PRESS

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. Other tracks that stuck with me, were “Bad year for Rock and Roll, The left hand and the right hand, doubter out of Jesus” and the Bob Dylan cover “Abandoned Love”.

Chuck Prophet/Jesse Malin

Hen & Chicken – 17 September 2018

When this gig flashed up on my watching list, the juices really started to flow, I mean an essential part of the great Green on Red (Chuck Prophet) that I have vague recollections of catching way back in the day at the reading festival in 1989 when it returned, taken over by The Mean Fiddler group.

Add into the mix probably my favourite live artist at the moment Jesse Malin part of the superb D-Generation and more to the point an incredible live act on his own, electric or acoustic. Tickets were booked instantly,

But enough of the waffle, arriving at the venue I have to say, parking was a bit of a nightmare, be warned, (it's a venue I'm going to watch out for in the future) Hey Ho! The joys of driving everywhere!! Moving upstairs I did a bit of a double take, a seated gig? Hmm, and then we're into it with Jesse Malin and I have to say what a set, even though shortened to 50 mins, we had a sample from the new LP, scheduled for release mid 2019 (my little life, meet me at the end of the world) an awesome cover of the Pogues classic," If I should fall from grace with god", a great collection from the St Marks social LP-love it to Life, including all the way from Moscow and an absolutely blinding "Burning the Bowery" were I to say none of the audience remained sitting would be more than fair.

The songs from New York before the war just keep getting stronger and tonight we had "The year that I was born" and a track that stopped me cold "Turn up the mains". Without going track for track, we had his whole career represented, from The fine art of self destruction, through to the Outsiders with Glitter in the gutter getting a more than welcome representation.

With such an outstanding catalogue the music itself was always going to be top drawer, but what came across tonight was Jesse Malin the storyteller, if you get chance to catch this tour anywhere don't miss, but also what should also hit you is why isn't this guy huge!! I suppose a damning inditement on the malaise that the mainstream music world is currently investing it's time in.

Now you've probably guessed I'm a bit of a Jesse Malin fan and his set was my main reason for travelling over tonight, but I was 100% in the minority the audience were here to catch Chuck Prophet so strapping in, not really knowing what to expect from a solo Chuck I entered the set with an open mind.

Struggling with a virus I have to say what a set followed from Chuck, and what a vocalist Stephanie Finch is, a perfect foil from that swamp blues drawl, splitting vocal duties her voice very much came across with hints of early Marianne Faithful, that innocence embedded in pop sensibilities, while also giving a nod to that world weary Americana style. This was part of a series of Americana gigs being promoted by the Hen and Chicken after all.

As a singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet is faultless, but the track that caught me was a track by the McCoys from 1965, re-interpreted by David Bowie on the Hunky Dory LP-Sorrow, stripped down, slowed up and re-interpreted as an Americana classic. Other tracks that stuck with me, were "Bad year for Rock and Roll, The left hand and the right hand, doubter out of Jesus" and the Bob Dylan cover "Abandoned Love". Again what hits you are the stories between songs, holding the audience enthralled, these two have toured together for years, hit the same audiences and made the same connections and what came across to me was the link both had to a fledgling Ryan Adams and again the though flits across my mind, they should be standing alongside him on the much larger venues.

As an aside, I picked up a vinyl copy of Glitter in the Gutter, one I was missing and ended in a conversation with Jesse, and what a humble guy, wrapped up in music, grounded and focused.

[ LINK ]

by Nev Brooks. on October 25, 2018 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

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Tonight showed that you don’t need to plug in to be powerful, impassioned and marvellously entertaining.

Chuck Prophet Review – The Hen and Chicken

Chuck Prophet Review – The Hen and ChickenYou may of not given it much thought beyond seeing John Lydon on those butter ads, but tonight gave us an answer of sorts to what happens when Punks grow old. They keep their heart emblazoned on their sleeve, they still rally against the world and a certain orange leader. Both of tonight's acts have their roots buried deep in the (respectively) East and West coast US punk scene, at some point they strapped on an acoustic and found that they could be heard just as loudly and passionately.

