by LIZA MITCHELL
Singer and songwriter Charlie Walker didn’t set out on the road to music, but after navigating many twists and turns along the way, he realized he was on the right path all along. “I don’t know if there is just one path,” he says. “I think there are different paths you can follow to get to a certain spot.”
It was an interesting journey for the Jacksonville Beach-based musician, who started playing music in a Christian band at 19 before finally finding his voice on the mainstream stage. After three years leading a worship group at an Ocala church, Walker sold his house and headed north to try his hand in Jacksonville Beach.
“I wanted to just see if I could do it on my own,” Walker says. He cut his teeth playing corporate functions, weddings and local venues, earning money and a dedicated following at places like Freebird Live and Brix Tavern. “The bars and the clubs began to be a profitable thing. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be a musician. I did, but it just didn’t seem super realistic,” he says. “When it just happened, I started to take it seriously. That’s why I am so grateful.”
Many of the skills that he honed in worship carried over into his career as a working musician. Walker is thoughtful and deliberate with his phrasing and the messages that are conveyed through his lyrics. “When you are leading people in worship, you have to be very intentional with the lyrics and the direction you bring people through your thoughts and emotions,” he says. “So when I started writing, I realized that those same characteristics were instilled.”
Walker’s organic simplicity and heart-felt connection with his audience translates into an alarmingly charming stage presence free of any ego or pretension. His charismatic showmanship has allowed Walker to become a highly recognized and respected staple in the Jacksonville Beach music community.
“I think if you are a good person, and if you care about people and treat businesses with integrity, I think that anyone can have a good experience,” he says. “All of the people that I have become close to in the business community…just want respect, for you to be on time. You’re worth the drinks you sell. That is the best advice I have ever been given. I realized it’s my show, my right to do what I want to entertain, but ultimately it’s my job to win them over.”
His latest release, Fortunetellers, is available on iTunes and the title-track is a solid example of Walker’s signature blend of lyrical honesty paired with his unique, laid-back style. Walker’s sincerity is authentic, and his forthright approach to his craft is capable of touching the good in everyone.
You can catch Charlie on November 16th at the St. John’s Town Center Holiday Spectacular where he’ll be performing along with American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler.
Jax's Charlie Walker Appearing with American Idol Contestant Kellie Pickler
by LIZA MITCHELL