Bio


Since its inception Choctaw Wildfire has been captivating audiences with its wild intensity and refreshing take on American music. A unique mix of honky-tonk roots, boogie-woogie soul, and the darkest corners of Americana sensibility, this Austin, TX piano band led by pianist and songwriter Charlie Pierce is setting the scene on fire. Fanning the flames are back-beat savant Leland Potter (The Derailers, Rosie Flores, Dale Watson),  Bob Cullen on bass (George Thorogood, Dr. John, and Johnny Rodriguez) and 2 time Grammy winning Jeffrey Barnes (Brave Combo).

Fronted by pianist and songwriter Charlie Pierce, whose deep riveting voice and dark narrative songs have drawn comparisons to Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits and a piano pedigree that includes study with internationally renowned Chicago legends Chris Foreman of the Deep Blue Organ Trio (a protégée of Jimmy Smith) and Erwin Helfer (who played with Muddy Waters and performed regularly at Preservation Hall), Choctaw Wildfire represents the culmination of a lifetime of Charlie’s dedication to his musical craft.

 
Manning the drums for Choctaw Wildfire is Lee Potter, a 20 year veteran of the Austin music scene and longtime spark plug for acts like Jeff Hughes, Cornell Hurd, and Bracken Hale. He has toured with Rosie Flores and Dale Watson, appeared on Austin City Limits (with Watson), and can be found on recordings by the Derailers, Chaparral, Charlie Burton, and the LaSalles among others. 
 
Jeffrey came from a family of musical farmers in northwest Ohio. He had learned the piano, clarinet, harmonica, guitar, flute, and saxophone by his late teens. He studied Music Theory and Composition at UT Austin, but was almost seduced away by the Anthropology department. Jeffery played with Jimmy Vaughn and the Storm, Marcia Ball, The Cobras, and many others while in Austin (1972 - 1983.) After that he satisfied his ethnomusicological bent by playing world music with Brave Combo for 31 years, during which time he won two Grammies and was (briefly) animated on "The Simpsons."
Physical Press Release Press Release for the release of Choctaw Wildfire's 2nd album, "Nowhere." 2.57 MB
One Sheet - Nowhere One Sheet for Choctaw Wildfire's 2nd album, Nowhere. 2.13 MB

Press

"Don’t expect Charlie Pierce to extinguish the flames, buddy. It’s all about the intensity, every step of the way. The front man and pianist for local band Choctaw Wildfire wields the power of a mighty honky-tonk boogie that will rattle the floor boards of any juke joint on earth."  Laurie Gallardo, KUTX Music Minute

"Nowhere is a step up in their songwriting and their instrumental performance in every way. The bluesy swagger they play with is something akin to Leonard Choen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" or Tom Waits' Heart of Saturday Night, with a little of that old-time Texas flare that makes our Americana scene great." Corey Deiterman, The Houston Press

"Choctaw Wildfire's second album Nowhere isn't a podium-pounding political affair, but rather an emotive introspection on death, isolation, and freedom." Kevin Curtin, The Chronicle 
 
"Though these folks are from Austin, they bring a New Orleans twist into their performances. Playing anything from heart-wrenching ballads to full-blown boogies, Choctaw Wildfire keeps the crowd on their toes and wanting more."  Frenchman Street Live
 


 

Contact

Theresa Rusnak 
773-822-1151
Charlie Pierce
773-822-1149
wildfiremusic23@gmail.com
choctawwildfire.com
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Band


Charlie Pierce:
piano, vocals, songwriter

Leland Potter:
drums

Bob Cullen:
bass

Jeffrey Barnes:
saxophones, clarinet, harmonicas, magic

Genre

Americana
Honky-tonk
Boogie-woogie
Folk

Sounds Like

Dr. John
Johnny Cash
Terry Allen

Have I Said Enough

Deepwater Down - Live

Career Highlights


-  "Best New Local Act"  Austin Chronicle 2016

-  Preformed at Gleenwood Arts Festival (main stage and official after party)  August 16, 2015

-  Live performance on WDVX The Blue Plate Special August 6, 2015 

-  Preformed at Pennington Folk Festival June 6, 2015

-  Live performance on KXAN May 26, 2015. Watch here

-  Featured on Austin Music Minute on KUTX, March 23, 2015. Listen Here

-  Choctaw Wildfire preformed at 35 Denton Music Festival March 2015

-  Choctaw Wildfire preformed on KDRP's Texas Radio Live at Guero's Tacos July 9, 2014. Listen here

-  Charlie Pierce of Choctaw Wildfire interviewed live on Wide Open Spaces KPFT 90.1 Houston, Texas December 28th 2012. Listen here.
 
-  Charlie Pierce of Choctaw Wildfire preformed live on WLUW, Live from the Heartland 88.7 Chicago, IL. Listen here.

