Chuck Lichtenberger is a musical iceberg. At first listen, it is easy to note that his formal education in Jazz and music theory have trained his hands and ears. But underneath the surface, Lichtenberger is so much more than just a highly skilled piano player.
Years of studying music and performing with some true pioneers of the Western North Carolina art scene have seasoned Chuck with a dynamic array of skills and passions. While Jazz music will always be one of his great loves, one might be surprised to find Chuck shifting between metal, rock and pop on any given day. His diverse sonic interests are evident in his original compositions, and provide for a multi-layered listening experience that is both uniquely complex and universally compelling.
After a fifteen year stretch playing keyboard for nationally acclaimed band, Stephaniesid, the three piece group laid the project to rest. One final performance in Asheville, North Carolina’s prestigious Diana Wortham Theatre marked the end of an era. As the musicians parted ways, each began a new journey, but Lichtenberger’s mind had been on a trip of its own, since long before the band’s dismantle.
Having dealt with anxiety since a child, Chuck is all too familiar with the dark corners of his subconscious. Right now, he is learning to be open, honest with himself, and to take things day by day. His pilgrimage toward healing is at the center of his new album, "This is What Happens When..."
Songs of his childhood, trauma, and battles with mental health could easily make this record too heavy, and at times uncomfortable to hear. But Lichtenberger’s refreshing arrangements and humorous undertones provide the perfect contrast to the poignant lyrical material. Although the album could be simply classified under the genre of rock, elements of old-school hip hop are woven throughout, making this project a truly new Chuck Lichtenberger endeavor. Produced by renowned multi-instrumentalist and long time friend, Jonathan Scales, and recorded between his home studio and Echo Mountain in downtown Asheville, this album has a powerhouse team of engineers and advisors beneath it. But it is the experience of Lichtenberger, the depths of his story, and the unending hope to seek peace within that make this record so worthy of hearing.
Chuck Lichtenberger is a pianist, composer and teacher. But most importantly, he is a human that is simply learning how to be. And it is this honest confession of not knowing that sets him so far from the rest.
“This is What Happens When” is available now.