Anyone heard of Charlie Peacock?
If you have listened to Christian music in the past 20 years, you may not have heard of him, but you’ve felt his influence. He is a true musical veteran–an artist, singer, songwriter, and producer in Nashville.
Ever hear the dcTalk song “In the Light?” Charlie wrote it. In fact, he recorded it first, several years earlier; dcTalk only covered it. And Charlie’s produced numerous artists that you probably have heard of.
I’m MySpace friends with Charlie, and the other day I got a message that he was doing an impromptu gig in Oklahoma City. So The Director and I got in the car and drove there.
Turns out Charlie was teaching a class at a local college the following day, and he decided he’d rather play some music than sit around bored in his hotel room. So his hosts arranged to have him set up and play…in Starbucks.
To me, it was one of those rare and almost magical moments that most people miss. There, sitting five feet in front of me, was one of the most seasoned veterans in the music industry, sitting at a keyboard, no band behind him…playing his songs for the sheer fun of it. For free. In Starbucks.
So I listened while the guy who wrote “In the Light” played it, down-tempo, on a solo keyboard, with a little bit of improv thrown in. He actually played it again at the end, by request, and it sounded totally different than the first time. I was like, “Coooooool.” 🙂
Man, I figured the place would be packed. It wasn’t. Only a handful of people gathered around. Nobody knew about it because it hadn’t been scheduled. There were people sitting outside studying the Bible, not even aware of who was performing inside. I was sitting there looking at them thinking, Don’t you know who’s playing inside this Starbucks?? It’s CHARLIE PEACOCK!!
(Okay…so maybe studying the Bible is more important.)
This wasn’t like a Charlie Peacock: The Starbucks Tour or anything. This was impromptu, happenstance. I felt like I’d been given a rare privilege in just happening to get the information in time. He didn’t “rock the house”; it was a regular coffee house type gig, except you could tell he knew what he was doing on that thing. It was good music, performed by a guy who obviously hasn’t let the music industry crap rob him of his love for playing and performing–and a guy who obviously still isn’t above playing anywhere he has a chance. I knew, even if no one else in the room did…someone with those credentials doesn’t spend an evening playing in Starbucks unless he loves what he does. And that’s what made it such a hidden treasure.
Oh…and I also shook his hand, introduced myself and The Director, thanked him for playing, got an autographed CD…and handed him a demo.