Peterborough musician and artist Charlene Earle passed away suddenly on Friday (July 19), kawarthaNOW has learned. She was 33 years old.
Earle, who performed as Charlie Earle and Charlie Maine and was known as Chuck by her friends, had just played at the Historic Red Dog Tavern in downtown Peterborough the previous evening, as part of the Weber Brothers’ WE Thursdays concert series.
In 2012, Earle moved from Toronto to Peterborough, where she performed as a vocalist and well as working as a bartender at The Garnet.
As a musician, Earle was known for her powerhouse vocals in the style of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner.
She sang backup vocals with Beau Dixon’s band Slips & The High Fives and, from 2013 to 2014, was the lead vocalist in the band Little Fire along with Dave Tough on guitar, Aaron Cavon on bass, and Brandon Root on drums.
More recently, she performed with local musicians including the Weber Brothers, Rob Phillips, Pat Temple and the Hilo Players, and others.
VIDEO: “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James performed by Charlie Earle
Earle had recently formed a new “modwave” band called Nudge, with Erika Nininger, Will Dobbin, Rick Sloukji, and Brandon Root.
She was also an artist, who painted in acrylic.
Her work was featured publicly for the first time on March 1st this year during “Celebrating Black Arts Vol II”, a First Friday Art Crawl event at the Historic Red Dog for Black History Month.
As word spread on social media of Earle’s death, her friends and fellow musicians expressed their shock and sorrow.
Here are a few samples of public posts on Facebook, including this moving tribute by The Weber Brothers:
You ever look at a diamond? Seen it’s brilliance radiate within and rush outward, dazzling and hypnotizing the eye?…
I am devastated and still a bit stunned that we lost Charlie Earle (Maine), a funny and kind person and a fantastic…
My heart broke today. I don't have the right words but so, so much love. And too many conversations, plans and schemes. There was so much music left to make. Let people know you love them always. Always.
Peterborough lost a good one. My love to all grieving. My phone is on, my door is open. Hold your people close. Go to the angels, Chuck. 💔
Still in shock over the tragic passing of Charlie Earle. She will be deeply missed by many in our community. She was an…