One Man... One Man Band... One Microphone... One Day Recording Session...
For his third studio album, MONO, the independent Christchurch-based performer was determined to go back to basics to record all 14 tracks in a one-day session, capturing single takes with no overdubs, and using entirely 1950's mono recording equipment, direct to tape.
It’s a dynamic, lively, foot-stomping vibe that may have its origins in New Zealand’s South Island, but instantly transports you across the globe, between genres, and throughout decades.
Li’l Chuck’s music is a nostalgic melting pot of influences – driven by his harmonica, resonator guitar and vocals, and underpinned by kick drum, and hi hat - it pays homage to the artists who have graced the stage before him. Yet, the result is a sound that’s entirely his own.
From the free-spirited Backyard Harmonica Boogie, to the heartfelt Crying, all tracks touch on musical influences from the 1930s to 50s, inspired by the sounds of the Blues, Early Jazz, Western Swing, and Ragtime, uniquely presented in the style of our founding street performers.
Storytelling is at the album’s very core, as Thorpe skilfully plays all his instruments simultaneously. He’s famously passionate about the one-man band craft, something he has held onto ever since he saw iconic busker Rob Gray, of “The Little Big Band”, perform on the UK streets in the late 1980s. He was only 18, but says, from that moment, a mental photograph was captured and everything fell into place. This has influenced everything he’s done musically since.
CD : available from backyardmusic.co.nz/shop
& selected record stores
Digital : available on all platforms
Album release shows
The Wine Cellar
Auckland 29th March
Christchurch 5th April