Recording artist Charlie McNeal hopes to become a household name across America. Rest assured, overnight success isn’t something that Charlie is interested in and he is working hard to make sure he is making music that is true to who he is and something he can be proud of.
McNeal’s debut single,”A Little less Coke (And A Lot more whiskey),” serves as a small taste of what he has to offer through his first full-length record, Remember The Time. Mixed by Nashville’s resident “go-to” guy, Kelly Shoenfeld and produced by Kim Copeland, Remember the Time proves that the steel guitar and fiddle are still alive and well, and traditional country music can still make a splash in this industry. Charlie cares deeply about traditional country music, yet he manages to craft the perfect formula for a song that both modern country fans and traditionalists alike can appreciate. Copeland brought in top Nashville musicians including Joe Spivey from the Time Jumpers, John Anderson Fame, and Steve Hinson , who has played steel guitar on countless records. Copeland also took extra care to make sure the music matched the songs.Of the 10 songs on the album, McNeal wrote or co- wrote 5 of them. Whether it’s through the tear-jerking “Remember the Time,” or the upbeat anthem “Little Less Coke,” McNeal’s songwriting stretches far beyond his 16 years.
Those who have witnessed the youthful California native live, can testify to the energy and raw emotion he pours onto the stage every time he gets in front of a crowd. Alongside a deep, rich voice with gritty undertones, you hear a little bit of all his influences from Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, to Randy Travis. While his deep, old country style vocals set the tone for a fresh breath of air in the scene, what’s most impressive may be McNeal’s ability to make you believe he has lived all of the heartbreak and rowdy times he sings about. When asked by Steve Hinson (steel guitar) how many songs he wanted steel guitar played on his record, the answer was simple “All of them”. He is unapologetically country!
Charlie was born in San Luis Obispo CA about 2 hours west of Bakersfield. He has a large extended family and was exposed to Waylon, Merle and George Jones as his uncles would sing around on the front porch. Being raised in SLO as its known, isn’t exactly the hotbed of country music. As Charlie began playing at 15, he was greeted with open arms by the local musicians. Charlie quickly gathered a following of others like him who missed the sound of old country songs playing on the radio, and soon was headed to Nashville to record his first album.
When asked why he likes country music Charlie said “What makes me want to listen or write country music is the way every song had a story to tell. Country used to be about being real, about everyday lives. I want to make that kind of music” Charlie has been putting everything he can into crafting his talent and showing the world what he has to offer.