On Wednesday, February 4th, Charlie Mars played at The Saint in Asbury Park. It was a packed house and he had his fans in the palm of his hands within a few minutes.
Mars, who is from Oxford, Mississippi, won the crowd over with not just his music, but also some pretty hysterical stories about his time on the road with the Dixie Chicks, stories about old “frenemies”, and lost loves. He opened his set with the song ‘Nothing but the Rain’, which apparently came to him in a vision he had while staying with singer songwriter Bob Schnieder in Austin, Texas.
By the time Mars played his song ‘I Do’, he had the audience ready for more. This was a song he wrote for his best friend’s wedding. He was originally asked to write the song years before but had to admit he didn’t exactly remember a whole lot of his college days.
Mars had the crowd dancing by time he played ‘Meet Me at the Back Door’, ‘The Money’, and ‘Listen to the Dark Side’, which was written while listening to Pink Floyd. Mars ended his set with a cover of ‘ I’m On Fire’ by Asbury’s own Bruce Springsteen.
There wasn’t a single person in the venue that was unamused by the honesty in his songs, the humor in his stories and the passion he possesses while on stage. For his encore, Mars played a song that he actually wrote just days before.
While Mars was the big attraction at The Saint that night, he certainly wasn’t the only talent. Local Artist Joe Miller opened for Mars and certainly got the crowd ready for an awesome night. Miller is originally from a little town outside of Ithaca in upstate New York and moved to the Jersey shore about six years ago.
Miller played original songs, some of which are inspired by historical events. A favorite here on the Jersey Shore would be a song titled ‘The Continuation of D.B. Cooper’. He also played the song ‘Ballad of a Beauty Maker’ and ‘Dude, Where’s My Whiskey’.
Before playing his original song ‘Old Man Winter, Please Change Your Name’ he explained that as a New Yorker, he was used to the cold and was excited to check out the beach in the winter. “Have you ever been to the beach when it is snowing? Don’t! It’s stupid! Nothing can keep you warm!”
While Miller has several original songs, he also played a cover of Woody Guthrie’s ‘Do Re Me’. This was the first song he learned to play under his mentor, who passed away a couple of years back. He also played his own version of the traditional folk song ‘Moonshiner’ and he took on Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case Of You’.
Just about every night in Asbury Park is made up of great music, but Mars and Miller could have played for hours more and the crowd would not have had enough. Mars released his album The Money in 2014 and Miller is expected to release a new album this spring.