February 12, 2014 / 11:53 pm

Charlie Patton’s War Comes Home This Thursday


For the first time in a couple of months, Charlie Patton’s War, the local blues-rock quartet, is returning to a hometown stage.  The show is being called “Charlie Patton’s War and Friends.”  The friends being alluded to include Brown County Bible Band, Little Timmy McFarland of Flight 19, and of course all of the blues-lovers making their way out to The Bishop on a Thursday night.

Doors at 8:30 p.m., music starting at 9:30 p.m., and located at The Bishop Bar (123 S Walnut Street), it’s hard to think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day a few hours early than going out and dancing to CPW’s unique mixture of heavy blues and classic rock.  The show is 18+, and entry is only $5, so for those of us that hate children and spending money, this event is a perfect opportunity.

Charlie Patton’s War consists of members Aaron Frazer, Blake Rhein, Justin Hubler, and Kyle Houpt.  Each member a master of their instrument, audiences are consistently mesmerized by the perfect combination of skill and catch that Charlie Patton’s War has developed since their formation in 2010.  Over the past few years, the quartet has turned into a local powerhouse writing unimaginably catchy tunes that likewise impress even the oldest blues aficionados.

In April of 2013, the band independently recorded, mixed, mastered, and released their self-titled first full-length album.  Charlie Patton’s War is eleven tracks long, and they are eleven good tracks.  Each song specializes vocals from Frazer or Rhein, heavy drumming and keys, and technical guitars that don’t run too far from traditional Delta Blues.  Some crowd favorites from this album include “Say Ya Mine,” “Git Gone,” and “Friscoe Ride.”

Talking to drummer and vocalist Aaron Frazer, I asked him a few questions about his excitement for the show and the future for Charlie Patton’s War:

TJ – After coming back from quite some time of touring the country with CPW, what are looking forward to most about doing a hometown show?

Aaron – Playing for a hometown crowd is playing for family. So much of what we’ve achieved is owed to the people here in Bloomington. They’re the ones who have supported us from our start in nasty basements and who’ve helped us hone our sound. Traveling and playing is a really special thing and we’re all so grateful to have the opportunity, but it’s hard to top home field advantage.

TJ – Likewise, do you have any worries/concerns for this show?

Aaron – No concerns whatsoever. The Bishop has consistently been our favorite venue in town, and when you’re playing for friends/hometown fans, the biggest concern is really just putting on the most raucous show you can bring.

TJ – What’s in the future for CPW, as far as new music and/or more touring?

Aaron – The future is more recording and more touring. We’re working on preparing material for our sophomore album. It’s a challenging process because our last album features material developed over the last 3.5 years. We’re aiming to finish this next album by June. We don’t try to look too far into the future, but we love touring and look forward to more traveling.

TJ – Can you tell me one of your favorite memories of touring?

Aaron –   On this last tour we headed to the southern United States and the highlight for all of us was definitely our 2-day stop in Clarksdale, MS.  Clarksdale is the home of the “Hill Country Blues” and musicians like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside. Their style is a big influence on our sound. So it was really awesome for the audiences in that town to give us such a warm reception. We played at an old cotton gin converted into a hotel called the Shack Up Inn and the owner put us up in a beautiful old house on the edge of the property for a couple days. The house actually wound up being owned by Charlie Musselwhite (the famous harmonica player). So yeah those couple days were really special.

TJ – What kind of advice do you have for local bands that aren’t quite at that regional level that you guys are at, if any?

Aaron – Develop a strong fanbase in your hometown, because you’ll have a crowd that always comes out to support you. Other than that, record early and often. The internet is a ridiculously easy way to reach a huge audience fast, so utilize it.

Little Timmy McFarland of Flight 19, the very interesting garage-folk mash project of Daniel Talton, will be taking the stage at the Bishop promptly at 9:30 p.m.  Following him will be Brown County Bible Band, a likewise unique mixture of “progressive, psychedelic southern-ambient jams.”  And of course, Charlie Patton’s War will be closing the night with a live performance that is definitely one worth seeing, especially for only five dollars.