Local Waves, Episode Seven: Rachel Anne Warren

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves

Rachel Anne Warren Local WavesFinishing up with what should be the last Local Waves installment of the summer, I made a bigger decision this week regarding my subject matter. While I have learned a lot about the city of Annapolis, even if it was only from a select few that I am incredibly grateful towards letting me pester them, there are so many more voices to be heard that talk about the big picture. While the idea for the series did start as a kind of “beat reporting” in one small, highly concentrated area of musicians that I sort of knew to begin with, I enjoyed stepping out of the Annapolis sphere and finding out more from others who did not take the path that we heard so much from over the last few months. While I am very grateful for everything I learned from a place I so intimately know, I found myself questioning the popular attitude of this specific music city. A great music town, without a doubt. One of the best small music towns that I have ever been to? Probably, yes. But, a small town nonetheless.

With that in mind, I took a trip up north to the city of Baltimore – a place that I am more familiar with since my work this summer. I was able to meet a subject who could not have been any easier to talk to (even with my own football bias) and learn about her experiences in the city itself. A true native, not just another person looking in.

This week’s Local Waves features Ms. Rachel Anne Warren – a freelance writer and musician. Her story may be one of the more interesting ones we have heard all summer. From her work around the city to her travels across the country, Rachel provides another new look on artistic experiences that do not fit in the usual performer’s mold. Without any further introduction, here is this week’s local wave.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves
Rachel Anne Warren - this week's Local Wave.

Henry Pazaryna: So this is the latest Local Waves. I have read that you have performance and writing experience. Would you mind talking about them? Whichever one you want to do first, but definitely the other as well?

Rachel Warren: Yeah, no problem. So right now, for the last ten months, I have been a full time writer and musician. I guess we can start with the writing.

HP: Sure. So start from the beginning. LIke where you got your start and everything that happened with that.

RW: So, it was kind of unexpected. I worked for a brewery for nine years when my biological father passed away, and in the week that followed, I decided that I wanted to change my life. I had been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with myself for a couple years before, and suddenly it became really clear to me that I have always been a writer. I just never really shared it with anyone before, other than my mentor and a couple of friends. And it just sort of surfaced clearly to me, like “this is what you should be doing.” So, that day, I got on Craigslist, looked for the first job that I saw in writing, applied for it, got it. I stayed there for about a year, learned copywriting, and for the last ten months I have been mostly writing for alt weeklies and other online publications as a contributing writer.

HP: Are you living in the city right now?

RW: Yep. I live in Charles Village, in a mint green carriage house that was built in 1902, and I love it. But I am subletting in Richmond for about six weeks, at least. I’m sort of self-imposing an artist residency (laughs) there. I will be splitting time. I sing with a wedding band. That’s how I make half of my living these days. So, I will be coming back on weekends for that.

HP: So moving towards your music. What started all of your performances? I have definitely seen some pictures of crazy hair colors and a bunch of different styles. What is going on with that?

RW: I have always enjoyed making costumes, and I made extra money in college making costumes for different opera companies, theatre companies, and it has kind of always been in my life. My mom and grandma are great seamstresses. Also, I get really nervous performing, and I don’t know why that won’t ever go away, but what helps me feel a little bit more comfortable is becoming someone else outwardly. I wear wigs, I wear costumes, I wear makeup.

HP: How old were you when you started doing pure performance? Is this a recent endeavor or was this back when you were learning how to sew with your mom?

RW: I first started learning how to sew when I was pretty young, maybe nine or ten years old, so it was probably around the same time. My sisters and brother and I were doing musicals at camp a little before that, but despite discovering that I have a very loud singing voice, I couldn’t sing on pitch. I got better in high school, where I did lots of shows, and I went to college for a couple of years for music and eventually writing. Since then, I have been in bands and writing songs.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves
Rachel Anne, in one of her natural habitats - expanding the mind through writing.

HP: If we wanted to look you up now, what group, or is there even a group, or is it just you as a solo artist?

RW: You have come to me at a strange time. In an effort to really focus on my own original material, I made a difficult decision to leave the post-punk band that I have enjoyed playing with for the last three years, PLRLS, and simultaneously, the other band I have been playing with for ten years, Gunwife Gone, has decided to say goodnight. It’s kind of freed up my time, all in line with going to Richmond for a while, just so I can re-think how I want to approach my music. It seems like my gut is telling me that I want to work with just one person. The idea is that it will inevitably be easier to record, if not free, and you can be more agile when it’s just two people. When you have a whole band, you have to deal with conflicting schedules, and people taking off work, and you can’t really get out on the road quite as much. So my hope is that it will be a nice, malleable thing that can get around.

