Charlie Mosbrook (I) — 21st Annual Woody Guthrie Festival, 2018

Woodyfest 2018: 2nd Place Songwriter Charlie Mosbrook

2nd Place Songrwriting Contest Winner


This post was updated on Sunday, 10 November at 6:12 P.M. to cor­rect the loca­tions where Mosbrook spent time busking.

2nd Place Songwriting Contest Winner Charlie Mosbrook

This year’s sec­ond place song­writ­ing con­test title [Sidenote: The eighth install­ment in our 21st Annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival series fea­tures 2nd Place Songwriting Contest Winner Charlie Mosbrook.] went to Charlie Mosbrook for his song Remember Who We Are.” Mosbrook per­formed the song as part of a short show­case kick­ing off evening per­for­mances on the Pastures of Plenty out­door stage.

Mosbrook’s decades-long career began on the streets; he started as a busker, per­form­ing orig­i­nals and tra­di­tional folk songs in the Great Lakes region (Chicago, Cleveland, Madison). A musi­cal anthro­pol­o­gist, he’s worked to pre­serve tra­di­tional American music, ply­ing his rich bari­tone and superb gui­tar work to entice all who will lend an ear. His posi­tions as pres­i­dent of Folknet, a Northeast Ohio folk music soci­ety, and vice-pres­i­dent of FARM afford him a soap­box from which to preach the Folk Gospel.

After suf­fer­ing a spinal cord injury in 2010, the for­mer Ironman Triathlete had to rein­vent his gui­tar techique to account for his newly lim­ited mobil­ity. In a flurry of cre­ative energy, he released five CDs to con­sid­er­able acco­lades, includ­ing fea­tures in No Depression, Folk Alley, and WFMT’s Midnight Special, among others.

He’s no stranger to Woody, either. In 1996, he per­formed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s con­fer­ence, Hard Travelin’: The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie, where he shared the spot­light with a who’s who of folk, coun­try, and rock stars. [Sidenote: The week-long gath­er­ing was the first major con­fer­ence devoted to Woody Guthrie. Performers included Dan Bern, Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Arlo Guthrie, Indigo Girls, Jorma Kaukonen, Jimmy LaFave, Country Joe McDonald, Paul Metsa, Ellis Paul, David Pirner, Tim Robbins, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, and Syd Straw. Many of the same musi­cians reunited for the 2000 Guthrie trib­ute, ’til We Outnumber Them.] In his long career, Mosbrook has per­formed on bills fea­tur­ing Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Jewel, Iris Dement, David Bromberg, Suzzy and Lucy Wainwright Roche, Chris Whitley, and Dan Bern.

In 2011 Scene Magazine’s Cleveland, Ohio edi­tion named the musi­cian best local singer-songwriter.

Gallery: Charlie Mosbrook


About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

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