Charlie Powling

Charlie and the Black Pepper Band

The Third Album

Charlie & The Black Pepper Band

Charlie's third album took considerably longer to finalize than he and the band originally anticipated. First COVID-19 lockdowns and interruptions, followed by a determination on their part to not accept "close enough".

To that end, Charlie brought in Garry (Jacko) Jackson to be more involved with production, forming a 3-way partnership with Lindsay Masters of Masters Studios, who also produced their first 2 albums.

After several years of being known simply as Charlie's support band, it had finally crystalized into The Black Pepper Band after a suggestion from their bass player Wayne Wright following a ten-day stint at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2020, sponsored by the Black Pepper clothing store.

Originally said in mirth, they decided to shamelessly steal it, and are now promoted as Charlie & The Black Pepper Band, and in honour of finally settling on a name everyone agreed with (although Jacko claims he never got a vote), Charlie decided to give the new album the same name.

The current line-up still includes Charlie's partner-in-crime Melanie Macauley on backup vocals and the young and dynamic guitarist James (Gravy) Brown, who actually started professionally in the music industry as a drummer, where they've put him to fill the shoes of the late Danny Thomas.

Gravy and Jacko alternate between drums and lead guitar with Charlie's often repeated quip about having "two of the best lead guitarists in Darwin and we stick 'em on drums".

Released in late 2022, Drive the Highway was then released as a single in April 2023, followed in September by When My Ship Comes In, with both songs loved by their loyal support base and amongst the most requested when performing live.

The songs are still driven by Charlie's powerful lyrics, but all agree this album's production standard has set it apart as their best ever. I agree with them and hope you do too.