HP: What kind of stuff will this be? Is it going to be more like an acoustic open mic – nighter type style, or is it going to be eclectic…?

RW: I want it to be something like “Soul Noir.” That’s a term I keep using, but the idea is that I love singing soul and I love singing the blues, and I love just letting it all out there emotionally. But I also love the noir style, which is super refined and dark, and kind of spooky, and a kind of trepidation that can be very gentle. At times, mysterious. Joining the two feelings is how I envision it. Some people that I admire a lot are Tom Waits, Joanna Newsom, Bjork, Radiohead, Bessie Smith, Amy Winehouse. I feel like each one of them has this incredible way of telling a story that is both approachable and has that soul, and the noir, too. It’s something I aspire to. But I would like to find the right partner. I imagine that would be someone who can change my songs and take them to another level, complicate them. I don’t feel a lot of ownership over the songs as written, so I would like for someone to be able to bring their own arrangement, voice, and their own style. I write pretty simple songs. They are like pop, but with a darkness in the lyrics. I wouldn’t necessarily want it to be a traditional singer – songwriter type thing. At the same time, I have been practicing guitar. I cut all my nails (laughs) on my left hand so I can start playing again. It’s been a minute. I would like to be able to perform in the streets and perform at open mics just while I am writing and figuring out who my next partner will be.

HP: This next question might be a bit much. I asked the last girl that I interviewed about this. As a woman, have you faced any hardships in that respect, in both writing and music? Or has it been relatively easy?

RW: I have only been in bands that have other women in them, and that is a choice that I have always made. It’s a preference. I love supporting my fellow creative women and working with them. So that hasn’t really been an issue with bands so much for me personally. But, I will say that making the choice to be a full time writer and musician – a lot of that came from working in the beer industry, which is pretty much entirely male dominated. And I had plenty of problems and issues, and still, having been out of it for a couple years, I still feel like I have to remind people that I wasn’t just a promo girl. That I held five sales and marketing positions across eight states. That I managed territory, that I did things, that I grew brands. But it’s hard to get people to see beyond “Oh, she did events.” I’m too familiar with that. But I don’t really face it these days, thankfully. Writing is pretty liberal, and pretty open minded. I would say that there should be more diversity in the music scene, and the writing scene locally here. We should be making a more concerted effort to integrate ourselves. So it’s not just all white dudes in bands at certain clubs or on bills. There should be a proper mix of what the city is made of, and that is a very diverse group of people.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves
Practicing her musical talents as well.
















HP: Going off of that: were you around when the riots happened? Or, the uprisings, back in, what was that… April or May? Would you mind talking about what you saw, as a writer, and what you commented on, or what you chose not to? Was there anything going on about that?

RW: I didn’t write anything about Freddie Gray, and what he means, for anyone but myself. You know, as a writer, you write anywhere from five to one hundred things for every one thing that’s published sometimes. I will say, it was really incredible to see people come together in a way that I don’t remember ever having seen before. And I hope very much that we will continue to progress and that it’s not just something that happened, that we move on from, and don’t make the necessary changes. I know I’m trying to personally change and be more aware of what I say, what I do, and how I am in the world. I want to keep asking questions and keep figuring out how I can be a good part of society. A more fair person in society.

HP: Closing up. While you are going to be away for a while, what can we expect to hear or see from you in the immediate and not so immediate future. Do you have any long term plans, or are you taking it day by day at this point.

RW: Sure. I have a plan. Or, I am figuring it out – there are definitely some projects that have been in the front of my mind and the back of my plate for the last nine months, but I have a good feeling about where it’s headed. I am actively making that come together. One of my big goals is that I wrote a memoir, a full length memoir, about this time I ran away to join the circus, and I have been struggling to get through the second draft with notes from my mentor. So, my goal for my time away is to get the second draft done. Otherwise, musically, I don’t know what shape it will take. It will be something cool though. I hope.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves


Serious thanks again to Rachel for being willing to sit down with me and chat. Check out Rachel’s website below to keep up with her writing, as well as her social media to check out her endeavors down South and the next show she plays. And once again, for what appears to be the final time this summer, thank you very much to the readers of this series. These interviews are not finished altogether, but will be on somewhat of a temporary hiatus while I get in gear for my fall semester. While it may be a hot second, it’s still only catch you later. Have fun riding local waves of your own.

