We recently chatted with Charli Robertson of the award winning Acoustic group, Flatt Lonesome (www.flattlonesome.com). The band is set to release its 4th album, SILENCE IN THESE WALLS, on Sept. 29th during the annual World of Bluegrass fest in Raleigh, NC. Charli plays fiddle and provides some of the group’s fine vocals, both as a solo and harmony singer. Flatt Lonesome won Vocal Group, Song and Album of the Year honors at the 2016 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards and this year is nominated once again for Vocal Group of the Year, and also for Entertainer of the Year. In addition to Charli, Flatt Lonesome is Buddy Robertson, Kelsi Robertson Harrigill, Paul Harrigill, Dominic Illingworth and Michael Stockton.
How would you classify your music?
I would classify our music as being traditional bluegrass, but progressive enough to give it our own “Flatt Lonesome” sound.
Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?
You must know this is very difficult for me because there are so many! 1. Ricky Skaggs 2. Lee Ann Womack 3. Rhonda Vincent 4. Merle Haggard 5. Tony Rice
What do you want fans to take from your music?
I want the fans to believe what we sing and play. So much so, that it makes them always want to come back for more. I want to give them something to remember.
How’s the music scene in your locale?
Well, I live in Moulton, Alabama. As for places to hear music, there isn’t much! There’s a big festival called “Rock the South” every year in Cullman, but that’s about it. It’s ok though, being only two hours from Nashville makes up for it!
What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?
I’ve been to a handful of really good concerts but I’m going to have to choose Merle Haggard at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. I’m always so thankful that I got to see him perform. I’ll never forget it! As for me playing live, I just love interacting with the fans, seeing them enjoy the show, or singing along with one of our songs. There’s always an excitement there that I never want to lose. It’s raw, imperfect, and real! I like to think that we give something special to every audience, and really every audience is unique so the chemistry can be very different from one show to the next.
Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?
This has changed a couple times for me but right now I’ll say “It’s Just Sad”. That’s because it has everything that I love and look for in a song, starting with amazing lyrics, and with a melody that’s so good you HAVE to sing it. It’s ideal for harmony, and last but not least … it’s sad!
How have you evolved as an artist/band since your last project?
“Runaway Train” was such a great experience for us and definitely helped develop Flatt Lonesome to be ready for what “Silence In These Walls” came to be. I believe we showed what’s in our hearts with this album – individually, and as a band. “Silence In These Walls” demonstrates the kinds of music we love. I’m really proud of this project for all of us.
If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?