Choctaw Wildfire has shared the stage with many great musicians including:

- Billy Joe Shaver                  - Rosie Flores

- Dale Watson                        - Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue

- Earl Poole Ball                    - John Evans


 


 

Honorable Mentions


- "Pianist Charlie Pierce is keeping the music I grew up with alive and well with his modern take on the classic honky-tonk/boogie-woogie sound. He's one hell of songwriter, too. Earl Poole Ball (Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons) 

- "Choctaw Wildfire is one of Austin's must-see up and comers. This honky tonk piano trio's live performances are filled with wild intensity and raw honesty. A truly refreshing take on Americana music."   
David Arnsberger, Host, Texas Radio Live, Sun Radio KDRP, Austin Texas.
 
"This is Charlie Pierce of Choctaw Wildfire. He's kinda like Dr. John, Leon Russell, Jellyroll, and, well, Charlie Pierce, all rolled up in one. Austin really needs guys like him. Deborah Orazi,  Austin Music Journal 
 

Images can be downloaded

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Young Cubs Records to release "Nowhere" on May 26
Roots Trio Charlie Pierce & Choctaw Wildfire on Second Album Recorded at Austin’s Famed Arlyn Studios

(Austin, TX)  Keyboard maverick, and Choctaw Wildfire founder Charlie Pierce is announcing the release of their new studio album, Nowhere. Recorded in Austin by head engineer/producer Jacob Sciba (Willie Nelson, Warren Haynes, Gary Clark Jr.) and mixed on Willie’s SSL board, Nowhere has a classic familiarity and timeless sound., the album will be released May 26th in North America via Young Cubs Records on CD and Digital. Vinyl release to follow at a later date. Embracing Honky-tonk, Outlaw, Roots and Folk, Choctaw Wildfire lends its unique sounds to these genres with keyboard, upright bass and drums threading all roots music within. 

Music featured on Choctaw Wildfire's sophomore album Nowhere offers the raw accounts of the pursuit of life's simple truths by songwriter Charlie Pierce. “These truths are not always comfortable, but they are familiar. We seek ways to avoid them, but they are a part of our shared connection to the human experience. They make us feel something”, explains Austin transplant and Chicago native Pierce.    

Nowhere began as a phone call on a New Orleans balcony with a woman Charlie had never met. “From that conversation a song and an album were born. The woman told me her mom, Ruby, had passed away and that she was Choctaw. As fate would have it, her family had picked the venue we were playing in the Texas Hill Country a few weeks later to hold the memorial/celebration for Ruby (the family matriarch). She went on to tell me that she knew her mom had a hand in "choosing" Choctaw Wildfire to perform that night.” Pierce goes on to share, “she asked me to play one of the famous "Ruby" songs in her mom’s honor that night. I knew immediately that I would write a song for Ruby and her family. When we debuted "For Ruby" for the family, they were deeply moved and asked that we record it for them. With the generous seed money the family gave us to record that song we ended up tracking an entire 10 song album at Arlyn Studios in Austin, TX.”
 
Album highlights include For Ruby, a tribute to a family matriarch; Lullaby for lil Lilly, a lullaby waltz written by Pierce for his daughter one night when she wouldn’t sleep; Nowhere, the album’s title track; Daggers, a song about real life on a daily basis; Nothing Again  the relief felt when you lose what you thought you might have had.
 
Nowhere was recorded in Austin by Pierce and Choctaw Wildfire: Charlie Pierce (piano/vocals, Hammond B3 organ), William Landon (tuba), Janie Cowan (upright/arco bass) and Leland Potter (drums). They were joined in the studio by Danny Hawk (pedal steel), Tony Rogers (cello), Bobby Flores (viola, fiddle, nylon guitar), Art Martinez (saxophone, clarinet), Stephen Sodders (trombone), Kullen Fuchs (french horn, vibraphone, trumpet), Craig Marshall (guitar), and Jack Montisinos (guitar). Recorded at Austin’s Famed Arlyn Studio, Choctaw Wildfire had the privilege of being the FIRST to record using the highly anticipated, one of a kind, Nieve/API combination console built specifically for Aryln. 

“Sometimes there are greater forces at work. All one has to do is open their heart and listen. It is from this place that Nowhere was born”, Pierce says. “This is the best thing I've ever done though probably not the most uplifting. This record is dark, brooding American music in the vein of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and Johnny Cash.”
 
Nowhere is currently available to pre-order at choctawwildfire.com. Beginning May 26th the album will be available at online music retailers and for download at iTunes, etc. The cd release party will celebrate the new Charlie Pierce and Choctaw Wildfire album at Stay Gold with a line up of events that include special guests and amazing surprises.