Charlie Zahm: One of the strongest voices in the musical
worlds of the Celts, EarlyAmerica and the Civil War.
Charlie Zahm is one of the
most popular soloists at Celtic music festivals, Maritime and Early American
music events anywhere east of the Mississippi. With a baritone voice some have
described as "coming along once in a generation," Charlie has become one of the
most successful performers on the Celtic festival circuit, weaving magical
moments of Scottish and Irish history for the listener and viewer, with passion
for the performance and a chosen repertoire pleasing to all members of the
family. A master of the guitar as well, Charlie brings an authentic love and
respect for the music he sings—and with dashes of humor and a light in his
eyes, he will draw you into the stories of his songs!
Since he's been
old enough to sing, Charlie has been entertaining audiences with the beautiful
Celtic songs and melodies he first heard in the largely Scottish province of his
mother's birth, Ontario, Canada. Keenly aware of his own heritage, which
includes healthy doses of Scottish and Irish blood on both sides of his family,
Charlie has collected several hundred popular (as well as beautiful and obscure)
selections and performs them for thousands of fans up and down the Eastern
Seaboard and across America. Today, as one of the most sought-after
Celtic singers on the East Coast (he is one of the few singers in the world to
be invited to sing live with Scotland's "Black Watch"), Charlie performs
regularly everywhere from concerts and festivals to television shows and
Celtic-themed Caribbean cruises, where his 6'4" frame and powerful baritone make
him one of the most memorable performers around.
Charlie has released two DVD projects: "Out of the
Mist" was released in 2002 and was entirely filmed in Scotland; "Charlie Zahm: An Evening of Classic
Melodies" is a live concert DVD with Charlie and his band that was produced in
2007 in cooperation with Franklin Springs Family Media of Nashville. These projects again demonstrate
that Charlie's vocal ability is rarely matched inside or outside Celtic music,
and his mastery of the guitar is the perfect complement to his vocal
performance. Both of these DVD projects are also available on CD. Charlie also
appeared as a singing soldier in the film "Gettysburg—Three Days of Destiny."
Clips of all
of Charlie's recorded songs can be heard on his "Albums" page.
Charlie also performs period
North American music from the 18th and 19th centuries, including music of the
War Between the States, and is often asked to appear at Civil War re-enactments
and concerts, as well as Colonial and Early American-themed events. Living in
Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States, helps keep him very busy in
this regard! (at the top of this page click on "Early America" or "Civil War" to
read about his music endeavors in those historical areas.)
With Tad Marks
Charlie is often joined by fantastic Baltimore fiddler Tad Marks, who has toured extensively across the
U.S. and Europe with top-name groups and is considered one of the finest
fiddlers on the East Coast. His down-home charm and easy-going style have made
him friends across the country, and his fine fiddling on stage with Charlie
ranges from hard-driving jigs and reels to the most expressive accompaniment for
vocals you will ever hear. His solo CD releases have received great praise from
traditional Celtic and bluegrass fiddle-music lovers alike! Tad's music has also
been featured on many of Charlie's albums and dozens of additional CDs by other
artists, TV commercials, and on various other projects.
What is it that has influenced Charlie's songwriting?
Charlie has always been taken by the senses of time, place and
social consciousness preserved in folk song, and through years of dedication and a wide
variety of studies and travels he has earned a reputation of truly being committed to his
craft. And his love for this art is especially evident in the powerful compositions of
this seasoned songwriter.
place in all the world that influences his original maritime music is Nova Scotia. The
most beautiful of all the Canadian Maritime Provinces, and the one in which Charlie has
familial roots, Nova Scotia has lent imagery and romantic drama to many of Charlie's
compositions. Her beautiful sunsets, sentinel lighthouse and working fishing boats so
easily provide stories and romantic locations to his songs.
Many folks who
hear his songs take them to be traditional tunes of the area, nearly indistinguishable
from music that may have been worked over by generations of traditional singers. For
Charlie, there is no higher compliment.
In his three CDs of original music, "Under the Great Northern Stars" and "A Summer's
Morning Rare," and the new "Recent Journeys," Charlie brings his wonderful traditionally styled original
songs and stories his listeners have enjoyed
for years to a new, wider audience. Those who have followed his career through
New England and mid-Atlantic
coffeehouses and Maritime and Celtic festivals have enjoyed the mix of
traditional and new material he brings to the stage, and these albums
demonstrate that not only is this respected performer a fine singer and
5-string banjo, mandolin, flute, whistle and others), but a writer of rare
caliber as well, and a few of his songs have been covered by other artists. As
most of Charlie's family is Canadian and much of his musical influence comes by
way of that country, his songs have a fresh approach, a new cadence and
atmosphere, that defines his contribution to the folk scene, and helps spread
his growing popularity as a fine addition to any festival or concert event.
The pictures on this page show many of the enchanting beauties of Nova Scotia. You can see why he's so drawn to the peninsula and islands.
Nova Scotia Photography by John MacGregor.
Charlie is married to his beautiful sweetheart Cathy, and between them they have three kids and three cats.