Charlie Bucket is an independent recording artist who made his solo recording debut in 2021 with the song “Thank You“. The heartfelt dream-pop duet love song introduced a singer/songwriter with an easy-going philosophical approach to both music and life. He is a New Jersey native and now Florida resident who works with a small crew of collaborators to create quirky, fun and often insightful lo-fi indie-pop.
Since that debut, Charlie Bucket has released a total of four singles, including three originals and his latest, a wonderfully faithful cover of the John Prine & Iris Dement classic, “In Spite of Ourselves.” The late-great Prine was the quintessential workingman scholar. His witty, self-effacing humor sits very comfortably beside Charlie Bucket’s philosophy as seen through an intentionally Wonka-inspired child-like lens.
In May of last year, Charlie Bucket dropped his second single “grATTITUDE“. The fun and funky indie-pop nugget pairs a lo-fi aesthetic with uplifting lyrics and some classic Motown melodies. There’s even an extended psychedelic jam in the bridge. Throughout the song the singer gives thanks to everything and everyone who ever helped him grow, and heal from past trauma.
On his subsequent single, Charlie Bucket confronted that trauma directly. “Daddy’s Legacy” is a bluesy Americana ode to the singer’s father, who died by suicide. It is a heartbreaking account of homage and regret as Bucket shares the lessons he learned from his father’s life, and his death.
Watch the “grATTITUDE” lyric video below. You can also hear that song on the Deep Indie Dive playlist, or listen to Charlie Bucket’s music on your favorite streaming service. We had the chance to chat with Charlie about the project. Read his answers to our 8 questions below. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the artist.
Charlie Bucket – “grATTITUDE”
8 Questions with Charlie Bucket
Where are you from?
I am from Park Ridge, NJ. Both of my parents are from Brooklyn, as are my grandparents. When I was 14 I used to take the bus into the village to score pot. I was always a carefree and fun loving kid…that was before the pain. My Dad completed suicide when I was 33. That’s what “Daddy’s Legacy” is about.
How long have you been making music?
I have loved music since I was a teen. My parents took me to my first Dead Show when I was 13 and it was downhill from there. Jerry Garcia and his philosophy on life has really influenced my musical taste and approach. I started playing Bass when I was 14 and the name of my first band was Defiance. My first song was titled “School isn’t Fun”.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
I share vocals with my wife Melissa Berman aka Mary Jane B. The musical genius and virtuoso is AJ Buckley he plays all of the instruments on the tracks and he hails from Mission, British Columbia.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest musical influence was Jerry Garcia and this quote is something I have tried living by…
“What we’re thinking about is a peaceful planet. We’re not thinking about anything else. We’re not thinking about any kind of power. We’re not thinking about any kind of struggles. We’re not thinking about revolution or war or any of that. That’s not what we want. Nobody wants to get hurt. Nobody wants to hurt anybody. We would all like to be able to live an uncluttered life. A simple life, a good life. And think about moving the whole human race ahead a step, or a few steps.”
I also love Widespread Panic, Vic Chestnutt, Bloodkin, Drive by Truckers, The Wood Brothers, Bob Dylan, The Doors and 90’s hip hop. Biggie Smalls is the illest.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
My greatest non musical influences are Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket from the original movie. The polarity and the genius in both of those characters is in my DNA. I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Doors, The Dead movie and Natural Born Killers on VHS on repeat. In many ways those movies raised me and gave me my values. My parents were loving and supportive but were absent because they worked a lot. This allowed me to do what I wanted when I wanted. This ignited the free spirit that was simmering in my soul.
What inspired you to create this project?
My music comes from a place of feeling and music is a way for me to express that. The idea to start our band came from reading and seeing the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Charlie Bucket is the one child that has humility, grace, and a sense of what the correct thing to do is. He may not have had the easiest upbringing but the love that his family shared with him and his own knowledge made him a good egg.
At the end of the movie Willy Wonka asks Charlie, “Don’t forget what happened to the boy who suddenly got everything he wanted…He lived happily ever after. “When I deconstruct this quote it is about humility, gratitude and love. Because without those things it doesn’t matter how beautiful, rich and famous you might be, you can never live happily ever after.
Every moment, person and experience we have in our lives is sacred when we can see this happily ever after becomes every moment. Life is grace receiving gratitude. May gratitude, peace and love walk us home. I love each and every one of y’all!
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
I plan to finish the Charlie Bucket project. I have one song called I am fine which is about how the word I am fine is used in our society today. My other song is called Women and Whiskey which is a country song that has a Drive By Truckers feel and reminds me of a Mike Cooley song.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I want people to realize that they are powerful. This is a quote by Marianne Williamson that explains what I want people to realize…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”