Charles Mumpfield aka "Charlie Brown" is a singer/songwriter/performer of Southern Soul. His most famous song. "Hell On My Hands", was recorded by Carl Sims. Additionally, Lee Shot Williams covered Brown's "Got A Good Woman"
"Grown Folks Party" (CLM Prod. 2006)
1. Let's Go Steady
***1/2 What if you took Theodis Ealey and mixed his DNA with Lionel Richie? Well, he might come out the laboratory sounding like Charlie Brown. While most Soul Blues (or Southern Soul) singers combine upbeat party blues/dance jams with steamy sex-u-up balladry ala Tyrone Davis, Mr. Brown mixes his upbeat Soul with vintage 70s-styled slowies in Commodores vein. In fact, vocally, he resembles Mr. Richie albeit with mo' grit. It's pure Southern Soul Blues though on the first single "Henpecked", an instantly infectious shuffle bumpin' slice of synth n' guitar ecstasy. A sure-fire hit if there ever was one. According to Brown the track went through many incarnations before it arrived replete with a clever guitar hook to top it off. Perhaps even more irresistible is that big ol' feel good chorus on "Grown Folks Party". I was singing along full throttle by the second refrain. Brown then funks it up with "Fine", with a phat bottom (live drums by Tre' Calhoun) and grinding keyboards (Mario Maitland). Still, Brown the singer/songwriter is best showcased via the slower jams like "The Strongest Man" and the gorgeous "Still Fall In Love". The kind of songs Lionel Richie's been trying to write since his hit making heyday. That indolent guitar solo on "Fall In Love" is a nice touch. The piano ballad "Love The People You Love" contains the right hearted message: "Love the people you love/Tomorrow might be too late." A song like this might seem maudlin if it didn't come across so earnest. "Hell On My Hands", featuring an inspired vocal inflection on the refrain (dig how he growls out the word "Hell"), gives a chilling take on the bad fruits of cheating. Welcome home Charlie Brown! He may have a cartoon moniker, but this Charlie Brown is serious about his Blues...even when he's just throwing a "Grown Folks Party".
"The Strongest Man" (CML 2009)
**** Charles Mumpfield aka "Charlie Brown" is a talented writer and Southern Soul singer whose career hasn't taken off the way it should. He's one of the brightest hopes for this genre at the moment He first appeared on the radar with his Theodis Ealey-like bumper "Henpecked" and the anthemic "Grown Folks Party" and finally got around to releasing a proper album. "Second Shift" was the most recent single. One of his best songs, "Hell On My Hands" was covered brilliantly by Carl Sims in 2010. Bottom line: Great songwriting that could use better production values. I'm sincerely hoping Brown can get that done. He deserves it. "The Strongest Man" was ranked #9 on Blues Critic's "Best Of 2009" list for "Top 20 Southern Soul, Rhythm & Blues Albums".