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Ax Facts & Stats with guitarist Charlie Oxford.

By Dave B. Roberts. Check out this interview in its entirety featured in the forthcoming Ax Facts & Stats Volume 2 book due for release SOON, featuring Q&As not featured in the online interviews!

My name is:
Charlie Oxford.

My current job is:
Artist/Songwriter/Guitar Player.

My hometown:
Dallas, TX.

My current album or project is:
Self-Titled full length album released in March 2014.

Former bands: none,
I’ve always been my own solo artist.

My guitar influences growing up were:
Clapton, SRV, Gary Clark Jr, John Mayer, Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Dire Straits.

The guitars I use are:
1979 Fender Strat Tobacco Burst that used to belong to Charlie Pride, a Martin OM36, and Cherry Red Hagstrom Viking.

The strings and tunings I use are:
For electrics I’m an Ernie Ball slinky fan. For my acoustics I’ve found I like the regular Martin SP’s. Nothing too fancy. For some reason I can’t stand coated strings at all.

My current rig setup consists of:
The amp I’m using now is a Tyler JT46 head with a Tyler custom cab with Jensen Jet Electric Lightning speakers (one 10 inch and one 12 inch). It’s the best sounding amp I’ve ever played. The strat is my main guitar. On the board my signal chain in order goes: JHS mini foot fuzz, VP JR volume (with JHS buffer mod), tuner out to Mini Polytune, JHS pulp n peel compressor, Taylor Mcgrath DRIVE, JHS Moonshine Overdrive, Kelley Katana Boost, Line 6 M5, Strymon Timeline Delay, Strymon Flint Verb/Tremolo. I strictly use Northeast cable company patches with Monster guitar cables. All pedals are powered by a Voodoo lab Mondo. I’m pretty happy with it!

The greatest invention for guitars is:
Literally anything in pedal form. I’m kinda obsessed with them. The boutique pedal companies out there are making some incredible stuff. JHS, Strymon and Keeley all make incredible pedals that I am constantly blown away by.

My normal songwriting process consists of:
95% of the time it always starts with the melody first. I think melody is the reason that drives me to write songs. From there I keep all my melodies on my iPhone and I’ll cycle through them on a daily basis looking for new ideas. From there, if I’m writing alone or co-writing I/we usually try and find something that’s actually going on in either my life or theirs that’s real that we can base it off of. That is where the lyrical content will come from.

My favorite guitar solo from our band:
The guitar solo on “Drive Me Crazy” is probably my favorite on the album. It says what it needs to say without hitting every note on the fretboard.

My favorite all-time guitar solo (from another guitarist):
I don’t know if I can nail down my favorite of all time but one of my all time favorites is Mark Knopfler’s solo from the Dire Strait’s song "Sultans of Swing." It’s perfect.

Favorite all-time song (any artist) is:
“That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke- It’s simple and it was the backbone of why I love soul music.

Favorite song by our band:
Off the new album I think my favorite is "Letting Go.” We got that one right from beginning to end. It’s a song that I’m really proud of.

Favorite song to perform in front of a live audience:
The first single off the album called "Waiting For."

My Career highlight thus far is:
There have been a few. Headlining the Stare Fair of Texas this fall was pretty cool. I got to play on a music cruise last year hosted by Michael Franti and G Love which was an amazing experience. I think the highlight thus far was releasing my debut album. There was a lot of work put into it, and I glad it’s now out in the world for people to hear.

My most embarrassing moment on stage:
I played the Roxy Theater in LA this spring and I played the entire first song with my fly down. A really nice person in the front row pointed it out to me quietly so I fixed the situation and said on the mic, “Well I guess we are all little closer friends now.” Everyone including me got a good laugh out of it!

Other than my guitar and amps, the one piece of my gear that I cannot live without is:
My pedal board. I’ve put a lot of time and money into getting it right. It’s at a really great place right now.

The first song I ever mastered on guitar:
The acoustic version of "Layla." That solo is not easy.

My first guitar was:
A Squire Strat when I was 12. I thought it was so cool. I don’t think it works anymore but I still have it collecting dust in a closet somewhere.

The first time I ever heard our band on the radio was:
I was in Knoxville, TN on the way to a radio interview on WFIV 105.3. I heard it on the way in. It’s a pretty personal experience.

If I am only sure of one thing in life, It’s:
That if you work hard enough at whatever it is you want to do in life you will achieve what your heart desires. It’s pretty simple - work hard and eventually you will succeed. Sit on the couch doing nothing and well, you know what happens.

The one ritual I always perform prior to going on stage is:
Jumping-jacks and pushups. It gets the blood flowing and gets the jitters out.

The exact moment I knew I would pursue a career in music was:
I was in college in New Orleans surrounded by a lot of talented people. It was something that evolved over the years from when I got my first guitar at 12 years old. However, it didn’t click in my head until then that I could do this for a career.

The one thing most fans don't know about me is:
My sister and I have the exact same birthday three years apart.