Website: https://rachelannewarren.contently.com/

Local Waves, Episode Six: Rick Hogue

Rick Hogue Local Waves
Rick Hogue Local Waves Guitar
Rick Hogue, on our right, pictured with a Yellow Les Paul.

On Friday, August 7th, after a quick break to let my stomach settle before rushing back out to the water and catching the local waves, I was able to get back up on the horse and visit a friend who I have known for many years.

As one the most influential guitar sellers in the Annapolis area–and I would dare to go as far as all of Maryland as well–Rick Hogue, the owner of Garrett Park Guitars, was willing to sit down for an interview that detailed his life through the golden age of rock music and beyond.

As the premiere guitar salesman in the area, Rick has experienced a seriously sizable share of connections between some of the most famous guitar players of all time. Even getting into the playing circuit in his later years, Rick has been a staple of the instrument sales industry for decades, and has a very interesting story to tell that moves away from the viewpoint of the performer and to the life of someone heavily involved in the behind the scenes of the industry itself.

Rick Hogue Local Waves Guitar
Rick and one of his groups.

Henry Pazaryna: So what I have basically been doing is interviewing local people, but trying to expand on that, not just artists, but people who are a part of the industry. I am interested in learning about whatever you want to share about yourself; from growing up to what your experiences have been playing music, as well as talking about your move to Garrett Park, or whichever one came first.

Rick Hogue: Well, I was born at an early age (smiles), but prior to that, I was in my mother’s womb and as my dad was a southern baptist minister for small churches in the deep south I was surrounded by music even before I was born. In the 1950’s, you had a little organ on one side and a piano on the other, and you had a choir, and that’s where I cut my teeth – listening to gospel music in the south. That all happened in the late 1950’s, but I was always around church music and the voices and harmonies stuck with me. Both my parents played and sang very well, both of them are accomplished piano, and organ players. Both had studied music at the seminary in Louisville KY where they had met. My sister and I were absorbed with music in my early life, and then like everybody else, we caught the rock and roll bug. First it was surf music, and I remember going into a summer home and finding a record player. We would listen to “Blue Velvet”, and another song called “Sleepwalk” by Santo and Johnny on these little 45’s that were left in the beach rental that my family stayed at. My sister and I would play those records over and over and it was so simple yet so all encompassing. So, I’ve been around music my entire life.

I really got hip to guitar just by seeing bands down south that were playing at these dance clubs. When my family went to a family reunion, held at a state park in Gasden, Alabama, there were dance halls there that hosted country music. I vividly remember these guys in white suits with beautiful Fender guitars amps, and this really got me tuned me into guitars. Like almost every other kid in America, my sister I wanted a guitar as soon as we saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. So my parents gave us a really crummy Sears Silvertone for Christmas in 1964, which is right over here, hanging on the wall. The action was terrible – you couldn’t play it. It was just a cheap guitar. We strummed a few notes on it, and then it got parked in a closet. I was eight years old then and all I wanted to do was be outside fishing. Later in my teens, I really wanted to play again, and my dad bought me a guitar from one of the guys he worked with. It was a 1968 Gibson B 25, a twelve string acoustic guitar, which is a pretty awful guitar as far as Gibson guitars go. It being a twelve string meant that I had to pull off six of the strings to play it as a six string. So, I just took six of them off and just hacked on it to death until I finally sort of figured things out. My sister’s boyfriend at the time, they later got married, loaned me a Yamaha acoustic, which he still has. That guitar had so much history and Mojo with it. Not only did I learn on it, he later gave it to a friend of ours to play in the hospital while he was dying of cancer. My career as a guitar guy was very heavily influenced by that one Yamaha imported guitar. Later on I met a girl and I moved to D.C. from Richmond. I got introduced to a guy named Cesar Diaz who wanted to know about my old guitars. In specific he wanted to know about my old Gibson, and soon after he and I became close friends. Cesar was one the guys who were really influential guys in vintage American guitars and especially amplifiers. He played with a couple of really big bands back in the day and had moved from Puerto Rico with Johnny Nash. He became my friend and mentor, and we would hang out every day. There was a crew of us: myself, Linwood Taylor, Colin Stock, and Cesar. We were just four guys that ran together and I absorbed as much as I could. Cesar, during that period, met Stevie Ray, he met Bob Dylan, and from there, he just went crazy, working with most all of the biggest names in rock and blues. He encouraged me to look for old gear, “You are out on the road, out there doing your medical sales, go find guitars.” So I would look around for guitars. This blue one right here is one I found, up on the wall. It was a dead mint, 1965 Stratocaster in sonic blue. Cesar sold it to John Peden, who was the photographer for Vogue and Guitar World magazine in NYC, and he photographed it for the magazine. It was a centerfold for Guitar World back in the 80’s. You know, I found guitars from him, and it sort of made me feel bad, because he was getting the lion’s share of the profits. I started going to shows myself, and thought I still did a lot of business with Cesar I started doing business on my own. After doing it as a hobby for ten years, from ‘81 to ‘91, I opened Garrett Park Parks, so named for the town where I had a PO box that I had rented to get my guitar mail and because I thought Garrett Park Guitars had a good ring to it.