Bringing full New Yawk charm was opener Jesse Malin. Now eight records deep into his solo career, his address book/guest credits reads like the who's who of east punk and rock. He's duetted with Springsteen, Billy Joe Armstrong, various Ramones, played everywhere from CGBGs to Madison Square garden. Tonight in a room of seated people, armed with a well used guitar and a trusted piano/guitar foil, Jesse gave us an set that stretched across his career from early tracks such as 'Wendy', 'Turn up the Mains' to new plays of tracks off his forthcoming Lucinda Williams produced album, due early next year.

Holding my hand up, this was possibly the seventh or eighth time I've seen Jesse, but the first in around four years. Tonight was no different, or any less captivating, from the first time I saw him support his close friend Ryan Adams.

His hour slot flew by, he told us tales of uber-vegans, and by the final track had the room on its feet, a rare case of support getting a welcome as large and warm as headliner.

Chuck Prophet sauntered on, dressed like Neil Young at the Ole Opry. His voice belied any illness, (we're later told he had to 'man up') its rich and deep tone sitting somewhere between Velvets Lou Reed and a plaintive Petty. When melded with his wife and keyboard/guitarist Stephanie Finch, they harvest the same brimstone as Johnny and Rosanne Cash once did. Covering Dylan's 'Abandoned Love' and took us to a place 1000's of miles way out west from a Monday night in Southville. Prophet has over thirty years of this under his belt, and he was nothing but the unhurried, punk troubadour as he clearly started to struggle, shrugging off unwanted feedback, and growing more pale as the set went on.

He still regaled us with playing Letterman with Green on Red, and his parent's anti climatic reaction. Or Jello Biafra on the front page of a San Fran newspaper. Then of four years spent on a barstool, before the elegant and demure Stephanie came and sat next to him. Tonight she was the secret weapon. Near Meg White quiet, but beholden of a crystalline voice, that harmonised perfectly with her husband's and towards the end held us in rapture as Prophet slayed away full in Crazy Horse style on his guitar. Like Malin, Prophet's set covered his long and rewarding career, including recent 'A Bad year for Rock'n'Roll' and 'Doubter out of Jesus'. A quick encore of 'You Did' a clearly spent Prophet bade us a warm farewell.

Tonight showed that you don't need to plug in to be powerful, impassioned and marvellously entertaining. Alone, both acts are worthy of seeing on their own. On a bill, such as tonight you had a truly memorable and special evening.

[ LINK ]

by James Wilkinson on October 25, 2018 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

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He was back, rocking the house; the band were tight and brilliant and we in the audience did our best to let them know how good they were.

Resurrection Of The Prophet; Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express, University of London

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express on November 17, 2017

I think I have probably seen Chuck Prophet, either fronting his own band or as part of Green On Red, more than any other artist. I estimate all the time I've spent standing in front of stages watching, listening to, and enjoying Chuck's playing and singing amounts to about two days of my life. (I realise this is as naught compared to dedicated Springsteen followers or Deadheads who probably can count weeks of their existence spent in front of their favorites, but it is a significant time for me).

What that means is I've seen performances of varying intensity and enjoyment over the years. There is a group of friends I go to CP gigs with, and we've been in agreement that his last couple of London gigs have been rather lackluster. When I was sorting out the tickets for this gig, people were actually questioning whether we wanted to go.

That won't happen next time because this was a fully energised, fun-loving, concentrated, dedicated, brilliant performance.

The band came out, started up, then Prophet bounded out, a huge grin on his face. They played an intro, something of an overture – I definitely heard a snatch of "Willie Mays" in there – which segued into "Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins."

It's a set dominated by the last three albums – Temple Beautiful, Night Surfer, and Bobby Fuller... – with a few older songs in the mix.

"You Did" comes quite early in the set. In recent years it has tended to be the set climax. It's a cracking version, but Prophet continues to play it as his piece de resistance rather than entering, as has happened in the past, a guitar duel with co-guitarist James dePrato.

