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Charlie Mars Plays an Intimate Show at The Evening Muse

Charlie Mars Plays an Intimate Show at The Evening Muse

By: Keely Caulder

Friday night Charlie Mars brought his one man band to Charlotte’s local legendary Evening Muse to play a small intimate acoustic show.


Charlie Mars is a musician hailing from Oxford, Mississippi who is unapologetically honest in his songwriting. Mars sings about dream kitchens, fat daddies, and Holiday Inn’s apples. All jokes aside, he is an incredibly talented artist. Mars describes his style as “country- and folk-inflected pop.”


Having written songs for Alison Krauss, Tim McGraw, and toured with The Dixie Chicks, he is an important name in the music industry. Mars’ music can give chills to everyone in the room and his humor can leave an entire audience in tears.

With no opening act, Mars began the concert with “Benji Don’t Wanna Stay.” He introduced it as a song about a friend that everyone has, one that’s always looking for a good time.


The Charlotte show was part of a small string of dates Mars is currently playing along the East coast, finishing up his most recent tour which began on December 8. Mars made the 17 hour trek alone from New Orleans to play his show in Charlotte. He jokingly added the key to passing time on a long road trip is “lots of podcasts and calling people you haven’t talked to in years.” Playing harmonica while he strummed his guitar, Mars quickly captivated the audience.


Going into the concert, I knew Charlie Mars’ music and enjoyed it, however I was unprepared for his fun personality and the hilarious comments he made in between songs during the set. His stories behind each of his songs turned out to be the highlight of my night. Having done many years of touring, Mars sure did have some good ones to tell. It helped me to understand his personality and where his genius, raw songwriting comes from. Mars is living proof that song ideas can come to you at any moment. For Mars, it’s somewhere as simple as a Holiday Inn, Pinterest, or as complex as a small beachtown in Florida.


Mars’ fans were excited for him to be back in the Queen City, many of whom had been his fan since the release of his first album, Like A Bird, Like A Plane back in 2009. Throughout the show Charlie Mars played fan favorites such as “The Money,” “Hell Yeah,” (which Mars turned into a fun sing along) “How I Roll,” (a groovy tune he wrote after thinking he was chased by the police [turned out it was just a camry]), “Listen to the Darkside,” and “I Do, I Do,” a song he promised for his best friend’s wedding. Mars even slipped in a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” which meshed perfectly with his swooning warm voice.

My favorite story of the night that Mars told was the one behind his song “Fat Daddy.” He told the audience that during his travels he often listens to the radio. One time, his radio got stuck on the local hip-hop station. He mentioned with a sarcastic smile that he now listens to Cardi B and Lil Uzi Vert because of that radio station. Mars took note that many of the hip-hop artists sang about “the boss” and he began to ask himself “who is the boss?” It wasn’t until he wrote a song about a fat daddy with a “lululemon wife” and two daughters sporting aviators that his question was answered.

I won’t tell all of his stories because they’re better to hear from Charlie Mars himself. Mars is not just another guy with an acoustic guitar; if you don’t believe me, give him a listen. If Charlie Mars is in your town and you’re in need of some enjoyable music or a good laugh, check out one of his shows. I can promise that you will not be disappointed.

See full gallery of the night here!

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