Rick Hogue Local Waves Guitar
Rick’s first guitar.

I sold Stevie Ray Vaughan two of the really seminal amps that he used on “In Step”, those were bought from my store, Cesar bought them from me for him and I shipped them to the studio in Texas. The two amps that were used were a blackfaced Vibroverb, and we also sold him a small Marshall 50 Watt combo. Those two got used heavily on that record. I got to meet a lot of people back in the early 90’s when I had my store in Arnold. J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., Buddy Guy, Lenny Kravitz, Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine. For a while, I was working with Goldmine, and got to know a lot of their artists. You know, you meet people through networking and other channels. I met Alex Alvarez, Lenny Kravtiz’ guitar tech, and got to play with Lenny on stage at the University of Delaware. I had actually met Lenny when he just “Mr. Lisa Bonet” back in the Cosby days and before he became the Rock Star that he is now. He would come into the shows in the East Side of New York that Skip Henderson used to put on. These were great shows, and people from all over the country and all over the world would come into the basement of this old Catholic church, and Skip donated all the money he raised for AIDS research. It was a two day show at the church, and it was in the middle of the East Side. It was nutty. It was everything you could think of the East Side being back at the time. Anyways, I met Lenny at those shows, and a lot of others – people that worked for the Rolling Stones, and on and on and on. Fun stuff.

HP: That is really cool. So when was the move to Annapolis, and what entailed with all of that?

RH: Well, my wife and I started having kids. This job is a lot of travel. You know, you are either going to shows to sell or to buy, or you are out on the road buying. You get a call, and there is a lady from say… Peoria, Illinois that has a rare guitar. You can’t just do it over the phone. Once we started having kids, I needed to stay home more and look after them. Paul (Reed) Smith and his then manager Clay Evans came by my store, in like ‘92, along with Mark Nicholson, who was a rep for Joe Blacker of Audio Associates. They said, “Why don’t you sell PRS guitars in your shop?” And I said “Well, I don’t carry new stuff, I’m all vintage,” but then I kind of started to think about it. I knew Paul, I had known him since the early 80’s, and I thought, “Hell, why not?” We are right here in town and they make the best guitars in the world, so, we started carrying them. Soon thereafter, we wanted to get Fender, and it just was a natural progression. I wouldn’t travel that much, I had little kids, and I wanted to do the right thing by them. I started doing more new retail. We did very well with PRS, and when we got Fender the sales rep said “You have to be in Annapolis. Not Arnold.” We had been in our lease for three years in Arnold and our lease was up, so we said, “Fine, we will move.” One of the things that always worked with my store is that we moved a lot. I moved when there was a better location, in some cases when I got pissed off at the landlord. If they were doing something goofy, I would pack up and say, “Ok, I am at the end of my lease. Bye.” I was on Jennifer Road for a long time, almost nine years. That really is where I should have stayed. We have moved around but I love the location I am at right now. It is vibe – y, and we have a great location for our school, and for all of the instrument rentals that we are doing. Band instrument rentals are something new for us, and that is really exciting, and a new thing we are doing and definitely want to talk up. That seems like a natural progression.

Rick Hogue Local Waves Guitar
The Gibson room.

The school is something we do, because it’s a way to give back. Yes, it’s a business, but so many kids these days are more interested in playing video games or doing electronic things, that any time we can get a kid in and get them interested, we really try to push them into the direction of learning about the craft, and the stuff that has come before and all about great, American music. Great music in general. I am not a huge fan of rap, I know people love it, but I feel like rock and roll, jazz, and blues are our greatest exports, and those things are really important to be carried on. So, we have our school, and we teach. We bring kids in, and we try our best to nurture them. Because music, as you know, it’s good when you are sad, it’s good when you are happy, you can play when you are in a great mood, and you can play when you are down. It’s always there for you.

HP: Transitioning from your work as a guitar salesman, your bands that you have played in, and not talking about the ones that you were growing up with – what is going on with the more Maryland based groups? When did you start getting into that playing circuit? And do you see yourself ever going back, or are you doing it now? What is going on with that?

