NEWS

“Live like you want to live!” - Chuck Berry

We've got a ton of shows to announce. See below. We'll be here, there, and everywhere, while The Mission Express is at the top of their game. Or anyone's game. More dates coming in all the time. As always, up-the-minute details here: http://chuckprophet.com/gigs/

Had dinner the other night with our old co-conspirator Roly Salley. When he was 18, Roly once backed up Chuck Berry. When he asked if they were gonna rehearse, Chuck said, "You've been rehearsing your whole life for this, son."

Oh man. If Chuck Berry was in a deck of cards he'd be the Joker. The ultimate wildcard. I thought he would bury us all. When we learned that he died we were setting up our gear along with the Bottle Rockets in Milwaukee at Shank Hall. We all immediately started jamming on Chuck. Worked up a song together for the encore. As we were playing our set I kept a running tab. Every time I quoted Chuck Berry I made a mental note. Then I lost track. He's the ultimate 200 proof singer/songwriter. Chuck was always there. And now he's gone. Gone like a cool breeze.

A couple years ago I actually played with Chuck after a fashion at the American Masters tribute in Cleveland - probably wrote about it in this newsletter. I took the photo linked here. It's Chuck in the wings of very same concert. His minder (a kind of strange grey-bearded little hippy dude in a tie-dye shirt and suspenders) pulled him offstage after the allotted 3 songs as per his contract. But Chuck had a wireless rig on his guitar and plopped down into a chair and kept jamming along off stage. LOUDLY. IN ANOTHER KEY! It was awesome. I was standing there frozen, then for once had the presence of mind to snap this shot:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR043kGA43K/?taken-by=chuckprophet

He was fun. He was dangerous. Was he political? We know he wasn't thrilled about paying taxes. We know is he lived a full uninhibited life. And left a mess of great songs behind. I've got him on the hi-fi now.

And while we're at it, let's hear it for PBS for playing that Hail Hail Rock and Roll film on repeat during all their Pledge Drives in the 90's.

IN OTHER NEWS: While I've got your attention, we've got a new video I want to tell you about directed by my man Nesto. It's for "Your Skin" off the new record Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWMwDE1f8Fo Billboard says its: "like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom meets Office Space meets Rosemary's Baby." And they should know. I asked Nesto the director to try to explain the video. He writes:

"What does it mean to be out of place? Or maybe better, what does it mean to be stuck in a place when time finally catches up to sweep you out? Like Bobby Fuller, a greaser lost among the hippies in San Fransisco, our protagonist is a career man in a a world of unknowns and creeping dread — on the job where only the youngest, boldest and most confident survive."

It's a long story. And just because I'm telling you this story, it doesn't mean I'm alive at the end of it. This is the internet. This could all be pre-recorded/queued up and I could be talking to you from the bottom of the ocean or from inside a dumpster in Burbank.

Okay, I've got to check out.

"Live like you want to live!" - Chuck Berry

Words to live by.

See you there,

-CP

PS: Speaking of the Bottle Rockets. We had obscene amounts of fun. It was like playing with Creedence every night. Straight up. No lacy bullshit. One killer song after another. The whole run was a joyride. Please dudes, let's do it again.

US DATES:

4/13/2017 - Los Angeles, CA - Grammy Museum LA w/The Mission Express

4/15/2017 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall w/The Mission Express

5/4/2017 - Boulder, CO - eTown

5/11/2017 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern w/The Mission Express

5/12/2017 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge w/The Mission Express

5/13/2017 - Eugene, OR - Sam Bond's Garage w/The Mission Express

5/20/2017 - Big Sur, CA - Motherhips Festival Hipnic with too many cool bands to list w/The Mission Express

6/3/2017 - Grants Pass, OR - Private

6/6/2017 - Salt Lake City, UT - The State Room w/The Mission Express

6/7/2017 - Denver,CO - Globe Hall w/The Mission Express

6/9/2017 - Kansas City, MO - Knucklehead Saloon w/The Mission Express

6/10/2017 - St. Louis, MO - Twangfest w/The Mission Express and too many others to list

6/11/2017 - Clayton, MO - Private

6/14/2017 - Northampton, MA - The Parlor Room - Solo gig w/strings

6/15/2017 - Cambridge, MA - Lizard Lounge - Solo gig w/strings

6/16/2017 - Hunter, NY - Mountain Jam Festival - Solo

6/17/2017 - Fall River, MA - Narrows Center for the Arts - solo gig w/Alejandro

OVER THERE:

