(aka Vrtacek)

guitar and
other stringed





Email Chuck


Charles O'Meara was born on Friday, March 13th, (really) and doesn’t consider himself unlucky at all.  His early musical experiences include making the family’s wind-up 78 rpm phonograph speed up and slow down and reaching inside the family piano and plucking and strumming the strings. From there he graduated to demolishing an old snare drum he found in the attic.  He eventually took drum lessons at age nine and switched to guitar at age eleven.


At age 16 he taught himself to play the mandolin in order to learn jigs, reels, hornpipes and set dances from a ceili album called "Dublin Dance Date."  O'Meara has a quiet side that has resulted in a series of solo albums released under the name C.W. Vrtacek .  He has also recorded collaborations with Biota that are quiet, moody, melodic and ethereal, drawing comparrisons to Brian Eno and Erik Satie."

"I have always listened to just about anything.  And I do mean everything.  You know that horrible, corny instrumental stuff they play in elevators and the dentist's office?  Well in addition to rock, folk, jazz, blues, ska, punk, avant garde, classical, Irish music and more I actually paid attention to that stuff.  I loved the hymn singing in church, the soundtracks to cartoons, the sounds of pinball machines, fife and drum corps, you name it.  The only music I can't stomach is blatantly commercial crap like...well, you know.  I won't name names."

O'Meara lost one third of his left index finger in an accident in 1999.  It might have stopped him from playing - but it didn't.  "About twenty minutes after the accident, on the way to the hospital, I realized that I was at an undeniable fork in the road: become completely dedicated to the guitar or quit altogether.  And the latter wasn't an option."  Shortly after the accident he immersed himself in learning about the history, construction and theory involved in playing, building and repairing guitars.  "I wanted to know everything.  I became a guitar nerd, learning the histories of various companies, model names of obscure instruments, collecting guitars, studying jazz and theory more than I ever had and so on.  I can't say that my playing really improved dramtically, but it certainly made me a more dedicated and committed player."  But the work paid off, of course.  "I remember Chuck coming into the studio and putting down a solo in one take, simply stating 'well I've been playing for forty years, if I can't do it right the first time something's wrong."

O'Meara also acts as an intuitive, wreckless and impulsive balance to John Roulat's thoughtful, controlled and perfectionist approach to music.  In addition to guitar, O'Meara also plays tenor banjo, Irish bouzouki and "a bit of bodhran when it's called for."