Charles Stokes Urmston, better known as Chadwick Stokes, is a Boston-based singer/songwriter who found success in the late '90s and 2000s as the singer and guitarist for the groups Dispatch and State Radio.
A lifelong Boston native, he is also known for his activism and humanitarian efforts and was honored in 2008 at the Boston Music Awards as Humanitarian of the Year. While attending Middlebury College in the mid-'90s, Stokes formed the indie/roots group Dispatch along with bassist Pete Francis Heimbold and drummer Brad Corrigan. Musically diverse and with a penchant for extended improvisations, Dispatch toured constantly, and their grassroots climb to success was aided by early peer-to-peer file-sharing networks like Napster and LimeWire. By the time they began their 2002 hiatus, they had released four albums and become a major concert draw, all without the assistance of a label. Following Dispatch's massively successful final concert in 2004, Stokes formed another trio called State Radio, whose politically and socially charged songs blended bits of punk, rock, and reggae. Beginning with 2006's Us Against the Crown, the prolific group released two more LPs as well as a handful of EPs and live albums before Stokes made his first solo effort in 2009 with Live at the Brattle Theater. Upon signing with Nettwerk Records, he made his solo studio debut in 2011 with Simmerkane II, though he continued to record and tour with both State Radio and Dispatch, who reunited briefly in 2007 and then again in 2011. Following a series of intimate living-room concerts, Stokes worked with producer Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) to record his second solo album, 2015's The Horse Comanche, for Ruff Shod Records. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi