"There can't be many singers who make a new album and celebrate their 65th birthday at the same time," said the star, who will be back in the Grand Opera House in Belfast on November 19 and 20.
And on the day the Rosette label released Charlie's latest LP, The Storyteller, he went on a train ride from Preston to Birkenhead where he lives after flashing that pass.
"It was the first and only time I used it and I was a wee bit nervous," he admitted. "And one passenger did recognise me and asked if I was going to serenade her. I had to explain I'd been leaving my car in a garage for servicing and was using the train while it was off the road. Anyway, I did give her and the other folk a song."
The Storyteller is a collection of his songs, old and new, each track with an introduction in which Charlie explains why he wrote it.
And he rubbished stories about his poor health.
"I'm as fit as a fiddle and working out in the gym with weights twice a week," he explained.