If you were to ask Nashville’s country music artists which person in town deserves any an all success that comes their way, Charlie Worsham’s name is one that would often come up. If you needed any evidence to that, you only need to look at his new EP, Compadres, to find out. On the new five song collection, Charlie teams up with five other artists (Lainey Wilson, Kip Moore, Elle King, Dierks Bentley and Luke Combs) for a batch of strong duets.
Worsham, for his part, has released two critically-acclaimed albums (2013’s Rubberband and 2017’s The Beginning Of Things) but felt the sting of the general ‘failure’ of the albums with the general public. In reality, Nashville’s always been about timing and Charlie Worsham’s timing with Compadres is perfect. It’s taken ten years plus but Worsham, who had to weather Nashville’s infatuation with “bro country” and “boyfriend country” to stay the same artist he’s always been, one of of the steadiest country singers in the genre, not unlike Marty Stuart was the generation before him.
Each song stands out on its own footing but collectively, this EP works as a great gateway into who Charlie Worsham is as an artist, the versatile country musician he is as a writer and player. The EP opens with a fantastic take on Tony Arita’s “Handful Of Dust,” a 90s country song first recorded by Patty Loveless. Together they showcase the brilliance of the song and bring it to a new generation. Luke Combs joined Charlie for a reimagined duet on “How I Learned To Pray” and it remains a hit by any measure except at country radio (yet).
The three new tracks on the EP, the nostalgic “Creekwater Clear” with Elle King, the funky twang of “Kiss You Like You Dance” with Kip Moore and the closing “Things I Can’t Control,” a song with vision about life and how we can only handle what we have control. Each song on Compadres, was produced by The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston and the EP itself was released by Worsham’s longtime label partner Warner Music Nashville.
There’s hope within Nashville that Charlie Worsham can break out like Marty Stuart and Chris Stapleton (as Johnston told Rolling Stone in a feature about this EP) before him and Worsham himself, in that story, is content with whatever happens, saying, “I know that I’m going to spend the rest of my life playing country music. I don’t have to worry about that not happening — I can just focus on what notes I’m playing right now.”