Charles Havira set to release new record “Actual” early this year
When Charles Havira makes music, whether live or in the studio, he focuses on the moment and cherishes the very expression of what’s being played.
The 45-year-old Archbald musician has been making music in Northeastern Pennsylvania for more than 20 years. He’s scheduled to release a new original album called “Actual” early this year, and his soulful single, “Show Me the Way,” premieres exclusively on Weekender’s SoundCloud page.
Havira released full band records in 2004 and 2008 and a live solo recording “Dulcet” in 2012. His forthcoming release, he said, is a mixture of home recordings and studio work to get mixes finalized with a band.
“I feel I’m still growing, still being inspired,” Havira said of his latest work.
His inspiration comes from what’s taking place in his life and the lives of those who surround and affect him, he said.
“That would be family, friends and what surrounds us all for us — together — to move forward in our lives,” Havira said. “That’s my main focus, that inspiration and turning it into song … and performance as well.”
Havira said he leans toward a traditional way of recording by going into the studio and playing songs the way they’d be played live.
“I went into this last recording wanting it to be the first take, whether it was a mess or beautiful,” Havira said. “That didn’t exactly work out. We put that first take-approach aside, but, in playing, tried to keep it as loose as possible.”
Havira was joined in studio by drummer A.J. Jump, guitarist Justin Mazer, bassist Dylan Skursky and multi-instrumentalist Nick Driscoll.
Havira said recording with the group was exciting, because the musicians, who had collaborated in various projects in the past, were coming back together and playing new music.
“This was an expression, and this is what we did as whole,” Havira said. “Not everyone knows the songs fully, but you’re kind of gambling … with music.”
In addition to the core members of the backing band, the album includes work by Matt Hiller on mandolin and vocalist Karen Ritter.
“She has a very small part in the recording, but, in my mind, it is so powerful,” Havira said of Ritter.
Havira’s collaborators come from a wide range of successful bands of past and present.
Hiller was a member of old-timey and celebrated bluegrass quartet Coal Town Rounders. Mazer plays in Philadelphia-based Tom Hamilton’s American Babies. Jump tours with Brooklyn-based trio King Radio. Skursky is a member of NEPA jamgrass giants Cabinet, and Driscoll is a founding member of Scranton’s Indigo Moon Brass Band.
“I wish I had done this a long time ago,” Havira said. “These musicians who I’ve played with, they’ve also had one, two, three other projects that they’re doing. You admire these players; you fall in love with them. They’re just so talented; they take you to another place, and that’s the medicine that you want and need.”
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Upcoming performances from Charles Havira:
7 p.m. Jan. 6 at Shawnee Craft Brewing Company, Shawnee on Delaware with Jon Nova
8 p.m. Jan. 12 at Turkey Hill Brewing Company, Bloomsburg with Starbird (Justin Mazer, Dylan Skursky, Al Smith)
10 p.m. Jan. 13 at The Bog, Scranton with Starbird
10 p.m. Jan. 14 at Stella Blues LLC, New Haven, Conn. with Starbird
8 p.m. Jan. 15 at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia with Starbird
4 p.m. Jan. 28, opening Jamming for Standing Rock at Sandy Valley Campground, White Haven with Jon Nova
7 p.m. Feb. 5, An Evening with Charles Havira, Turkey Hill Brewing Company, Bloomsburg
8 p.m. March 31, Chalres Havira Band in Berks County, Mike’s Tavern, Reading