RH: Musically, I will be the first one to admit that I have been a much better guitar slinger than guitar player. Selling guitars and buying guitars, and being a guitar buff, came to me easier than playing. There developed a point for me, musically, after I started this business, as late as the early 90’s, when I started to dive in and develop my writing. I said, “Hey, I am finally going to put some of this stuff down. I’ve got one hundred different sheets of papers, torn out of notebooks, that are these loose snippets of songs, and I want to play them.” So I started to hone my craft and to get better writing and playing and singing, and doing these songs. Dean Rosenthal actually was one of the guys to encourage me to get out there and play, and I would sit in with Van Dyke and Glazier, as well as Dean’s gigs. I played at the Red Door Coffee house. This was all in the 90’s. By the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I had been in a couple of bands, and I was doing this band called the Swamp Daddies. The Swamp Daddies were a neighborhood band that we had, and like a lot of bands that ended up going down in flames. It’s like a line for a Ben Folds song about “the band broke up, and two months later re – formed without me” (laughing), and that was kind of my story on that too. You go through experiences where you learn and I had to learn some lessons about humility and not get too attached and emotionally involved though It’s very hard to not take it personally. It is such a volatile mix of creative types, and with egos all bumping in to each other, there always seems to be some kind of drama or passion, whatever you want to call it. Having said all that the Swamp Daddies was a fun band and was a springboard into my playing in a band setting. After we split up, I did a couple of solo gigs with Jon Gosnell and others backing me, doing various gigs here and there. You can check out my songs at reverbnation.com/rickhogue. One of the great things about Annapolis as a town is that if you have the drive to play, you can play here. If you want to learn to be a songwriter, or if you want to play with other people, if you want to get into a certain genre and go for it, it’s open arms. This is a really strong, supportive, creative music environment here. You have to kind of punch at the wall a little bit to get in, but once you do, people are really good about sitting in and working with each other. It’s a good environment. Fortunately, for a guy like me, as an older dude that has been around for a while, I could begin to play out and have some success. We put together a project that later became the Black Hearted Angels. That was your dad, Matt Pazaryna and I, who were writing songs and put a band together. I think we played about 45 gigs and at one point, we had a pedal steel player, a keyboard player, bass player, two guitars, drums, and a female vocalist. That was a fun thing and we traveled a bit and really enjoyed ourselves. Later I formed “Feed the Good Wolf” and then the “Eastport Rescue Dogs” all of which relied on mine and some of Matts writing. To me, I have always said that I want to do this when I retire. I am working and honing my craft so at the point in time when I retire, hopefully I can be good enough to carry it and do it as a fun kind of side project.

Rick Hogue Local Waves
Part of the Fender Room – Rick has a partnership with Fender.

HP: So closing up. Are there any things that you want to advertise, not only about your shop, but yourself playing music around? Are there any last words that you want to say?

RH: I have a gig on the 29th at the Broadneck Grill in Edgewater with Jen Zakowski, Tom Frideric, and Tony Fazio. That’s my band that I am doing now, called Rick Hogue and the Revolving Doors. Which is kind of a play on the fact that we have a lot of different musicians that plug in. If I go to Richmond to play, I am going to play with a certain group of guys. If I play around here, I am going to play with another group of guys, and that usually rotates. That’s a new thing that I have been doing. Our School of Music now is doing band and orchestra instrument rentals, and that is a new and exciting thing for us. We always have cool stuff floating through, great teachers. It’s a good time to be in this.

Rick Hogue Local Waves

SurfRhythm wants to thank Rick one more time for catching up with us. You can check out Garrett Park Guitars’ website below, as well as his ReverbNation page for all of his upcoming shows. If you are in the area, definitely make it a point to check out his collection of instruments – it will not disappoint. And as always, be sure to check back in soon for the next installment of Local Waves. Catch you later.

Garrett Park Guitars: http://gpguitars.com/

Rick Hogue: https://www.reverbnation.com/rickhogue

Local Waves, Episode Five: Karlie Bartholomew

Karlie Bartholomew Local Waves
Karlie Bartholomew Local Waves
Our local wave to catch this week, Karlie Bartholomew.

This week on Local Waves, I decided to take yet another different route towards covering local artists who might not get as much of an opportunity to be heard as much as some of the big guns. Suggested by a Montauk Music follower, I found myself not only in contact with our latest local wave, but impressed by her story. With hard work comes success, and it is clear that this young artist is putting in her dues now in order to further herself as much as possible for the future.

