Charlie Worsham has become something of a cult celebrity in the UK. Having toured his debut album extensively over here, the country songsmith stole hearts when he personally apologised in letter form to all his UK fans that missed out due to a cancelled tour between albums. He returned last year for set of shows with Kenny Rogers, and now returns with Lucie Silvas to promote his eclectic sophomore release Beginning Of Things.

Hi Charlie, welcome back to the UK! Are you pleased to be here again?

I’m thrilled to be back in the UK! The folks here have made it feel like home. I’m especially excited about this trip because I get to perform with a band for the first time in the UK.

You have toured extensively in the UK in recent years. What about the UK audiences do you love most?

I love the spirit of the audiences. They are ALL about the music, and when they come to a show, they are fully present in the moment... that’s a dying art in the world today, so I appreciate it very much!

Your upcoming tour sees you team up with Lucie Silvas, how did that come about?

I got the loveliest text from Lucie one day asking me and of course I jumped at the chance to tour with her. I’ve known Lucie and her friendship and talent since she first started visiting Nashville and making music there. She’s one of the most talented people I’ve met. Her voice has soul for days and days.

Can we expect to hear an on tour collaboration?

Gosh, we haven’t talked about the details of that yet, but I’m sure something will come about. Lucie and her band, some of whom I’ve just met, are the kind of folks that, if you’re around them for any amount of time, music will be made spontaneously no matter what.

Talking collaborations, are there any other UK country artists you would like to team up with?

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing UK country artists... The Shires are great. Gary Quinn and I have spent some time together, and he’s been kind enough to post some killer versions of my songs online. I’ve had the chance to tour with Frankie Davies and others... so in a way, I feel like I’ve already had the chance to collaborate and look forward to more of that.

I know he technically isn’t country, but when I think of Nashville-England collaborations, my mind always goes to an incredible record of duets with Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler called “All the Roadrunning”.

You released your long awaited sophomore collection this year, what took so long?

Hahaha... that’s a long story! the short version is touring nonstop plus burnout plus a team that cares too much to let me hurry through a process that’s so important (songs have to be grown like plants, and my friends at Warner and in the studio insist that i stay an organic farmer)... all that equals time.

Were you nervous about releasing new material after such an extended break?

I wasn’t. there’s a sense of peace you get when you know you’ve created something that is both true to who you are and is the absolute best version of that truth you can make. I have my whole life to make albums.. eventually one of them is going to be the winning lottery ticket. The reaction to each record is out of my hands but it’s up to me to make music in a way that it will hold up in the long run.

The album diversifies your sound away from the country material of your debut. Was this a conscious decision?

Yes and no... working with Frank Liddell and Eric Masse gave me a freedom to explore all of my musical curiosities, especially the ones that come from the region where i grew up in North Mississippi - the sounds of the blues, roots rock, Memphis soul, Muscle Shoals, etc.. in the moment, I wasn’t worried about how country it would be because I knew i had some of the most country material I’d ever written in “Old Times Sake” and “Lawn Chair Don’t Care”, so I was aware I was branching out but didn’t consciously try to step into any category at any point.

How would you define your current sound?

Charlie music.

And your current ambition?

To keep making Charlie music, to keep improving. And maybe sell out Royal Albert Hall in a few years. Oh, and be a good dog dad to Peggy Sue!

Lastly, what has been the highlight of 2017?

There are so many highlights to be grateful for. I recently had the chance to honor Don Schlitz at the Country Music Hall Of Fame Medallion Ceremony which inducted him as the 132nd member of the Hall of Fame. That was a pretty special moment. Just yesterday I had the chance to spend a day recording at Abbey Road Studios.

But the real highlights have been the work we get to do with the Follow Your Heart Arts and Scholarship Funds. Nothing inspires me more than seeing young people in my hometown have the opportunity to learn music and pursue their dream in it. This year we graduated our first class of students at the Cleveland, Mississippi Grammy Museum, and I’ve got a book coming out in a couple weeks that tells my story and the story of my tattoo that led to all this. The proceeds of the book will benefit the arts fund, and Marty Stuart, my hero, was kind enough to write the foreword!