returning champions

We're back. Yep. It's like we never left. Your returning champions, Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express return to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival this year. Also some other shows coming up on the horizon, but we're off the road for now. And honestly, I'm feeling a little lost. I pick up my phone to make sure I know what time it is. Don't want to be late.

But late for what?

What to do with all this free time? Maybe I'll start walking more. You know, unplug. Get some fresh air. Walk around the 'hood and peek into those street-level apartments with the big HDTVs and try to figure out what they're watching. Or maybe ring their buzzer and offer to watch with them. "I brought my own snacks. Is this Stranger Things? I've heard a lot about this show."

Fun aside, word to those of you making the trek to San Francisco for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. If you find yourself missing the Great Indoors, we can help. Friday and Saturday night we're doing early shows at the Make Out Room in the Mission. After sitting on a blanket all day, you know you'd rather be indoors after dark. In a 21-and-over club, with mood lighting, a swirling glass ball hanging from the ceiling, and red décor. Time to give that floppy hat a rest until the sun comes up again.

All this free time? Yeah, right. Things are frantic as ever. The Temple Beautiful Musical is facing all kinds of twists and turns in the road. And I've been in the studio working on a new record. Trying to get some new songs to behave.

And I still found time to listen to all 11 shows of Elvis's Live 1969 11-CD set, which Allison Hussey at Pitchfork incidentally gave a measly 6.1 and said that "listening to all of Live 1969 is a ridiculous thing to do." I don't feel ridiculous. Is it just me, but does Pitchfork's poor Allison need to get a personality or what? Help her, Lord. And people have said to me, "Chuck, it's 11 CDs. It's a little overwhelming." To which I say people justify the stupidest things. Guys, it's her profession. It's not like your aunt who got overwhelmed at the Louvre. And it's not like she had to listen to Pearl Jam or anything. . . . That review is an abortion! (insert shaking fist GIF here).

Oh, and if that's not enough, check out the newly released Elvis recording The American Sound Studios Sessions 1969. I'm listening to take 20 of "In the Ghetto" right now and I feel like I'm right there. Like I'm watching the forefathers write the Declaration of Independence.

Oh, and another thing. File under: "They gave the dude a beeper." Yessir, they gave me a radio show on the Gimme Country Network. I'm spinning lots of 50s, 60s country. Nashville cats, Wrecking Crew side streets, yodeling cowgirls, honky-tonkers, Georgia swampers, truckers, rockabilly cats and kittens, and more. You name it. All that stuff, that funk, that sweet, that funky stuff (Say what).





PS: If you enjoy this newsletter, consider cruising over to our on-line store. Along with CD's, T shirts and the like, we have a new shipment of Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins vinyl. Plus ¡LFR! and Night Surfer.

Check it out:

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express:

/ The Mission Express:

Stephie Finch: (singing, piano, guitar)




Chuck Prophet Solo:




Chuck Prophet Solo - with Dave Alvin:



Thanks for being here. It beats going around from city to city with a staple-gun hanging posters all over the place. And it's better for the planet too.

We've got tour dates all over creation with the Mighty Mission Express starting today at the Huichica Music Festival in Sonoma, CA. I'll get to those in a hot minute.

But first, in other news...


Over the past months I produced a new RUBINOOS [rhymes with two canoes] LP "FROM HOME" for Yep Roc Records. I probably saw the Rubinoos like 20 times in high school. Although I'm not a power pop bubblegum nerd or whatever, I loved how they were true to their school. Be it Spaghetti Western soundtrack music or the Archies, The Beach Boys, The DeFranco Family, or the Jackson 5, they knew what they loved. And wore it on their sleeves. Rubinoos AF.

After those first couple LP's, The Rubinoos took the hero's journey and it wasn't all glorious. Sure they opened 56 shows for Elvis Costello during the Armed Forces tour. Appeared on American Bandstand. Made the pages of Tiger Beat. But before too long Tommy and Jon moved to LA, and Donno and Al took other gigs.

Jon went on to appear as the Doo Wop singing/pizza delivery boy on a number of Sitcoms. Tommy eventually got a Tux and the Real Fake Book and played his share of society gigs. Tommy and Jon did ghost vocal sessions with Kim Fowley for drag queen records. [Or "Fowl Kimley" as Jon calls him.] There were new records with session drummers. Along the way they sang the demo for the Revenge of the Nerds theme song and it was so good ended up in the movie which just further confused people.

But now they're back. Getting all the original guys back together to make this new record was a big deal to me.

And you can read about this new record and hear the premiere and watch the video for their new single "Do You Remember" over at Billboard Magazine. Bring Pop back to the common man!


Or jump straight to this video starring Salvadoran dancing sensation Aranivah.



Be with us on June 29th at The City Winery NYC to celebrate beloved New York icon Garland Jeffrey, who is doing his last shows. The sexiest man in Scandinavia! The poet laureate of Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn! is retiring from the stage. Stephie and I will be guesting on a song or two. Also on the bill, David Johansen and more. Some tickets still left for the early show. What can I tell you about our old friend Garland? (People get a kick out of hearing he was Lou Reed's college roommate. Who swept the floor? With who?)