DePrato gets a number of chances to shine, none more so than during "Summertime Thing," when he unleashes a blistering slide solo. He's on top form and the rest of the Mission Express are too. Kevin White and Vicente Rodriguez are as tight a rhythm section as any operating, while on synth, holding it all together, keeping the boys in line, is Stephanie Finch.

This was as good a Chuck Prophet and Mission Express experience as I've had. He was back, rocking the house; the band were tight and brilliant and we in the audience did our best to let them know how good they were. I'll even applaud the participation of us in the audience doing the woah oh oh oh, oh oh ohs on "Willie Mays Is Up At Bat." Man, we were hot.

A great gig. Next time around no one will be questioning whether we want to go, and I'll start racking up the hours towards three whole days watching Chuck Prophet.

[ LINK ]

by CARL PARKER on October 18, 2018 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

acts of mesmerism

Live at The Brudenell   16th Feb 2017 – still playing for the arenas

acts of mesmerism

16th February 2017

In an alternate universe Chuck Prophet is playing the arenas. His anthemic songs, bravado and showmanship propelled him there. In our universe he plays The Brudenell Social Club every couple of years and builds Springsteen-length sets into acts of mesmerism. Chuck shapes the two hour show so that it builds to anthemic choruses and guitar solos toward the end before gentling down a little and sending us off into the night – it's a very professional piece of work.

At the same time, Prophet plays with the concept of rock and roll. He invites us to criss-cross the divide between rock image and rock reality, playing small (but cool) venues with tunes that capture the big picture. Breaking the music with regular chats and tales, always with a wink that says "this is how rock and roll works, you and I know it's a game – play along and we'll have a great time". And we do. Chuck makes us believe in this terrific rock and roll show and we feel honoured to get to witness it.

The new album is themed on Bobby Fuller and the set is interspersed with links to Bobby Fuller – opener, a song half-way and the closer, a song by the Bobby Fuller Four. Shot down at age 23, Fuller never reached his potential. Standout showpieces are You Did (Who Put The Bomp), a song about Willie Mays, the San Francisco baseball player and Holding On – his personal Forever Young. In-between, established favourites like Ramona and Iodine please and newer songs follow recognisable paths. Prophet sings songs about the Ford Econoline, stalwart of the band touring on a budget, baseball, crappy venues and a dozen other things that catch his eye – he seems to spend his life looking about for things that illustrate his worldview. He talks about coming here first as a solo act in 1993 and the venues he's played, praising the Brudenell. He has a running joke about stealing Siouxsie and The Banshee's equipment and swaps banter with the adoring front row.

Chuck seems to be really enjoying performing and gets more and more into it as he lets rip on the guitar. He clowns around, mugs and grimaces, involving all the band as he draws first one then another into play offs. Between his own personal characterful solos and his sideman with bottleneck slide, we are well-served for guitar and they build in substance and momentum as the set reaches its peak. Awash with tunes, rock, swagger and shared history, Chuck Prophet tries to ease the audience back into the real world as the set winds down and they leave, ready to proselytise again.

Please catch Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express when they come near your town.

[ LINK ]

by ROSS MCGIBBON on January 17, 2018 COMMENTS • Filed under

Blake Maddux interviews singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet

Blake Maddux interviews singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet

Blake Maddux interviews singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet, who is also known for performing with Green on Red in the 80's and early 90's.

As a musician, Bobby Fuller clearly aspired to be like Buddy Holly.

Sadly, the realization of that aspiration included Fuller's death at 23 years old, the same age at which Holly had perished in a plane crash seven years earlier.

The circumstances surrounding Fuller's death remain a mystery 61 years later. Although authorities ruled it a suicide at the time, no one who is being perfectly honest ever believed that was what actually happened.

It was the music and life of Bobby Fuller that provided the inspiration for San Francisco singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet's new album, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins. In a recent phone interview, Prophet described Fuller's truncated time on Earth as a "feel-bad...rock 'n' roll Babylon story" that is "definitely California noir."