Karlie Bartholomew, a Baltimore local, has been doing what she loves from a very young age. After realizing the desire to turn in into a full time career, Ms. Bartholomew left what could be a comfortable position to some, to a path towards her dreams. While she may not be able to drop some of the big names that other, more experienced local waves have shared, her story sheds a light on a just as important topic that anyone in the industry can relate to: the very beginning. It is, after all, a very good place to start.

Karlie Bartholomew Local Waves
A candid, performance shot. Photo Credit, Dennis Woo.

Henry Pazaryna: So I have been doing interviews of local artists and their experiences around the area. Would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself, and what you are doing?

Karlie Bartholomew: Sure! I’m a singer – songwriter based primarily out of the Baltimore area, but I play shows in various other areas such as Annapolis and Frederick. I have been writing songs and singing from a very young age, but began to take it seriously about three years ago. My first year of college, I attended Hood College in Frederick with plans on majoring in journalism. While I was there, I was in every single one of the music groups I could possibly be in. Somewhere along the line I realized that I didn’t want to major in journalism and wanted to do music for the rest of my life. After that, I spent the next year at home going to community college, playing shows at venues, like Rams Head Live, Soundstage, and Ottobar, and planning on transferring to Berklee College of Music in Boston. So this past year was my first year there and I’ve been working on developing my own style of music and learning music theory for the first time in my life. I’m just trying everything out there and playing with different people and it’s really given me a whole new perspective of music. Aside from working on my own music, I joined a band called Shah with some friends and play the banjo-guitar. Now I’m home for the summer and I’m trying to play out as much as I can, whether it be an open mic or a paying gig, because I really just want to meet people

HP: Most of the people I have interviewed are a little more established within the music community. As a student and the interviewee closest to my age, what is playing at all of the open mics like? What goes through your mind?

KB: It was honestly a little scary for me at first because I’m normally one of the youngest people at these open mics and a lot of people have been playing at them for awhile so everyone kind of knows each other. I’ve met so many great people just doing open mics, though. My dad always goes with me to them and afterwards we kind of talk through my performance and things I’ve could’ve done better, etc. It’s a great way to become comfortable, practice performing, and learn how to work an audience and determine what songs they like and don’t like. I think of it as practice for the real thing.

HP: Totally understandable. You are also the first girl I have interviewed, and I am happy I am getting the chance to do so. Do you feel any kind of pressure regarding gender in the industry that you have experienced so far?

KB: Most definitely. I feel a lot of pressure to be your typical pop star. I had a private audition for the show the Voice about two years ago and I went in wearing a plain t-shirt and old boots and I played the “A-Team” by Ed Sheeran. The producer said he really liked me, but he wanted me to play more pop-style songs and dress more according to the style. Well, a couple months later they invited me to audition again for them. This time I went in wearing huge red high heels and played a popular song I hated and completely messed up the audition because it just didn’t feel right at all. It just wasn’t who I am. I want to be authentic and I want the same thing for my music.

Karlie Bartholomew Local Waves
Karlie playing an event at the 9:30 Club.

HP: I don’t think I could ever fully comprehend the scope of something like that, to that extent. And not just with women, but with minorities too. Good for you for sticking to your guns. It does seem so much harder for a female artist to try to make it on the scene. So you said you wanted to go to Berklee. Is that happening? What is going on with that?

KB: It can be pretty frustrating at times. Yes! I just finished up my first year there. I should be graduating this next year, but some things got weird with transferring so I’ll be there with another two years. It’s absolutely incredible. There is a like-mindedness there that I have never experienced before. The teachers there are so inspiring and will go out of their way to help you. A lot of them want to get to know you on a personal level as well. The whole Berklee community is incredible. Over spring break, I took a trip with Berklee to Nashville and met so many different alumni who just want to help you as much as they can.

HP: Great to hear. As a transfer student who had a pretty smooth transition myself, it sucks that all of that happened. The connection making is really important, and it sounds like you are killing it on that front. While this may be a short time away, what are your aspirations, post college? Will you stay in the northeast, or try to hit Nashville or LA, or even stay local?

KB: I really want to move to Nashville. I absolutely love the city and I think my music would do well there. I’m still trying to figure everything out, but I really want to perform and eventually tour. I also want to work as a recording artist.

HP: I have heard a lot of great things about Nashville. Seems like a really happening spot. Do you feel like your genre would fit well there? Speaking of which, what would you consider your style to be? Would you be willing to expand on that?

