Revered for his role in the birth of the electronic music scene in the Baltimore/ Washington DC area, Charles Feelgood (born Charles Fields) has earned a stellar reputation as a top-flight DJ in the international dance music community through his ingenious mixing skills and dynamic brand of funky disco house.
Feelgood grew up listening to Motown, disco and funk: genres that have all heavily influenced his personal style as an artist. “I used to stay up late listening to my dad play records and decided that was what I wanted to do,” he says. Listening to 70s dance music and later to 80s industrial music, Feelgood began purchasing 12 records while still in high school. His first foray into the world of dance music was in the late ’80s, throwing small-scale parties under the name “House of Fields.”
An integral part of the Baltimore/DC style since day one, the Baltimore native is often credited with putting his local scene on the house music map. Influenced by everyone from the Basement Boys and Wayne Davis to bands including Erasure, Style Council, Pet Shop Boys, and Squeeze, Feelgood joined forces in 1992 with another major musical influence, fellow DJ Scott Henry. The duo launched Fever, a club event that introduced the sounds of electronic music to the city. The first event of its kind in Baltimore/DC region, the night exploded in popularity almost immediately, attracting upwards of 2500 people per event. Featuring such top-notch, internationally renowned stars as Paul Van Dyk and Carl Cox, the biweekly event successfully ran until May of 2001.
Maintaining a seven-year residency at Fever helped springboard Feelgood’s eminently danceable brand of bangin’ house to widespread acclaim throughout the country. His popularity quickly grew, thanks in part to his legendary series of mixed tapes, “Time to Get Ill,” showcasing his sets with Scott Henry at Fever. My side was housey and Scotts was always a kind of funky techno or progressive house. We did ten volumes to this day I dont think I have all the releases, Feelgood notes. On the heels of his residency and successful mix tape series, Feelgood developed a heavy touring schedule that regularly took him to famed clubs such as Sound Factory, Spundae, Shampoo, and Crobar, along with numerous other venues throughout Europe, Asia and South America.
Constantly in demand all over the world for his ability to light up dance floors with his disco-flavored sets of funk-drenched house, Feelgood has received numerous accolades in his fourteen-year career. These include being named Baltimore’s Best DJ, and
inclusion in the top 40 of BPM Magazine’s 2002 Top 50 DJ List. Adored by so many, the man who loves cars and thrift stores cant help but beam, I love my job.
According to Feelgood, the secret to a great mix CD is recreating the club experience on vinyl. Acclaimed for his ability to seamlessly transition between club and rave atmospheres, Feelgood notes “I definitely try and take the listeners on a musical journey – I like to start out slow and funky and push for a harder ending, a continuous rise.” “I’m far from a purist,” he adds. “I incorporate many styles into a single set. I play everything from disco-influenced house to a cappella tracks and tech house, and I especially love bootlegs.” But despite the immense popularity and critical acclaim his mixed CDs have received, he still prefers to produce original records for the artistic freedom it allows.
Feelgoods new CD, Across America: Six Eleven DJ Mix Series V.5 boasts two of his own original tracks I Feel Good, with Scotty Clausen, and Altitude. Across America, a very housey mix that is a bit funkier than past releases, includes a number of Latin tracks and a lot of horns. With funky as hell tracks such as Taka Boom featuring Chaka Khans Groove Like That and what Feelgood calls insane basslines, Across America is a release that Feelgood hopes will reach the people who have given up on the scene to get them interested and listening again.
The consummate dance floor rocker, Feelgood sums up his musical mission in one sentence: “I just want what the name implies, to make people have a good time and go home with a great feeling.”