From the very beginning of his existence Charlie’s parents travelled from town to town with the kids. Looking for a place to settle down they enjoyed the country, the cities, and everything in between.
Whether or not they meant to, Charlie’s Mom and Pop prepared him early on for the life of a troubadour, comforting their child in cramped quarters, singing old familiar tunes, and listening to hit songs on the radio.
When they finally settled down in Washington somewhere near 1979, his mom got quite a surprise as she took her son to hunt for household items at a local garage sale. Little Charlie Pierce wandered right up to a pint sized piano and started playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Never once had he been near a piano. His mom must have surely taken it for a sign because she bought that little piano right up.
A little later Charlie studied piano for 12 years under Gwendoline Harper, a Harvard and Radcliffe music scholar and renowned pianist who taught at University of Washington (Harper studied under Nadia Boulangeras, as did Quincy Jones when he settled down in Paris).
When Charlie moved from Washington to Chicago he continued his studies with two Chicago legends, Erwin Helfer, a Chicago boogie woogie innovator and master and Chris Foreman of the Deep Blue Organ Trio who is “sought after as one of the best B3 organ players alive.” (Time Out Chicago)
Since those early years Charlie has provided tour support, has shared billings, and has recorded or performed with hundreds of artists including: Hank Williams Jr., Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, North Mississippi All-Stars, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, BR-549, David Allan Coe, Dale Watson, Dickey Betts, The Drive-By Truckers, Legendary Shack Shakers ,The Sadies, Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, Southern Culture On The Skids, Robbie Fulks, Indigenous, Los Straightjackets, Rosie Flores, Carlos Johnson, Steepwater Band, Galactic, Jay Bennett of Wilco, The Byrds, Kenny Brown, Old No. 8, Outlaw Family Band, Mr. Charlie’s Meltdown, Wabash Cannonballs, The Furious Americans, The Saps, Frank Bang’s Secret Stash, & Twangoff Records.
As every new road reveals its secrets to the hungry traveler and life unfolds its songs to those who are listening, surely the story continues...