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    Chizmo Charles

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    Julie Toye of the Herald-Standard once said that "Chizmo" Charles Anderson had earned the title: "Pittsburgh's Senior Statesman of the Blues." With over fifty plus years in the music world, the first song that he sang in public was, "Everyday I have the Blues." He stumbled into music as a career; he wanted to be a dancer. Laughingly, Chizmo once remembered that in his early days in music he did not know what his fellow players meant when they asked "what key" that he wanted a song played in. The musical jargon and the charisma came with time. Jim Hamel, a local musician and BSWPA board member, commented that Chizmo has a "wonderful way of interacting with the audience. Chizmo can make just about any situation work on stage. He is a walking musical history lesson. Every day there is something new to learn from him. He lived and worked through so many important periods in our musical culture." Hamel added, "He is the most fun singer that a band could want."
    Chizmo's fans can feel his love of the music as he mingles, sings and commands the attention of an entire room during his performances,and always with a smile. Billy Price once said: "Chizmo is a great blues singer, a great entertainer and most importantly, a nice man. He brings a smile to my face every time I see him," With the talent that Chizmo Charles possesses to do heavy hitting songs like "Love Won't Let Me Leave," fellow musician Norm Nardini once commented: "Chiz is a Pittsburgh treasure. He is a fantastic, high-level singer."
    Chizmo has sat in with just about every player in town. Jill West once said that she admired Anderson's smooth ability to transition from one musical genre to another without missing a beat. She also praised him for jamming with everyone 'from the pros, the rookies and to the wannabees.' She also was thankful for his guidance early in her career. In 2003, his previously released CD, "Up All Night," was reissued on Decade records. The resurgence of that CD took Chizmo on the road during the year of his 75th birthday. He even opened for BB King. Back in the Burg, Chizmo was the opening artist on the BSWPA's CD, "Blues from the Burg." Chizmo's rendition of "Bed Bug Boogie" received noteworthy accolades from Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records and Blues Revue magazine.

    Article can be read at: http://bswpa.blogspot.com/2010/01/musicians-corner-find-out-about-local.html

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