(photo: Estefany Gonzalez)
Singer-songwriter Charlie Davenport started Rags eight years ago. The band originated as a solo project inspired by acts such as Bon Iver and Elliott Smith. Throughout the years, the project’s had a rotating cast of North Bay musicians and the band’s sound changes as different themes appear in Davenport’s life.
“It’s going to be my lifelong project,” Davenport says. “I’ll probably be working on it for the rest of my life and forming it in ways where it makes sense with the context of who I’m playing with and what kind of music I’m writing during different time periods.”
His work offers raw and unfiltered songs which tell a different tale of self-reflection and critical observation. The newest record Titled Shrine is no exception. The eight-song album features a collection of beautiful and simple songs. The frontman recorded the album via cassette tape during a one-day recording session with good friend Derek Ted.
“With this one, I just wanted it to be really simple,”Davenport says. “We just did three takes of each song and then he mixed it and mastered it before I even left that night.”
The frontman wrote the whole album near Salt Point State Park along the California coast, after struggling with writer’s block at home in the North Bay. “Something about being out there, it didn’t even really feel like I was writing the songs. It was almost like Salt Point was writing the songs for me,” he says. “It felt like something was just coming through me. When I listen back to some of the songs I’ll think, ‘I don’t even feel like I wrote that song.'”
Davenport would often just start playing chord progressions and “sing nonsense” until lyrics appeared organically. “I wrote things I didn’t even know that I felt,'” he says. “While I was writing, I’d think, ‘What am I writing right now?’ and then once the song was done I’d finally get it.”
Many of the songs were internal conversations Davenport had with himself while at Salt Point. “A conversation on a deeper level that I couldn’t even understand at the time,” he says.
While he was writing the record, Davenport would frequently drive an hour and a half to Salt Point. Once he got there, he would sometimes sit in his car for up to an hour with his eyes closed and meditate to be fully present when he exited the car. “It’s kind of like meeting an old friend,” he says. “You have to catch up and see how you’re doing before you can go back into friend mode. I think places are kind of like that too.”
Going to this area allowed Davenport to process his thoughts. It became a special place to him emotionally and spiritually. He would often spend whole days at Salt Point hiking and visit secret spots he felt a connection to. His newest music video for “Love II,” directed and edited by Jim Agius and Timmy Lohdi, follows Davenport on his journey from where he parked his car to where he would spend time writing each song on the new record.
The video shows the special connection Davenport shares with the location and allows viewers to experience it for themselves. We’re excited to premiere this beautiful and captivating video today, October 19.
P.S. Want more show recommendations, ticket giveaways, and music news? Sign up for our biweekly newsletter!