KB: Yes, I think it would. There’s a lot of country there, but there are tons of other music happening as well. My style is more of an acoustic sound so I think that’s why it would fit well. My music has tons of different influences such as R&B, jazz, folk, and pop. I normally just say pop because that genre isn’t really just one specific sound. I have a lot of influence from artists like Tori Kelly, Ingrid Michaelson, Colbie Caillat, Kina Grannis, Ed Sheeran and Ella Fitzgerald (to name a few) and I feel like you can definitely hear that in my music.

HP: So finishing up: where are some places we can hear more from you? Do you have anything on the internet or any kind of set performance schedule?

KB: My main website is www.karliemusic.com, but you can search Karlie Bartholomew on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and find me there. My next shows are August 20th at Peace and a Cup of Joe in Baltimore at 9pm and August 21st at Frederick Coffee Company in Frederick at 7pm.

Karlie Bartholomew
Photo credit, GB Imaging.

SurfRhythm wants to thank Karlie one more time for the effort she put in towards catching up with us. Find out more about Karlie online through her website and various forms of social media, all links shown above and below. If you are around, definitely show some support to a local artist at the end of August, and be sure to check back in soon for the next installment of Local Waves. Catch you soon.

Website: www.karliemusic.com

Social Media – search for: Karlie Bartholomew

Local Waves, Episode Four: Charles Kavoossi

Charles Kavoossi Local Waves
Kavoossi Local Waves Open Mic
Moni's Open Mic, brought to you by Charles Kavoossi of Kavoossi Music.

Since I started riding the local waves, I have been able to meet and talk to many different musicians in the town of Annapolis. From the venues they play, to the work they put in the studio, and the time they take enjoying the city itself, it is truly interesting to be able to discover and document the different stories of the people living in my backyard. While did enjoy poking around, and will be coming back around soon enough, I wanted to expand my horizons to other artists outside of the Annapolis wake. This time, I had the pleasure of hanging out with singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Charles Kavoossi of Kavoossi music.

A native of Bowie, Charles has an interesting story that takes us away from some of the more heavily, Annapolis based groups that we have looked at in our other interviews. From moving up the ranks locally throughout his development as a musician and producer, as well as moving across the country and back, Charles has carved a place for himself and his art. Anyone in the market for all around, good, local music should look no further than the man of the hour himself and this week’s local wave.

Charles Kavoossi Local Waves
Charles the Performer...

Henry Pazaryna: So I have been doing a bunch of interviews with local musicians, talking about their experiences in the area. I started out in Annapolis because that’s where I am from, but I am looking to kind of branch out. Would you mind talking about yourself, taking about what you do, and talking about the experiences you have had?

Charles Kavoossi: Sure. I started off playing music actually in Bowie, with a couple of friends of mine that I grew up with in a three-piece punk band after I learned guitar for a few months. I got into a punk band, learned a little bit about songwriting and the whole being in a band, and then started playing shows, like house parties and stuff in Bowie and Crofton, and then moved into Severna Park, Annapolis area as far as gigs went. We got a little bit bigger, we started a new band in high school, and then kind of reached into the Baltimore scene. We would always kind of come back to Annapolis too, I guess you might have heard that from other people too. The Bowie scene for me was always like house parties and a more do it yourself kind of thing, which was cool in it’s own right. You don’t see that everywhere. Then, you get into Anne Arundel county cities like Severna Park, Pasadena, and all those. You start having more of almost like a hybrid between bars and do it yourself. We had this thing called Manhattan Beach Club that a friend of ours, Laura McKay, would run, and that was in Severna Park.

HP: I know Manhattan Beach Club. I know a bunch of kids that played there. Did you play there as well?

CK: Yeah. We played there a lot, actually. That was with my band called Think. The first band was called Common Addiction.

HP: So what year was Common Addiction, and what year was Think?

CK: Common Addiction was 2001 to 2004 or 2005, and from 2005 on to maybe 2009 was Think. It was like middle school into high school, and then high school into college, were the two. We did a lot, like Manhattan Beach Club was one of those things that we started off getting into, but then the more our band developed, we would do the Ottobar and… what else was out in Baltimore? We never played the Sidebar. We played the Recher a little bit. Just some of those go to venues out there. It was fun. It was a whole different crowd though. A whole different world of real promoting. You have to go out there and learn a little bit about demographics, and where you are going with flyers and posters, but then MySpace came out. And MySpace coming out was like the change of the industry, because all of a sudden, you promote online, easily. You can make little flyers, I had Photoshop, and figure out how to make flyers and put them on different people’s pages, searching people through zip codes and adding them as music and friends and all that. As far as the area, Annapolis has always been a home base as far as having something. The Whiskey, which has come and gone, that was a cool venue. That was some of our best shows. We had our Think reunion show there. We packed that place. But, now it’s the Metropolitan.

