You remember that little thing called ACL? Well, there was one other person that I had to see. Deeper on the list of performers was a Canadian woman that I had recently been introduced to. She has a few songs that I love, but this one is special. As I dug further into the entirety of the lineup, I sent this text to Lucas:
The single sexiest female voice maybe ever is Charolette Cardin. Who is there. She is sex in melody.
With that intro, you know this story is going to be good. We got to ACL on Day 1 and Charlotte was the first act that anyone in our group wanted to see. As opposed to P!nk, getting to the front for Charlotte was easy. See attached.
Having a spot at the gate was not a hard task, but dealing with the people that I was standing next to was another thing entirely. As I patiently waited for her, a group of 3-4 “official” looking people with badges stood next to me. Almost immediately, another badged up dude brought a man and a woman to join the group. It was in their introduction that I discovered that Charlotte’s team (including her sister) were the group next to me.
Charlotte is younger than I am. She is unique and fun. You can feel her energy in the music. The couple that joined the group were around my age. In the first 2 minutes I was informed of all the ways they had access to all the cool kid places at ACL. The dude wouldn’t shut up. Eventually, he looked at Charlotte’s sister and said with what – in case you missed my hint – was the most arrogant tone, “So what kind of sound does your sister have?”
She tried to come up with something to say and had a clearly annoyed and embarrassed tone, “she is mainly pop, but she has some deep roots in blues…blah blah…” and again. He wouldn’t stop. And he kept introducing her sister to all these new women that keep appearing. It was one of the most irritating and pretentious scenes I’ve witnessed in a long time. The last thing this poor girl wanted to do as her sister was preparing to take the stage was chat with this self-labeled VIP.
After all the introductions, he came back to her sound and he would not stop. I was in protect mode. I wanted him to go away, but I also wanted to let this fool know that true fans did not appreciate the crazy need for you to label her music. Leave her sister alone! I just couldn’t take it anymore so I turn around and looked him in the eye with my don’t fuck with me (or her) look and said, “Her sound is just pure sexy. She is just soul sexy.” And I turned around. He didn’t know what to say.
I’m still big me. And, for the record, he stopped talking.
Her set was not long. She played her most popular ones and I was worried that she might not have time for this one. Everyone seemed to be enjoying her music. Even the guy. As she transitioned to the next song, she said, “This is an older one, I hope someone might know it.”
And then the raspy whisper. I started whooo hoooing like I was watching a boy band. And she smiled at me and I just melted. She finished the chorus and chatty boy look at me and said, “You nailed it. Exactly right. She is sexy.”
And her sister just laughed.
Charlotte is a perfect picture of my favorite teachers in this arena. These are my friends in their 30’s. This year I have sat at the feet of some of the bravest, wisest, most articulate CURIOUS humans. They have broken from the stories they were handed by their cultures. They have refused to settle for just enough. In every important curious movement this year, I have had a younger human as a Sherpa. As a teacher. And Charlotte is one of them. This song is a reminder that my brave younger friends are not afraid to feel songs like this. They have been the bridge to taking my awkward newness less seriously. They are wildly unafraid of things that I have always treated as taboo. They have helped me reorder my thinking. Most importantly, they have taught me that sex is not the enemy. Not then. Not now. The only way through this part of the joinery has been judgment free curiosity. And, more Charlotte.