Podcast: Charlie Fittler grew up listening to Slim Dusty and loves the old-school country music sound

Charlie Fittler developed his love of country music growing up on the family property near Armidale.

Charlie Fittler developed his love of country music growing up on the family property near Armidale.

When he's not on stage performing his country hits, you're likely to find Charlie Fittler on his family property breaking in horses.

Fittler plays polocrosse and has won best horse and rider at a polocrosse Queensland carnival.

Combining that interest with his budding music career, while completing the HSC at the end of last year, made for a busy time for the 18-year-old. But he wouldn't have had it any other way.

Born and raised just outside Armidale in the New England area of NSW, Fittler developed an early love of music through his family.

His dad, in particular, loved listening to country, especially Slim Dusty, while Fittler junior soon grew to know all the songs of John Williamson and Lee Kernaghan.

  • Hear Charlie Fittler and some of his music in our new podcast. If you already have Spotify on your phone and are reading this on your mobile, click on the banner below. Otherwise, download the Spotify app on your phone and search for Celebrating Aussie Country. For more instructions, click here.

Fittler's mum was musical too; a singer, but not necessarily a country fan.

The Fittler children attended the New England Conservatorium of Music. It was Charlie who aspired to the country music stage and, aged about 8, picked up a guitar and started lessons with renowned guitarist Stephen Tafra.

"When I was about 12 years old, I started doing open mic here in Armidale," Fittler says.

"And the guys that were running it [the open mic music competition] were really supportive and they sent me to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, where I did a bit of busking.

"I was only very young but that's when country music really got into me."

Despite his youth, Fittler describes himself as "old-school country" with a touch of bluegrass.

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Three years ago, Fittler took part in the Country Music Association of Australia's Academy of Country Music, where he had a session with Mikey Cole and got to play with Travis Collins.

"It was an awesome experience," he says. "I'm still in contact with a lot of those musicians, they're amazing, to say the least."

COVID has disrupted much of the past two years, including live gigs for which Fittler was booked. But out of the lockdowns came a creative phase.

After releasing his popular hit This Guitar Can't Drink a Beer, Fittler sat down with a mate, Steve Boom, and, via FaceTime, wrote his latest single Never Moved On, a song full of heart and hope.

Fittler had been looking forward to performing it live at this year's Tamworth Country Music Festival, until the event was postponed due to surging coronavirus cases. The festival has been rescheduled for April 18-24.

Listen: new country music podcast

To mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic Tamworth Country Music Festival, ACM (publisher of this website) created a new podcast, Celebrating Aussie Country.

The podcast was recorded and released before the recent surge in coronavirus cases that forced the festival's postponement. We are sure you'll still enjoy the interviews and the music. Just bear in mind any references to performance dates are no longer current.

In the 10-part series, available only on Spotify, you'll hear from established and emerging artists and their music.

To listen, you'll need to download the Spotify app on to your mobile phone and search for Celebrating Aussie Country. If you already have Spotify - and you're reading this story on your mobile - click on the banner below and your phone will take you direct to the podcast.

Each podcast episode includes an interview with the artist and some of their music. People with free Spotify subscriptions will hear a 30-second snippet of the song, while those with premium Spotify subscriptions can enjoy the full version.

This story Young country singer has an old-school country sound first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.