Charlie Mars lives on a gravel paved County Road in the hill country of Yalobusha County, Mississippi. Why? He used to live in a college town with all the college town stuff that musicians like. He fell in love with these Cane Corso Mastiff puppies on Instagram that a guy in Brazil was breeding, and Charlie had recently made some money on a crypto coin called Shiba Inu, that was enough to pay for the dog and shipping. The puppy from Brazil that Charlie picked up in Arkansas would grow to be 130 lbs, and quite a handful. After the dog bit a friend in the little town Charlie was living in, his brother found some clear cut land in the middle of nowhere with a weird house on it, and Charlie decided to buy it and move there. His dog needed some space and he was burned out on the whole “modern thing”. His Grandfather was a cattle farmer and a lot of the people he respected did things close to the land he purchased. He got rid of a television and learned how to harvest vegetables. He introduced himself to his neighbors and started writing about what was around him in his new country home.
Growing up in Mississippi, he was a kid who listened to the radio a lot. WNSL played 80’s pop radio hits, and he also got into classic singer-songwriters like Neil Young and Jackson Browne.
When he was in high school, he formed his first band that played a mix of covers and originals. They would play at the local VFW and Charlie remembers his mother would often need to drive the band members home in her station wagon when they drank too much at gigs.
Charlie would start to write his own songs with the intent of never squeezing himself into a single genre. He tried to keep his initial songs “classic”, and he always liked Country music (the less popular kind). He then got into Jam Bands and Alt-Country music, especially Uncle Tupelo. He majored in English while attending college at SMU in Dallas, and always liked being a wordsmith. A friend introduced Charlie to Daniel Lanois’ music, which inspired him to start experimenting more with atmospheric sounds. Like any songwriter worth his salt, Mars employs his art as a channel towards personal discovery, candidly exploring all the human limitations – from pride and fear to cynicism self-doubt – that stand in the way of his attaining true happiness.
He has released 7 studio albums, a series of EPs, and several singles over the past 20 years. He’s shared the stage with the likes of REM, KT Tunstall and Steve Earle, and has been profiled in Forbes, USA Today, American Songwriter and many major media outlets. If you ask him, Charlie says he’s made a living playing in small clubs and backyards. But he still wants to have a tour bus and play in front of big crowds. “It’s fun to have a dream. It keeps me going” he says. “I can’t believe I made it this far in music. I figure while I had the chance, I should try to represent the people and the culture that shaped me.”