Sometimes you encounter a musical artist for a first time and find yourself
experiencing a warm sense of déjà vu – not a feeling that you’ve heard it all before, but a
feeling that you’ve reunited with a person you’ve known for ages, someone with whom
you share a connection. That’s the vibe conjured up by Charlie Shafter, a young singer-
songwriter with an old soul – and a knack for forging a connection with just about anyone
who crosses paths with his songs.
On his self-titled debut album, the 26-year-old Shafter weaves ten richly-toned
tales that recall iconic writers such as Townes Van Zandt and Elliott Smith, songs that
range into acoustic blues and the grittier side of country-rock on a panoramic trek through
blue-highway Americana. Shafter doesn’t write songs that grab you by the lapel and
shake you into listening; they’re more likely to throw an arm around you and whisper
their way into your consciousness.