Hometown: Miami, FL
"Situating themselves at the crossroads where Johnny Thunders and Son House intersect, Charlie whipped up a bad voodoo vibe of heroin rock and midnight blues. These guys were one of the undiscovered giants of the late eighties." —Peter Buck, R.E.M.
"Pickett forged his brawling-roots mix of Johnny Thunders, Sun Records and trailer park Lou Reed in Florida bars, then bottled it to in-your-face effect on hot vinyl...That rattle 'n' smack now sounds raucously prescient. like a long-lost high-time link between the Replacements and the Drive By Truckers." —David Fricke, Rolling Stone
"At the time only Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club was coming close to Pickett and company’s jagged blend of punk-blues. Bonafide Southern-fried junky rockandroll exiled from main street with due cause, this here was the real dark side – death letters, America on horseback, Flannery O’Connor’s mayhem and Old Testament retribution – dangerous music that would ultimately be cleaned up and packaged to the public under the rubric Americana many years later. In hindsight they fairly blew their jangly brethren out of the water." —The Scene
If you accept the premise put forth by Keith Richards that the title of "greatest rock and roll band in the world" is determined on a nightly basis, then we want to tell you about some guys that owned it on quite a few nights in the 80's, a band that, for a variety of reasons, fell through the cracks and never got the recognition they deserved.
Rising out of the fertile and groundbreaking underground music scene of the Southeast in the early 80's, CP and the Eggs (and later the MC3) were all motorcycle boots and sneers, and rode a squall of throat-grabbing feedback and Stonesy musical middle fingers. They were as much Thunders and Reed as anything country and their tales of scoring in Miami projects ("Overtown”), cowboy dreams ("A On Horseback") and laconic survivors' humor were unlike anything being heard on the nascent college rock circuit. For proof, check out “Liked It A Lot,” the love song that didn't just hurt, but had a streak of existential horror in it that STILL raises the hair on our battered souls.
Like a handful of other bands of that era, whose underappreciated and under-known work continues to resonate in strange and unprecedented ways today, these musicians flew under the radar, worked without a net, without a blueprint, without direct forebears and with little regard for the musical bones they picked over.
Charlie Pickett and his boys took the understanding of roots and rock and morphed and molested it and came up with something utterly original. Their fearless dismissal of stylistic straitjackets was pure punk and emblematic of a time when the rulebook had been tossed out and the possibilities seemed as endless as the horizon Charlie wrote about riding towards.
"If you love rock 'n' roll at its purest and greasiest, rock that lurches and staggers and soars, you'll recognize a kindred spirit in Charlie...it'll strike a Pavlovian chord that will remind you of so many great nights in so many great bars with so many great bands, some of whom you may only dimly remember as well. But it's that feeling, that power surge, that conviction that rock just can't get any better than this – that feeling is what you can never forget."—No Depression
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