The best advice I could give beginning guitarists:
Your fingers are gonna hurt the first few months. Put a little Elmer’s glue or aloe on the end of your fingers and let it dry to make fake callouses so you can practice longer. Also, know that you aren’t going to be the next Clapton overnight. It takes a lot of years to get good and you will never reach a point where you stop learning.

CD(s) I'm listening to right now:
Jessie Ware’s new one called Tough Love. Gary Clark Jr’s new live album is killer. Need To Breath - Rivers of Wasteland. Berhoft’s new one called Islander.

My 3 all-time favorite albums:
(not in order) Fleetwood Mac - Rumors, John Mayer - Continuum (knock him all you want this one is incredible), Phil Collins - No Jacket Required.

Best gig:
9:30 Club in DC last fall. They give you cupcakes, man!

Favorite junk food:
Tough one - Have to say a tie between Girl Scout Thin Mints and Sour Patch Kids.

My biggest pet peeve:
Again a tie - Either bad drivers or people who can’t text/call you back in a reasonable amount of time. Drives me nuts (no pun intended).

The word or catch phrase I say too much is:
I've caught myself on numerous occasions saying, "I hear ya!" in contexts that make no sense at all. I guess it's just a nervous twitch.

The hardest part of my job:
Juggling all the different hats I have to wear. Sometimes it's a lot to handle.

What I like to do in my "off" time:
Binge watching Netflix shows, hanging with buds at any bar in Nashville, go to shows, and scour Ebay for the next guitar based purchase (it's an addiction).

The first thing I do when I come home from touring is:
Hangout with my wife and play with my black lab Gunner for hours.

Previous or first day job:
The last three day jobs I’ve had were working as a bartender, car valet, and a golf caddy.

Right after this interview I'm going to:
Take my dog for a walk. He’s bugging me to take him out right now.

I couldn't imagine being on the road without:
A personal clip-on fan (the same kind you take to camp when you were little). You gotta pack like a boy scout.

If I wasn't doing the musician thing,
I could really see myself working as: I’ve always been a bit of a nomad so I’d say being involved in something with music festivals — or a river rafting guide in Colorado. Either way, you’d get to see some pretty cool stuff.

Favorite movie:
The Sandlot

My mission in life:
To make people happy with music and create it until I literally can’t pick up a guitar anymore. It’s too much fun and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

My guilty pleasure band or artist:
Katy Perry - wait, no not guilty, just pure unbridled pleasure. Ha!

My next goal is: to make the next project.
I'm touring a lot right now, but when I'm home, I'm writing everyday to find new songs I can share with everyone.

The greatest contribution guitars/music have brought into my life is:
A sense of self. It's really helped to define me as a person not only in a talking about a career but making me a better person as well. Like many musicians, it's a gateway of self expression and a security blanket for the good and bad things in life. I couldn't imagine what it would be like without that element in my life.

Check out our Website at:
www.charlieoxford.com

The one musician I would love to work with that I have not yet had the chance would be:
Derek Trucks.

If I could have three wishes, they would be:
1. a Guitar Center or Sweetwater account that had no limit and that I also never had to pay off. 2. A house on the beach 3. Tex-Mex every meal.

When it's all said and done, I want the world to remember me for:
writing songs that they love and that help them in good and bad times. Music helps me get through life on a daily basis

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Copyright Dave Roberts & ExtremeGuitars.com

Copyright November 2014 Dave B. Roberts & www.extremeguitars.com is the web home of articles and interviews written by Dave Roberts. All Dave Roberts interviews & articles are available for use or FREE reprint ONLY by Permission and proper credits. Permission can be obtained by contacting dave@extremeguitars.com. All materials are Copyright 1999-2014 Dave Roberts and OnTourGuide.com Ent., All Rights Reserved.

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This interview will appear in the forthcoming Ax Facts & Stats vol. 2 book, but in the meantime, be sure to check out OTHER exclusive Ax Facts & Stats interviews in ExtremeGuitars.com's Ax Facts & Stats, Vol. 1 on sale now at Amazon.com, Lulu.com and many other fine online book retailers!

This large format 8.5 by 11 inch paperback Features 97 of ExtremeGuitars.com's celebrated Ax Facts & Stats interviews; including tons of classics from our extensive archive spanning the last 10 years as well as dozens of BRAND NEW never seen interviews! Interviews include guitarists from 3 Doors Down, Anvil, Foghat, Puddle of Mudd, Hall & Oates, Evans Blue, The Great Kat, Finger Eleven, Staind, Train, Gwar, Halestorm, Hinder, Judas Priest, Gary Hoey, Night Ranger, Shinedown, Alabama, Janis Ian, O.A.R., Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Matchbox Twenty, Sick Puppies, Styx, Stone Sour, Tantric, Candlebox, Sevendust, Stryper, Derek Trucks, Thriving Ivory, Seven Mary Three, Chicago, Cracker and many others! A portion of proceeds from every book sold is being donated to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund. Check out the book's official website at www.AFSbook.info for complete lineup

Buy now at Amazon.com

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Contact me at dave@extremeguitars.com