Charles Kavoossi Local Waves
...and the man behind the scenes, Charles the Producer.

HP: So right now, because I have seen posters of you doing acoustic sets by yourself, could you describe your style? And what is going on right here?

CK: Sure. The acoustic stuff you have seen; I moved away a couple of times. I moved to Boston, and then I moved to Portland, Oregon. When I came back from Portland, Oregon, actually, backtracking a second, all of Boston and Portland, and the time in between, was a lot of me getting into cooking. I got really into that. I moved back from Portland and I got back into music, and kind of abruptly got out of the kitchen thing. I quit my job unexpectedly and I had to make some money in the time being. I had some friends who were offering up some spots during their longer sets at restaurants, and they said I could make a few bucks. Eventually, I worked my way into that actual scene. And I do that professionally, and my style would be like acoustic, looping, pop covers. Anything from Johnny Cash and Jim Croce to The Strokes, and the Gorillaz, and Coldplay, and everything in between. What you are seeing here, at Moni’s, is an open mic that they actually came to me and asked me about doing six or eight months ago now. It’s kind of grown its own legs and become its own thing. It’s really cool, because there is also another open mic down in Bowie, the Old Bowie Town Grille, and between those two, in Bowie alone, or Crofton, I guess you could say, you really see a lot of awesome musicians in suburban towns that you would not realize exist if we did not have these open mics going on. It’s a lot of really cool discovery of being able to record this and putting the recordings online for their friends and families to see. It has really become something awesome.

HP: Have you thought about the future and what you want to try to do in the next couple of years, or are you just taking it day by day?

CK: A little bit of both. I do have plans, vaguely. One, I have a studio album coming out of my own stuff. I just put a band together to support that, and that comes out at the end of July. We will be doing a CD release show at an undetermined time, probably the end of summerThat band is called Kavoossi. It’s just my last name. From then on, we are going to try to do little bursts and go to Philly, and Boston, and back. Then maybe Pittsburgh, go to Nashville, you know, do little mini tours like that. But in the meantime, with this, I have been getting together and gaining a lot of equipment just from doing this, running the open mic. I have been running my own little entertainment business through playing acoustic. I have my own PA system and equipment, so the more I get into doing that, the more I get into promoting these things, the more that I am learning that I like production. I like live production, like putting together events. That is fun for me. That is one direction that I would like to take it into also.

HP: So do you have website or a Facebook page that people can add you, if they like what they see?

CK: Yes. Kavoossi Music. If you do that on major media, like Facebook, or KavoossiMusic.com, Soundcloud.com/KavoossiMusic, you can find all of my individual stuff there. The open mic I am running is at Moni’s, and the same thing happens with that, Facebook.com/MonisOpenMic, but Kavoossi music is the name I am rolling with these days.

HP: I have heard a little bit about some influences, coming from punk all the way to pop. Who do you have as your biggest influences? Could you talk about that?

CK: Definitely. The first influences I had for the punk world were The Misfits, I love The Misfits, and obviously a little bit of the Ramones. Anti Flag was another big one for me. They were more poppy, but still that fast power chord punk. Sublime also fit in there, which is not surprising for most people. With Sublime, they tied a lot of melody to punk by the way of reggae, which is kind of cool. Growing up a little bit, I got into Weezer, and Weezer is a big one for me. They are one of the definitions of pop rock. As much as people have called them emo or indie, they are a pop rock band. I learned a lot of songwriting from them, and singing. Growing up further, it was The Gorillaz, The Strokes, and Cake. They are my three big guys that I really look to now for influence.

Kavoossi Music Local Waves


We at SurfRhythm want to thank Charles for taking some time to sit and catch up with us. You can find the link to Kavoossi Music for updates on his performance schedule and the link to his newest single, “Out of Time” from his album, Repent To Karma, below. If you are trying to catch Charles play and produce, Moni’s Place Open Mic Night is every Wednesday at 8 P.M., located on 1641 MD Route 3, in Crofton, Maryland. Come back for the next edition of Local Waves, and as always, one last thanks to our readers who ride out with us. Catch you on the flip side.

Kavoossi Music link:  https://www.facebook.com/kavoossimusic?fref=ts

Single: https://kavoossimusic.bandcamp.com/album/repent-to-karma