Andrew Kelsey had been making a living as a musician in the Bay Area. Greg Markles was working as an actor in Southern California. At a Cerritos Community College reunion both gathered with other talented actors from the Generic Improv Peep Show. It was meant to be.

Through conversation it was discovered that Markles was a drummer and Kelsey a guitarist, singer-songwriter. Kelsey knew if he could land a decent drummer to accompany him he would be a happy man. He extended the invite to Markles, who was hesitant. He didn't want to commit until he knew Kelsey had chops as a musician. “There’s a lot of people out there that tell you they can play,” Markles says with a laugh. “You know what I mean.”

Markles had recorded with Larisa Stow and others but wasn’t about to jump in until he knew what he was getting in to.

Markles worked on film, television and voiceover projects that he then pulled Kelsey in for acting work. Acting was easy for them. “It’s like flipping on a switch” says Markles. “In fact you can come watch us act like we’re nice guys on stage when you come see our band”.

Kelsey recalls, “The chemistry we had acting was nothing compared to the musical connection we had from our first gig. We started arranging together on the spot.”

While Markles is quick to boast about Kelsey’s songwriting abilities it is clear the two have a mutual respect for each other. Kelsey remembers, “The first song we did was “Any Kind of Weather,” and Markles knew right away it had a Jack Johnson feel to it with the snare leading the rhythm.”

Both were pleased with the musicianship they saw in each other. Markles was impressed: “This guy’s got talent! I might actually do another show with him!”

After more than a year playing as a Beatles tribute band, they were determined to start a new band called Chico’s Bail Bonds (They sponsored the Bad News Bears.). Foreseeing legal issues here, the two decided to change the name to Uncle Charlie. The name is slang for curve ball.

Kelsey explains how the term relates to the band: “We like to think of ourselves as more than one-sided, kooky musicians. We’re not your typical pasty artists stuck in a room all day just writing songs. We’re also actors, we’re surfers, we’re dudes. Besides no one is ever named Charlie in a band! There’s a mystery to it.”

Other musical influences include Genesis, The Police, Steely Dan, The Eagles and James Taylor. Kelsey heard a lot of heavy metal in high school. He also had the R&B sound inspiring him.

He divulges, “I would love to do acoustic guitar meets baby makin’ Motown music.”

Kelsey and Markles are not the only members of Uncle Charlie. Shanon Paul brings a whole new set of skills to the group. Paul, a classically trained baroque musician has been with the guys for a year now and is playing a unique baroque bass that apparently only three or four people in the whole country are able to play. Paul also teaches music at Santa Monica College. Hall & Oates, John Mayer and others have influenced Paul.

After years of diversity with temporary bass players, piano players and back-up singers, the band has settled in with Kelsey on guitar and vocals, Markles on drums and vocals and Paul on bass and vocals. Together they found what they really wanted to do. They found their voice.

With catchy lyrics, rhythmic beats and infectious vocals, Uncle Charlie is a funky blend of Jack Johnson fused with the soulful grooves of Dave Matthews, three-part harmony and a rat pack show. Their sound is intoxicating and fills you with a warm buzz that leaves you wanting more.

Uncle Charlie performs Sept. 10 at Rumors in Culver City. For more information, visit

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