Interview with Charla Bauman, Montana Singer/Songwriter

Q        So, What is your history with Montana?

CB
I am a 5th generation Montanan, born and raised in Lewistown, the heart of Montana. It’s where I learned to sing and play guitar, ride horses on my sister Lou’s farm, pump gas in my Dad’s service station, learn to drive a 1928 Model T Ford (a great guy magnet!), fall in love, and start our family. That is where my songs come from.

Q        When did you get your start with music??

CB   
hmmm. It was in my DNA. I have the guitar that was given to my Grandpa in 1898 when he was 16 on the condition that he never smoke. My dad sang old cowboy songs and played guitar and harmonica, when he thought no one was listening. I also have 6 musical sisters who all love to sing harmony. The older ones played and sang the great tunes from the 50’s and I grew up listening to the amazing 60’s. I got my first guitar when I was 12 and soon started performing in church, at school and for local events in my hometown.

Q        What are your other loves?

CB
My Border Collie; my husband/roadie/soundman, Doug; and my wood cook-stove. Not necessarily in that order.

Q        What was your most fun gig ever?

CB
Oh, that’s an easy one. Dunrovin Ranch in Lolo hired me to entertain a group of Japanese students at a Ranch Barbeque. The fun part? Teaching them how to yodel. What an absolute hoot.! They were such good sports!!

Q        In your opinion, what does music provide for it’s listeners?

CB
I think that music is a unique vehicle. While having an obvious “personality” by means of lyrics, melody, tempo, instrumentation and dynamics, it also seems to be inherently customized to the individual listener by filtering through their past experiences, present state of mind and current environment. That being said, it holds different things to each individual, but I do believe it always provokes some feeling, remembrance or hope to the listener.

Q        Where do you live now and what do you like best about it?

CB
We live in the Bitterroot Valley where we moved to be closer to our daughters and their families in Missoula. My husband, Doug, is in his groove working as a Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker in Hamilton, and I have lots of great venues to play my music at!! I also absolutely love how many awesome trails there are to hike, ski and ride our horses on. Just can’t be beat. It really is the “banana belt” of Montana here !

Q        Who are some of your favorite Artists to cover?

CB
The covers I love... hmmm. What to say. I love the country and pop of the 50's and 60's. I play some Frank Sinatra and Fats Waller. Enjoy covering Spider John Koerner and Blaze Foley. Oh, ya... Joni Mitchel, Brandi Carlile, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Kate Wolf, Bonnie Raitt, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Norah Jones, Jewell.... and the list goes on :)

Q        One final question… how would you describe yourself  

CB
A believer, guitar picking music loving yodeler, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, vegetable gardener, dog and cat lover, trail-rider, and chicken herder and that’s just for a start.

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