7/24/2017 - Sheffield, UK - Leadmill w/The Mission Express

7/25/2017 - Birmingham, UK - Hare & Hounds w/The Mission Express

7/26/2017 - Belfast, NIR - Errigle Inn w/The Mission Express

7/27/2017 - Dublin, IRL - Whelan's w/The Mission Express

7/28/2017 - Kilkenny, IRL - Set Theatre w/The Mission Express

BACK IN THE USA:

8/5/2017 - Arnolds Park, IA - Summer Concert Series w/The Mission Express

like riding shotgun down some mythic highway

"Prophet's new album feels like riding shotgun down some mythic highway with a rock true believer." – NPR, First Listen

"The excellent songs keep coming." – Los Angeles Times

"Bobby Fuller may have died for your sins, but Chuck Prophet is freakin' god!" - Jim Caligiuri, The Austin Chronicle

"A fresh, full-color take on the darker side of all things Golden State." – NPR, Heavy Rotation

"He's a throwback who believes two guitars, bass, drums and a sense of humor make for great music, and he's right." – Associated Press

"He has recorded over a dozen solo albums that just keep getting better." – NPR, World Cafe

"The music attests to the enduring resilience of rock-and-roll itself." – Philadelphia Inquirer

"Memorable melodies, exuberant playing, detailed lyrics and unflinching honesty...yet another example of not just Prophet's love of rock and roll, but an ability to create it with the spirit and intensity of the best." – American Songwriter

"Prophet's voice has grown richer with time and his melodies sharper." – San Francisco Chronicle

"If you're as moved by music as Chuck Prophet, you'll want to listen to his new album."– KEXP

"He calls this collection of tunes 'California Noir,' and the album delivers on that promise with songs that explore the deteriorating American dream and all its faded glory." – Magnet

"Smart, honest and thoughtful...Prophet has rarely been better as a vocalist, finding the right tone on every track." – AllMusic

"When Chuck Prophet releases a new album, it's never a bad year for rock and roll." – No Depression

"Prophet's Ray Davies-like vocals merge with the blistering chops of the Mission Express to create a rousing, thought-provoking mélange of the highs and lows of society." – Elmore

"Chuck Prophet is a big time rock and roll star in a country that has forgotten that it needs big time rock and roll stars." – PopMatters

"What could be sad reflections becomes deliverance by the power, emotion and release of rock 'n' roll." – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Prophet has an effortless feel for pop music's power, fun and grace." – Lexington Herald-Leader

"There is morbidity in 'Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins,' but to hear Prophet tell it, it sounds like a blast." – Glide Magazine

"Chuck Prophet continues his creative roll." – The Guardian

"Hovering somewhere between the lyrical directness of Jonathan Richman and the West Coast energy of Tom Petty." – Uncut

"Prophet brings heft, heart, and honesty to songs with dynamic melodies and lyrical depth." – The Daily Country

"A reminder of how potent straightforward melodic pop/rock can be. That is not, in any way, meant to suggest that this is simple music; the themes on Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins are deep." – The Record Collector

Checking in from the road.

Checking in from the road. As I'm banging this out we're heading from Zurich to Vienna. A nice leisurely 8 ½- or 9-hour drive. The Alps outside the window. Chocolate wrappers strewn about my feet. Me and the Mission Express and young Max Gomez are at the end of a month-long tour. Making our way to Prague where after one last gig, we'll be flying back home. Just in time to dust ourselves off and start a U.S. tour in Austin on March 10th and 11th at our home away from home, the Continental Club. We'll be doing three shows there during the SXSW Film Festival. Early shows. Late shows. Special guests. All of it. One show Friday. Two shows Saturday. Check the listings.

ALSO: We just added a San Francisco show at the Great American Music Hall on April 15.

Anyway, the drives are getting a little more challenging out this way. Things are more spread out on the continent. It's enough to make me miss the Angry Island where the drives were a leisurely 4, 5, or 6 hours . . .

We've been touring the UK or "Angry Island" for a dog's life in years now. This last go-round was a real blast. The fact that people still come out to listen to loud music standing on a sticky black floor? Pretty cool. So yeah, we love you. All of you. Don't really KNOW you. But you came out and threw down the dosh and so we love you for that.

The UK holds a special place in our hearts. In light of it all, I've been trying to sell Stephie on the concept of moving there. Maybe open a pub. We'll have a dartboard, beer and tea. And instant coffee. (Instant coffee is so next wave!) And there will always be footy on the telly. What do you say Stephie? Let's adopt a puppy and enter the next chapter of our lives. Is that something you'd be interested in?

Who am I fooling? She doesn't read this newsletter.

