Charlie Marie: “I’m Here to Do Music. I Don’t Want to Sell My Soul.”

One of the most promising voices and songwriters in independent country to emerge in the last few years has been Charlie Marie from the unexpected origination point of Rhode Island. Flooring folks with her 2019 self-titled EP that drew immediate comparisons to Patsy Cline, and then expanding her sound a little bit and exploring her creativity in her full-length debut Ramble On from 2021, the folks who’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon her music have been raving about it ever since.

But in December of 2021, Charlie Marie announced that she would be taking a break from music, with no further explanation. When it comes to independent up-and-coming artists, the slog to “make it” comes with incredible sacrifice. And though you never want to see any artist push themselves to the point of breaking, the fear was that we may never hear from Charlie Marie again.

Luckily though, on Sunday April 16th, she played a show in New Bedford, Massachusetts opening for Sasquatch and the Sickbillies, and has since booked a couple of more shows. She’s just playing locally and by herself at the moment, but these are her first steps into getting back into the music groove.

“I took a break from music because things in my personal life happened, and I didn’t know what direction to go in music anymore,” she tells Saving Country Music. “And so I just needed to take a break because it was a lot of stuff at once. So I traveled around the country, and I did all kinds of stuff on my own, just to find myself again. And I always come back to the conclusion that I’m here to do music. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to do it, and I don’t want to sell my soul.”

Charlie Marie went to college in Nashville at Belmont University, so she is familiar with the country music epicenter. But when Marie graduated, she moved back to Rhode Island, and that’s where she launched her career from. She did return to Nashville at one point, and she recorded her last album Ramble On in the city. But Marie said Nashville just didn’t feel right.

“I don’t care about making it, I care about being true to myself,” she says. “I don’t like being in Nashville. It’s too competitive, it’s very stressful. I don’t want to have to worry about if this person likes me or not. I don’t want to be in high school. I’m not super into writing with other people anymore. I’d rather just write by myself. These are things that are just different there. I don’t want to make it about networking. I just want to connect with people.”

Charlie Marie first fell in love with country music at ten years old when her voice was compared to Patsy Cline by a music teacher. Inspired by the music of Patsy and Loretta Lynn that her grandmother would play when she was growing up, there was no bandwagon for Charlie Marie to jump on as a Rhode Islander. Her love for country music comes from a sincere passion for the music that translates into stunning results.

Though she has no immediate plans to tour the country or release new music, Charlie Marie says she has written new songs and has been performing them live to positive results, including a few that expand beyond traditional country. She definitely remains committed to playing music moving forward. She just wants to figure out how to do it in a way that’s best for her.

“I have to do it,” she says. “I feel like it’s why I’m here. I’ve been singing since I was a kid. I’m just trying to figure out how to get to the next level without selling my soul.”

You can’t fault her for that, and that integrity comes through in her music. Charlie Marie may not have a big label or major booking agency behind her at the moment. But what she does have is an undeniable talent that is immediately recognizable to anyone within earshot of her, and a head screwed on strait about how to approach her career.

Stay tuned.

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