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Charlie Wood: Who I Am

If you’ve got a hankerin’ for jazz with a healthy dose of blues, open the doors to King Palace Cafe on Memphis’ famed Beale Street, where Charlie Wood sings just about every night. The Memphis native, so influenced by Mose Allison that he took up the Hammond B-3 upon hearing his music, throws out some insight, a dash of humor and a bit of everyday living on his second CD.

As the title makes clear, Wood’s take on the world is tempered by his worldly experiences: “Back when I was stupid/Easily deceived and duped/I didn’t know the real thing from the sham thing,” he relates on “Back When I Was Stupid,” while jamming on the B-3. On “Don’t You Ever Stop Talking,” he fantasizes about the fate of loud mouths; on “She Turned Me Down,” it becomes clear-crystal clear-that the road to romantic bliss has had its bumps.

Wood’s voice falls somewhere between John Pizzarelli’s joyful diction and Harry Connick Jr., with traces of Michael Franks’ whimsy. And there’s some healthy, swinging jazz playing amid the soul-baring, courtesy of guitarist Calvin Newborn, drummer Renardo Ward and killer brass by Tom Clary, Scott Thompson, Kirk Smothers and Jim Spake.

Originally Published