Chicago Charlie

Chicago Charlie

 

My name is Charlie Fink aka Chicago Charlie. I was born in Chicago Illinois at Cook County Hospital on March 4,1957. I am a bluesman. At age 12 I remember my father giving me my first harmonica (harp). I would play my self to sleep not realizing what would become of that small instrument. It followed me around and at 16 yrs. old I would sneak into the North Side clubs and listen to the blues masters such as James Cotton, Carey Bell, Koko Taylor (with whom I would dance most of the night away). I would sit in and talk with them well into the night and listen to their stories. We all became friends.

An interesting story about my beginning  was one time I went downtown Chicago with a friend. A club called "Kingston Mines" was located down there. My friend and I went in and it was packed. I remember the band. Her name was Arlene Brown and sang the blues like nobody's business.  The stage was about three feet off the floor and she was standing on the floor by the left front of the stage  singing. Her guitar player "Smiley" Tillman was on stage and looked like a giant. They called me up to play a song and Smiley looked down at me with that look of you better know what you're doing or I'll kill ya. I still can see him to this day. After the song was over the crowd to my surprise gave me a standing ovation! Of course back then my ego shot through the roof of that place. Within minutes my ego fell as a rock would to the bottom of the ocean because they called up  another harp player named Big Walter Horton. On of the best harp players of all time he was a lanky man about 70 yrs. old and as he started playing and it sounded like a hurricane!

I knew right then all I wanted was do nothing' but  but play the blues. I played and sat in with the legends as bluesmen have a special bond. By that time I played with such legends a s Sam Lay,Eddie Taylor,Smokey Smothers and Sunnyland Slim, and I have had the privaledge to play with Bass player and bluesman "Blindboy" Offutt who was taught by inmates at Parchman farm how to play the blues just to name a few as I am not a name dropper but if you see me you can ask me to go into detail. I met THE Homesick James (actually by almost running him over). Homesick became my mentor.I would end up playing "The Chicago Blues Festival with him. He would introduce me to almost everyone in the blues world and make me play with them. Yeah I got cussins' with words that were new even to my ears but they said we "wouldn't even waste our time cussin' you if we knew you weren't going to be a true player."

 

I moved to Nashville and hooked up with great blues guitar player David "Guitar" Jones. I asked if I could sit in with him and his band and he let me and the rest is History. I also married the love of my life Nan Hedges whose brother happened to be Stan "The Man" Hedges. One night while Stan and I were playing I looked out in the crowd and saw this gorgeous pair of legs and as I followed them up to her face I saw the most beautiful Brown eyes on the planet. I leaned over and asked Stan "do you know that girl?" Apparently he did as he said"Yeah that's my sister you better leave her alone!'' Well needless to say I married her 1 year later and have been married for 24 years. Stan "The Man" Hedges my incredible brother in law and guitar player has since passed. 

I met a good,good man named Charlie Wayne Morrill.  We decided to cut a CD just the two of us in his studio.The CD is called "Back Porch Soul Food" He was and is the band leader for the Bullet Boys. Another local guitar player I have known over the years and years is my friend Mr. Jack Pearson. He is an amazing, amazing person and guitar player who played with "The Allmann Brothers Band." Whew that slide!! He is injured now but is getting better. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Our band loves playing more than anything. We play "True" Chicago Blues and play Delta blues too. WE ARE NOT BLUES POSERS but the real deal. Our guitar player " Guitar" Jones learned from the great blues guitar player Joe Willie Wilkins that used to be Sonny Boy Williamson's guitar player. Nobody plays like Jonser. No brag just fact

I met Sunshine Sonny Payne when we played The Helena Blues Festival in which we were asked back 9 years in a row. Sunshine became my other father and adopted my wife and I as his own children. His wife Josephine has since passed on. "Sunshine Sonny Payne is the DJ for the longest running blues show in the world . It is called "King Biscut Time" not to become confused with "King Biscuit Flower Hour" The performers on the show were Sonny Boy Williamson, Joe Willie Wilkins and Frank Frost along with Robert Jr. Lockwood. Sunshine told me as my wife was standing there that I was the closest person to ever play like Sonny Boy. He also said I was one of the best harp players he has ever heard." That was quite an honor as I stood there with my mouth open. Well my wife told me he should know as he grew up with all the greats down in Helena Ark. He is 87 years old today. I have played on his show many times as we pass through Helena.

Most people have their biography written for them for their website. I decided to write a short autobiography. When you see me, you can ask me to tell you stories ask questions or just listen to our band. Our band consists of Willie Bee on Bass I call him "Pocket' as that is where he resides in "the pocket" Ultra smooth and tight. Our drummer Dave Agerholm is the best drummer I have ever played with. He  has played with all the greats Carey Bell being one.

Together we have a ball playing and it becomes contagious to the crowds and club owners who dance till 2-3am and have a ball right along with us. We are the real deal. There is no other band like ours as it is traditional and true blues band. I can't wait to meet new friends as I believe new friends  turn into old friends. If you are a club owner we'll we put on a fabulous show,not just standing there, if you have been to one of our shows welcome to this website and if you have'nt been to one of our shows well "Don't meet me there, beat me there. It is a blast and has the club rockin' with people ordering lots of drinks, food and will return time after time.

See you soon and look forward to playing your venue and meeting you very soon.

Chicago Charlie