of trouble we’ll get into (laughs). We’ve got some other dates planned as well, and I’m not sure what 2014 holds yet but I’m sure I’ll be on tour. This will be my first time touring behind an album so it’ll be a little different experience.

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