Tom Charchuk has lived in and around Leduc, Alberta Canada most of his life and is an accomplished singer-songwriter who has performed successfully as a rock artist and country artist. Charchuk learned to play the bass guitar at an early age and as the years went by, he was able to learn from those he listened to, took music lessons and perfected his unique vocal styling. His music has been released in various recorded compilations and is on rotation on the 365 Radio Network.
Charchuk’s single “Why Are You A Storm” has also been selected for American Bandstand radio broadcast, better giving you the measure of the artist. But to better understand Tom, we need to go back to his “Pushing My Life” Ep, from where we’ll find the track “Pushed My Life”. Charchuk was confident and bold enough to release two versions of this song – a Country one and a Rock version – on the same Ep! Again, this gives us the measure of the artist.
What I like so much, is the maturity of the music (and usually the message). By this I mean it’s not the usual Top 40 fare. Don’t get me wrong, they have some fun stuff to listen to also. It’s just that Tom Charchuk has sophisticated rhythms and harmonies that go beyond the pop radio favorites. “Pushed My Life” (the rock version), being a prime example.
Lyrically, the track plays out like a sharpened double-edged blade, one moment it’s a celebration of surviving alone: “Since you had left me, I’ve gotten better, minded my heart and threw away all your letters…”, continuing into the chorus: “Pushed my life, don’t have a strife. Pushed my life, made success my friend. It always loves me, it never pretends…”
Then suddenly it becomes an aching ode to a lost love: “look at all I have, but I still miss you, lots of money but love’s overdue. Days are cruel, the way they remind, how long you’re gone, no longer mine…”
What transpires to me the listener, is that within the context of the song, Tom’s protagonist is at the crossroads, in a dilemma, but he’s strong and determined to make it on his own…maybe! Either way, the track is filled with intensely personal points of view from the many faceted Charchuk and, personally, I like what I hear.
I hear a songwriter who has found a way to balance his outlook on life and he does it in a way that doesn’t sugarcoat the happiness or exaggerate the sorrow, but rather shows his deep understanding and appreciation for it. We can all learn something from that. There are several examples of this on his album – like “Waiting For Work” or “Why Are You A Storm?”
I remember a fantastic line from a Don Henley (The Eagles) song, which reads something like: “Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.” Like Henley, I am too am convinced that we truly learn so much from what we leave behind, for one reason or another. I think “Pushed My Life” proves that it’s exactly what Tom Charchuk has managed to do!