Charlie Pickett is a singer-songwriter from Wisconsin who released his debut album in 2016. His music has been featured on MTV and SiriusXM, and he’s toured with artists like Brett Dennen, James Bay, and more.
Charlie Pickett was a key figure in the Southern Florida independent movement in the 1970s and 1980s, combining ’60s-style British Invasion music with raw punk intensity. Pickett released many well-received, though obscure, recordings (eventually collected on 2008’s Bar Band Americanus) while backed by his bands the Eggs and the MC3. With 2018’s See You in Miami, he returned to regular activities.
Charlie Pickett was born in Athens, Ohio in 1953 and relocated to Dania, Florida with his family when he was two years old, where an early love of Alvin & the Chipmunks gave way to LPs by rock groups like Jan & Dean, the Rolling Stones, and the Kinks. He began playing the guitar at the age of 14 and quickly found punk music. By the time he graduated from high school, he was already performing locally, infusing covers by British bands like Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and Manfred Mann with a no-holds-barred punk and garage-rock intensity. In 1974, he enrolled at the University of Florida and founded the band Charlie Pickett & the Eggs, at which time he trained himself to play slide guitar. He cultivated a devoted fanbase by performing with like-minded bands such as the Cichlids, the Eat, and the Reactions. His straight-ahead blues and R&B-influenced sound won him fans among punks, new wavers, and roots rockers alike. Live at the Button, the band’s first record, was released in 1982 and included fellow South Florida guitarist (and Psycho Daisies leader) John Salton. Pickett released several highly regarded, if obscure, records for Twin/Tone under the names the Eggs and later the MC3, including 1986’s Route 33, which was produced by ex-Suicide Commando member Chris Osgood. Two years later, The Wilderness was released, which was recorded in Athens, Georgia with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.
Pickett returned to school to obtain his legal degree during the following decade due to a variety of problems, including the rigors of touring. Despite this, he remained active, playing live on occasion. Bar Band Americanus, a collection of Pickett’s greatest work with his different bands, was released by Bloodshot Records in 2008. He increased his live appearances as a result of the attention, and in 2018, he released See You in Miami, his first studio album in a decade. The song “What I Like About Miami,” which features Peter Buck, is included on the album.