Oh, and another thing. File under: "They gave the Dude a beeper". Yessir, they gave me a radio show on the Gimme Country Network. I'm spinning lots of 50's, 60's country. Nashville cats, Wrecking Crew side streets, yodeling cowboys, honky-tonkers, swampers, truckers, rockabilly cats and more. You name it. All that stuff, that funk, that sweet, that funky stuff [Say what].




GIGSVILLE: Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express:

6/7/2019 Sonoma CA Huichica Music Festival

7/12/2019 St. Louis MO Off Broadway

7/13/2019 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Saloon

7/14/2019 Omaha NE The Sunday Roadhouse Presents

7/16/2019 Fort Wayne IN Welch's Ale House

7/18/2019 Ferndale MI The Magic Bag

7/19/2019 Chicago IL City Winery-Chicago


Still don't understand Bitcoin? We've got you covered. Ever wonder what became of that shrink who sorted Metallica out? We're on it. Want to know if the Temple Beautiful Musical is really happening? You've come to the right place.

After last month's newsletter, I've been getting e-mails from folks who are like, "Am I to understand this correctly? You're putting on a Temple Beautiful Musical?" Sort of, and sort of yes, and yessiree, and yes ma'am, and just plain yes, and hell yes too. Newsflash: You heard it here: In late August, Temple Beautiful: The Musical will be mounted(!) at the Alcazar Theatre in S.F. for three-count-em-three performances, before we take Manhattan and Berlin (figuratively speaking) in 2020.

Meanwhile, I've been watching a lot of these Masterclasses online. Hoping to hone some new skills. I mean, I've only been watching 30 seconds or so of each of them. [I'm on a budget!] Some of them are pretty great. Ron Howard? Yes. David Mamet? Very intense. And Santana is right on the money. It's easy to get cynical about Guitar Center noodlers and that whole crowd but when Carlos applies his `wisdom of the centuries' and describes guitar playing as "bringing light into the darkness," I'm not going to lie, I buy it. He's also a big believer in guitar face: "The ugliest face creates the most beautiful note." And: "If you don't stand like that, it ain't gonna sound like that." After those pearls, I can't imagine anyone asking for their money back.

I love it.

Then again, as Jim Dickinson use to say: "The best records never get recorded." And so the Masterclasses I want to watch will never get made. I wish GG Allin had lived long enough to do one. Or Malcolm McLaren. How about Iggy? I'd like him to help me with my golf swing.

We at CP and the Mission Express would be happy to entertain offers for a Masterclass pilot. Cooking in your room. How to load that van. Kevin T. White may or may not be willing to divulge his trade secrets for the right way to load. [And yes there is a right way, just ask Kevin T.]

Or imagine Lou Reed teaching jazz guitar. Dropping names like Ornette Coleman with total conviction. And then playing some ham-fisted barre chord. I'd watch it. Speaking of Lou (who is huge around here, so don't get up in my grill and send me emails about under-appreciated geniuses, okay?], the producer Roger Moutenot told me that once while recording Lou, after the umpteenth attempt at a simple overdub on guitar, Lou just collapsed, hung his head and said, "Can you believe they give me money to do this sh*t?"

Okay, enough filibustering from me. And yeah, I hear you Lou. I often ask myself the same question. Come out and see for yourself. There's gigs and more gigs listed below.



PS: More on the musical here:

PPS: Here's Carlos Santana's Masterclass:



Chuck Prophet SOLO:

5/13/2019 Baltimore MD Function Gallery (An Evening With)

5/14/2019 Washington DC Pearl Street Warehouse

5/15/2019 Harrisburg PA Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center

5/17/2019 Northampton MA The Parlor Room Workman Song to support

5/18/2019 Cambridge MA Atwood's Tavern Jay Walsh to support

5/19/2019 Pawling NY Daryl's House

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express:

5/24/2019 Central City CO Grand Z Casino Hotel

5/25/2019 Central City CO Grand Z Casino Hotel

5/26/2019 Colorado Springs CO MeadowGrass Music Festival

6/7/2019 Sonoma CA Huichica Music Festival

7/12/2019 St. Louis MO Off Broadway

7/13/2019 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Saloon

7/14/2019 Omaha NE The Sunday Roadhouse Presents

7/16/2019 Fort Wayne IN Welch's Ale House

7/18/2019 Ferndale MI The Magic Bag

7/19/2019 Chicago IL City Winery-Chicago

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Old Friends (LYRICS)

What Makes the Money Dance? (LYRICS)

Summertime Thing (LYRICS)

That’s How Much I Need Your Love (LYRICS)

Elouise (LYRICS)


Tue Nov 12 Armando’
Martinez, CA
Wed Nov 13 Tales from The Tavern
Santa Ynez, CA
Thu Nov 14 Kim Maxwell Studio
Ojai, CA
Fri Nov 15 McCabe’s
Santa Monica, CA
Sat Nov 16 Ruth B. Shannon Center for Performing Arts
Whittier, CA