Charles S. McVey

Formed in Lawrence, KS.

Radio station: Listen to music by Charles S. McVey

Upcoming shows

No scheduled events.

Past shows


Influences: The Cure, Rufus Wainwright, Liz Phair, Greg Duli, Tori Amos, Sufjon Stevens, Marilyn Manson, Morrissey, Pansy Division, Prince, Bill Belzer, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Betty Davis, my Father and my Grandfather.

Similar to: David Gray, Morrissey, Rufus Wainwright


Folk / Singer-songwriter, Pop, Rock


Name Released Label
Album cover Modern Living 2007 Impure Records
Album cover Animal None


At a passing glance, singer/songwriter Charles S. McVey may not be detected on the homogenized, and over sensationalized radar of contemporary pop music. However, given a chance, his music and messages are presented openly and honestly, turning what might have been a causal listen into an opportunity for communication and understanding.

McVey's music reflects a heavy 80's new wave influence, mixed with the subtleties of the piano, and soothing harmonies. The songs focus more on the groove than the special effects, allowing him to work simple arrangements into more complex structures that are enhanced by dynamics and delivery. All of this is just a backdrop for McVey's raspy, yet soothing, vocals and lyrics. McVey deals in human emotion, not flavors or fads, allowing him to openly discuss subjects such as love, loneliness, want, and loss.

McVey has added himself to the ranks as an "Out" musician and makes no apology for who he is. What is different about McVey from other "Out" musicians is the manner in which he discusses sexuality. There is no preface. The songs are not left ambiguous or vague in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience. His approach is non-confrontational and open which allows his music to transcend gender and sexual-identity. The real topics in McVey's music are emotional in nature - not sexual.

McVey's live performances are no less stunning. He executes his music with confidence and grace, occasionally letting you in on what he is thinking. He is usually backed live by Erik Kessinger on drums and Max Paley on bass to compose a "power-house" trio. He is also a riveting solo performer at smaller venus, and likes to communicate on a personal level with his audience.

"Modern Living," McVey's newest release, is his most mature work to date. The six song collection was independently released, and encompasses style, wit, humor, with insight into the "human condition," and beautiful melodies. He is currently promoting the record with live performances regionally. Charles S. McVey is at his prime and well worth checking out.