Charles Ellsworth is a NYC transplant by way of the White Mountains of Arizona where he was raised on Mormon hymns and Top 40 country music. He was first exposed to classic and alternative rock in his teens and started taking guitar lessons in the back of a local furniture store.
In late high school, Ellsworth became the bass player for indie-pop outfit Alaska & Me. After finishing school, the band saw success as a regional act surrounding the release of their 2008 EP, I Will Die In The West, and toured the West Coast until their 2009 split.
After moving to Salt Lake City for film school, the struggling Ellsworth sold his bass equipment to pay rent. Missing the gigging life, he bought a used Fender Telecaster and began to write his own music, quickly finding a new home in the burgeoning Salt Lake Americana scene. Over the next five years, he released The Shepherd Lane Sessions EP (2011); his first full-length album, Charles Ellsworth & The Dirty Thirty (2012); as well as a collaborative LP with Vincent Draper titled Salt Lake City: A Love Story (2014).
Ellsworth then spent several years touring as a solo artist, spanning the continental U.S. and Australia. He brought his red-dirt rock to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 2015 and has since released several additional albums: Wildcat Chuck Charles EP (2015), Cesárea (2017), and Rose Door EP with Matt. C White (2018).
A storyteller by nature, Ellsworth’s lyrics and near-familiar melodies weave to tell stories of heartbreak and loneliness, while shining a light on the perseverance of the human spirit. A self-proclaimed “recovering toxic sadboy” — Ellsworth’s music has evolved with him. Through sobriety and self-exploration, Ellsworth has shifted from writing songs lamenting “the ones that got away,” to singing honest reflections about what caused them to leave and doing the work to be better. He also has revisited the roots music of his upbringing; melding it with modern influence to create a new, alt-country sound.
In early 2020, Ellsworth recruited several musicians from the Brooklyn music scene — Jared Schapker (Grandpa Jack) and Blake Suben (Dirty Bird) — to help him record an album with Joe Reinhart (Hop Along, Algernon Cadwallader) at his Headroom Studio in Philadelphia, Pa. The subsequent recordings are his forthcoming album, Honeysuckle Summer, which is out now..
Charles Ellsworth’s studio LP Honeysuckle Summer is available on vinyl, CD and digital/streaming platforms via Burro Borracho Records. Click here to order.
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