Hailing from Warwick, country-rock vocalist and guitarist Tim Charron is looking forward to his upcoming summer performances throughout New England and beyond. While he hasn’t lived in the city since the early 1990s, he said he has fond memories of his childhood growing up in Cowesett Hills and Greenwood.
“Whenever I come back home, I always drive through my old elementary school, Cedar Hill,” he said. “I can’t help but be nostalgic for it. My favorite place was Rocky Point and I also like Timmy’s (Restaurant) in Conimicut.”
In fact, he started his music career at Winman Junior High, where he formed bands with friends. Now, he is a solo artist with a full touring band consisting of four to six members depending on the gig.
On Thursday evening, Charron and various members of his band will play at Toby Keith’s Bar, I Love This Bar, at Patriot Place next to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Then, he will take the stage at the Charlestown Seafood Festival with The Ragged Impresarios on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.
From 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. the following Saturday, Aug. 13, Charron is set to open for Jerry Jeff Walker at the Indian Ranch in Webster, Mass. He said he is fond of this 3,000-seat outdoor venue.
“It’s the greatest undiscovered gem in New England and it’s right on the boarder of Rhode Island and Massachusetts,” he said. “It’s in the middle of the woods and has a campground on a beautiful lake. They have big name country artists that perform there. Because it’s more of a country oriented place, I’ll have a fiddle player with us for the show.”
Additionally, he’ll stop by the Washington County Fair on August 20 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will again perform at I Love This Bar on Aug. 27. But, this time, he will perform following the Kenny Chesney/Zac Brown Band concert at Gillette Stadium.
“They will have their concert at Gillette with probably about 70,000 people and then we’re going to play at Toby Keith’s Bar,” he said. “I’m very excited about it. This is what I live for. To play in front of Kenny Chesney fans and Zac Brown fans is a good opportunity. I couldn’t ask for anything better. It will be more of an upbeat, country-rock concert show so I’ll have two lead guitar players.”
He’ll also pay another visit to Indian Ranch on Sept. 11 and perform the National Anthem with the Charlie Daniels Band. Then, he will be making stops in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nashville and Florida during the winter, and also finding time to promote Amstel Light, as he just started working with the beer brewers a couple of months ago.
But, Charron said this type of busy schedule is typical for him and he has been dubbed the “Rock and Roll Gypsy.”
“I don’t have a home,” he said. “I travel full-time, sometimes in town for one night, sometimes for a few months. I stay with friends, in hotels, with fans, camp, on boats, in hippie communes…everywhere. We have stickers that read, ‘Quit your job, sell your stuff, hit the road.’ That is exactly what I did.”
Charron left Rhode Island for Miami a few years after he graduated from North Kingstown High School in 1990. He also lived in San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, and then back to Miami, where he worked as a personal trainer for celebrities such as rap artist Eminem and vocalist Michael Stipe from the alternative rock group R.E.M.
“It was cool because I got to see a different side of the music industry and learned a new perspective,” he said. “With Eminem, I realized how smart he is. It’s not really my kind of music, but he’s just such a personable, smart, nice, outgoing person. I went on tour with him and it was interesting to be around the conversations and see how incredibly professional he is. I loved that aspect of it and I’ve carried that with me.”
Charron trained Stipe in Miami for a few months when R.E.M. was recording an album. At one point during the holiday season, Charron visited New York for a Christmas party with Stipe where they mingled with Bono of the rock band U2.
“We hung out for two or three hours,” Charron said. “That guy is so charismatic without trying. He makes people around him just feel so good and comfortable. He makes you feel like a rock star. You realize these musicians have careers for 20-something years because they treat people well.”
While in Miami, Charron also trained R&B singer Brandy, as well as Limp Bizkit front man, Fred Durst. Charron dabbled with acting, broadcasting, but continued pursuing a career in music and began taking voice lessons. In 2008, he ventured to Nashville, where he spends most of his time.
“It’s like going to college for music,” Charron said. “You sink or swim in Nashville and you really see the music business. People are amazing here. They are very nice. Everybody you run into is a songwriter.”
Since relocating to Nashville, he released three albums. His latest recording, “Unplugged,” is an acoustic 10-track album that features originals and covers, plus a four-piece band, including vocals, guitar, bass, and percussion.
In 2008, he recorded an EP “Control Alt Delete,” which is a compilation of demos. The same year, he released “Greatest Hits,” which is available, along with “Unplugged,” on iTunes. He said Americana artist John Mellencamp and other “strong songwriters” influenced his music.
“I hate being the guy that says it’s hard for me to tell you what I play but I have a hard time writing the same style all the time,” Charron said. “I grew up playing rock and then I discovered country later on. I approach music from a roots rock and roll perspective and add a country flavor to it.”
Charron said he was inspired to become a performer after he saw his first live arena rock show when he was in fifth grade. He and his grandmother went to see Motley Crue open for Ozzy Osbourne, two hard rock acts notorious for being wild on and off stage.
“It was fantastic but so awkward,” Charron said laughing. “Motley Crue just completely blew me away. The stage, the lights-they’re so active. It was just a fun show and I just got hooked. That’s what really got me into music and I’ve pretty much been obsessed since then. Growing up in Warwick, my bedroom was completely plastered with photos and posters of Motley Crue. You couldn’t see the wall.”
In a similar fashion to Motley Crue, Charron said he has focused on making his shows “as fun as possible for audiences.”
“I’m really happy with the way fans have been reacting,” he said. “Every year, we’re just building things up bigger and bigger. We’re looking forward to getting in front of a lot of new fans we haven’t had a chance to play for yet.”
When he’s not touring, Charron teaches guitar and voice lessons and instructs songwriting workshops, which include topics like lyric writing, chord progressions, and song structure.
Further, he has been a guest speaker for Indie Connect, a worldwide community of independent musicians, singers, bands, songwriters, record labels, music professionals and service providers who have joined forces to support each other by sharing ideas, expertise, contacts and resources.
“I also give talks at schools sometimes about life as a musician,” he said.
For more information about Charron visit his web-site at timcharron.com or find him on Facebook.