Charles Walker Band
"Deliciously Stanky. Dynamically Funky. Recklessly Hopeful."
Grounded in soul, the Charles Walker Band has been compared to Prince, Bruno Mars, The Brand New Heavys, James Brown. The Milwaukee based band has refined their sound into Neo-Funk, a fusion of funk infused rhythms with pop melodies. The six-piece band rehearses relentlessly in Charles’ basement, amidst couches and low ceilings, the bassist having to stoop the entire time, trying to always ask: How can this be tighter? How can this song look different than the last? How can we get fans involved? Fans love the band’s positive energy music and they stay at the band’s shows because they their feel better than when they walked in. The Charles Walker Band is: Deliciously Stanky. Dynamically Funky. Recklessly Hopeful.
Charles grew up literally in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by dairy farms and apple orchards, the closest town miles away, he turned to music in sixth grade. After being presented with various instruments, he desperately wanted to play trombone. However, his music teacher said, despite his protests, he had the perfect mouth for saxophone, and his career was started. Walked started the Charles Walker Band 14 years ago, initially as a blues band. When Porsche Carmon, a Columbus, OH native and female vocalist in the band, joined, the sound begin to shift towards funk. Eventually, Charles and Porsche became a couple, and together laugh, cry, argue, and plan shows to mesmerize in an age when performers compete against cell phones and tablets. As a testament to their ability to create an engaging show, one fan said after their performance at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, “I had to go to the bathroom for two hours but held it because I didn’t want to miss a minute!”
The core of the Charles Walker Band is a four piece band. Besides Charles & Porsche, Reggie Wilkerson holds the beat on bass, while Marcus Duckworth nails down the drums.
As a testament to the quality of their live performance, the group has opened for national acts including Earth Wind & Fire, the Commodores, BB King, Cameo, Aaron Neville, Robert Cray, Booker T and Richard Marx. The ensemble has been featured on Fox News, NBC “Live in the Morning,” The Morning Blend, Discover Wisconsin, and was the featured artist on the Blues Review and Soul Bag sampler CDs, being nominated four years in a row for best soul/R&B act in Wisconsin by WAMI, winning in 2013. Counting Ghetto Prophet, the band has released eight albums, each an evolution of sound while retaining roots in positivity. Walker says of Ghetto Prophet, released on Ehlona Records, “One in a Million, where the album’s title originates, tells the story of an impoverished child becoming something great. This child ignores his circumstances because his vision is strong. He holds onto the belief that his dream is possible. That he could be that one in a million. Ultimately he represents the greatness in us all.”