I do have a couple serious things I want to share: Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins is out. (Humble brag alert!) And it's tearing up the charts. (Do you think I'm messing with you? I am not messing with you.) It's #123 on the Billboard Hot 200. People are excited about the record. And it feels good. I don't recall ever being on the Billboard charts. Except Green On Red's No Free Lunch might have grazed the top 200 back in 1986 or so? But how can I be certain? About anything? I'm not quite ready to call my mom and ask her what color she wants her yacht, but it's still pretty cool. You can't see me, but my head is swelling up pretty good. It's not fat. But it's getting there. I don't DESERVE it. But I'll take it. I'm too tired to argue.

In other news: Right now, if it was my style I'd be tempted to say: "Stop what you're doing and watch this." Or "YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS." Both of which are things I never say because I recoil when I'm on the receiving end of either.

But on the other hand, this riveting doc on refugees produced by PBS's Frontline is stunningly ugly and beautiful at once. You should watch it. There. I said it. Exodus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRs5BuvfI0M

The documentary should be on other end of that link, but if the YouTube version often gets yanked down just google "PBS Frontline Exodus".

Imagine your house is on fire. Okay, now what are you gonna do?

GET. THE. FECK. OUT. That's what.

To tell someone they can't do that is like telling someone not to breathe. Pretty simple.

The refugees followed in this film? Heroes. This is not a life you choose. Pray it doesn't choose you. It's something that happens TO you.

Over a million people smuggled themselves into Europe last year. They're still coming in droves. Oftentimes it's kids. Minors. Unaccompanied. Or as one refugee said, "One day you're running a falafel shop. And the next day . . ." Watching these harrowing journeys people take just to have a shot at a life. A life. ANY kind of life. People leave their families. And then trek across continents. More often than not on foot. Cross the ocean in a dingy. It's brutal. But it's inspiring to see such human spirit up close. And because cell phones have these little video cameras, it really does not get any more up close.

Dreaming of a better life. Surviving. At sea. On land. To have no compassion for these refugees would be pretty hard. This is difficult to watch. But probably harder to look away. All that struggle only to end up in a squalid camp known as "The Jungle" in Calais, France, sleeping on cardboard, clutching a knife for protection. Trapped in a No Man's Land with no way out. Calais, itself a port of entry to the UK that I've breezed in and out of probably 100 times. . . . Sitting in disease. Waiting themselves sick.

This doc is a dystopian grand tour. Especially in a world where news is hard to find. The film-makers really stick it out with these refugees. I learned a lot.

US DATES:

3/10/17 – Austin, TX – Continental Club

3/11/17 – Austin, TX – Continental Club

3/12/17 – Dallas, TX – Sundown at Granada

3/14/17 – Omaha, NE – The Sunday Roadhouse Presents

3/15/17 – St. Paul, MN – The Turf Club

3/16/17 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon w/ The Bottle Rockets

3/17/17 – Chicago – Old School of Folk w/ The Bottle Rockets

3/18/17 – Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall w/ The Bottle Rockets

3/19/17 – Fort Wayne, IN – The B-Side at One Lucky Guitar

3/21/17 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern

3/22/17 – Buffalo, NY – Sportsmen's Tavern

3/23/17 – Worthington, OH – Natalie's SOLD OUT

3/24/17 – Newport, KY – The Southgate House Revival

3/25/17 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom

3/26/17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Café

3/28/17 – Washington, DC – The Hamilton Live w/ The Bottle Rockets

3/29/17 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom w/ The Bottle Rockets

3/30/17 – Philadelphia, PA – World Café Live w/ The Bottle Rockets

3/31/17 – Hudson, NY – Club Helsinki w/ The Bottle Rockets

4/1/17 – Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall w/ The Bottle Rockets

4/15/17 - San Francisco, CA- Great American Music Hall

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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)

GIGSVILLEmore »

Sun Nov 19 Belle Angele
Edinburgh, UK
Mon Nov 20 Clwb Ifor Bach
Cardiff, UK
Tue Nov 21 La Boule Noire
Paris, France
Wed Dec 06 Coffeehouse Live at St. Andrew’s
Houston, TX
Fri Dec 08 Continental Club
Austin, TX

BOARD

  • The Venue ULU London

    "What a gig !!!! My sixth time of seeing Chuck

  • Saturday night in Alicante

    "Thank you for the show Stephanie, Chuck, James,

  • Leaving us hangin dry huh?!

    "Dude, the Swedish gigs?

  • Red River

    "Caught Chuck at the music festival in Red River

  • T-Shirts

    "I'd love to buy a t-shirt, but they are