Charlie started playing electric piano with The Draytons in Bay City, Michigan in 1969 or so. Since then, he has performed in various configurations around Michigan and elsewhere. Pre-COVID, Charlie was playing about 40 shows a year, either as a solo artist or with some very cool bands around Michigan and the Florida Keys. Lately, gigs are sparse but better days are coming.
Various Bands – Charlie has performed as a regular member with The Draytons, Spice, No Brand Blues Band, Pepper Pie, McCray Brothers Band, The Bluegills, Larry McCray Band, Myk Rise Band, Sharrie Williams and the Wiseguys, Earl Haynes Quintet, Earljam, The Cliff Badgers, Crazy Chestur, Jive at Five and Rising Walrus Band.
Songwriting – Songwriting has been a thing for Charlie since his teens when he started writing folk songs, then rock & roll, then blues, etc. As with most songwriters, hundreds of songs have been written, but only a few get any exposure.
- “I Ain’t Got a Dime” and others were performed by a few Tri-City area bands in the 70’s, but never recorded.
- “Sunny Monday” was written for and recorded by Saginaw blues legend Larry McCray on his 1998 House of Blues release “Born to Play the Blues.” House of Blues records selected “Sunny Monday” for four additional compilation releases.
- The Bluegills released two albums in the 90’s with several of Charlie’s originals.
- Walmsley wrote or co-wrote seven songs on Crazy Chestur “Harvest Party” (2015) which made “best of 2015” list on Roots Music Report.
- Chevy Town (EP) was released in 2018 with four originals.
- A handful of single releases (Forget Her, I Just Need You, et al) can be found on YouTube and various streaming services.
Opening Action – Here are some artists that Charlie has shared the stage with: Bobby Blue Bland, Johnny Taylor, Millie Jackson, Laith Al-Saadi, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Preston Shannon, Shirley King, Ray Bonneville, The Stooges, The Rationals, Scott Richard Case, Gary Lewis & The Playboys and J Frank Wilson.
- Pepper Pie “Mighty Tight” – 1993
- The Bluegills – 1996
- Larry McCray & The Bluegills “Meet Me at the Lake” – 1996
- Larry McCray “Born to Play the Blues” – 1998 (songwriter)
- “Where the Heart Meets the Soul” House of Blues compilation – 1998 (songwriter)
- “Don’t Worry Sing the Blues” Atomic Theory Compilation – 1997
- “Hot Biscuits II” House of Blues compilation – 1998 (songwriter)
- “Winter Sampler” House of Blues Compilation – 1998 (songwriter)
- Earljam “Live at Rubbles” – 2002
- “Live at The Pink Pony” – Various Artists / with Myk Rise – 2000
- Sharrie Williams “Live” – 2000
- Crazy Chestur “Harvest Party” – 2015
- Charlie Walmsley “Nickelsworth” EP – 2017
- Mark Sanders “World of Dreams” – 2018
- Charlie Walmsley “Chevy Town” EP – 2018
- Joe Peters “Collaboration” – 2021 (songwriter)
“Charlie’s got a ton of great songs, he’s a joy to work with as a performer, and a true talent as a songwriter…”
– Pete Kehoe, Musician, Producer, Songwriter
“Charlie’s original songs often tell stories with poetic language and humor using phrases and melodies that stay with you. The original tunes are highly entertaining in the style of the best singer songwriters.”
-Peggy Brisbane – Wheatland Music Organization
“..clearly a real songwriter”
– Bruce Iglauer, Founder and Owner – Alligator Records
“Charlie knows how to make those keys talk, he is the blackest white man I know!”
– Sharrie Williams – The Princess of Rockin’ Gospel Blues