Deliciously Stanky. Dynamically Funky. Recklessly Hopeful. Grounded in soul, the Charles Walker Band has been compared to Prince, Bruno Mars, Chaka Khan, and James Brown. The Milwaukee based band has refined their sound into Neo-Funk, a fusion of funk infused rhythms with pop melodies. The four-piece band rehearses tirelessly in Charles’ basement, amidst couches and low ceilings, Charles stooping the entire time. At show time, surprisingly, there are no fans. There is only family. The question posed at the beginning of the show is, Are we family or not? The Charles Walker Band is Deliciously Stanky. Dynamically Funky. Recklessly Hopeful.
Charles literally grew up in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by dairy farms, apple orchards and no children, his ex military father and homemaking mother developed his love of family. With little else to do, Charles turned to music in fifth grade. Though he was presented with various instruments, his music teacher declared he had the perfect mouth for saxophone. Walker, now also keyboardist and vocalist in the band, formed the Charles Walker Band 15 years ago, initially as a blues band. As the band evolved, Charles began to instill family (a global community) into every show. He believes the global family forms as everyone sees that love, music and fun unite humanity.
When Porsche Carmon joined, a vocalist, bassist, and hand percussionist, the group’s sound shifted towards funk. She immediately clicked with the band because of her upbringing in Columbus, OH. Raised by a single mother who was often at work, she and her four sisters developed their own sense of family through caring for each other.
Eventually, Charles and Porsche became a couple, and together laugh, cry, and argue about how to develop shows that foster family in an era of electronic disconnection. As a testament to their engaging shows, one of the band’s family said at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, “I had to go to the bathroom for two hours but held it because I didn’t want to miss a minute!”