Other homages on the album include ones that are obvious by their titles ("If I Was Connie Britton," "Alex Nieto") and others that the songs themselves make clear ("Bad Year for Rock and Roll," "In the Mausoleum").

The Boston-area stop of Prophet's current tour is at Cambridge's Lizard Lounge (9:00, $20 at the door), where he will be performing tonight with a string quartet. As he put it in my conversation with him that continues below, "It's not going to be particularly loud rock 'n' roll."

How did "Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins" become the title of and lead-off track on your new album?

That song was written while there was a Bobby Fuller record on the turntable. And I turned to my friend [Kurt Lipschutz] and I said, "Do you hear the record crackle and the needle skips and jumps? I never saw a movie that moved me half as much." And he said, "Bobby Fuller died for your sins." And we were off and running.

Did you write "Bad Year for Rock and Roll" in the immediate wake of David Bowie's death, or did it come about during the process of writing songs for the album?

Well I mean, whenever somebody dies, you know, like David Bowie, their music is in the air.

Although the song "Bad Year for Rock 'n' Roll," you could say it's about losing the musical heroes that we lost in 2016 when the record was written, but it's also about losing any faith or losing any illusion we may have had about democracy in this country as well. I think the election year is embedded in the DNA of the whole record, really. It's about losing faith and getting it back. We live in a time of cultural exhaustion. People are exhausted. They're tired of movies, they're tired of music. I'm not. (laughs) I'm still out there playing in a five-piece band, driving around in a Ford Econoline. We're playing sit-down clubs and we're playing a lot of clubs where people crowd into rooms with a sticky black floor, you know?

Is the song "We Got Up and Played" about a specific gig or just the experience of being on the road in general?

I wrote that on a rainy Wednesday night in Cleveland, Ohio, in the fall, I think, when the days were getting shorter. I don't know if you've ever loaded-in to an empty club in Cleveland, Ohio, on a rainy Wednesday, but, you know, it's kind of sad.

How would you describe, in a word or short phrase, the following people with whom you have worked?

Jonathan Richman.

What I would say about Jonathan Richman is "WWJD—What would Jonathan do?" Jonathan is fearless, in a word. And he seems like the kind of guy—if he put his mind to it—who could take on a football team.

Peter Wolf

Peter Wolf has more rock and roll in his pinky .. [recording unclear]

Warren Zevon.

Wicked, really. He's trouble waiting to happen.

Lucinda Williams.

Brilliant and generous.

You grew up in Whittier, CA, where Richard Nixon's family moved when he was a boy. Do you have any memories of living there when he was president?

I always found Richard Nixon very fascinating, on a personal level. My fourth grade class took a trip to Richard Nixon's first law office in La Habra, California. As a tiny child, I do remember walking along the San Clemente Beach with my sister when he was in office. And I remember a secret service guy on the sand telling us we couldn't go any further. Right there at his mansion on the beach at San Clemente.

Have you ever noticed any fans who show up to gigs every time you play specific towns or who come to more than one when you tour?

We've had a woman on this last tour that started in Toronto, and then she came to Pittsburgh, and she came to New York, and then we saw her in the Northwest—in Portland and Seattle—and she recently attended a show in Salt Lake and Denver. I noticed her down in front, so I asked her how many shows she'd been to. She rattled off how many shows she'd gone to, so we presented her with a commemorative roll of duct tape. We presented it to her on stage to show our appreciation for her support, and to give her something that could come in handy down the line based on the amount of travelling she's done to get from show to show.

Then I'll be sure to let my friends know, if the frequently go to your shows, to make sure you notice them. Maybe they will get something practical out of it.

Yeah it's possible. We like to give back.

by Blake Maddux on December 1, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under

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Prophet has created a masterpiece that will raise questions and get people thinking now and much into the future.
****

SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: CHUCK PROPHET – BOBBY FULLER DIED FOR YOUR SINS

It looks like Chuck Prophet has done it again

It looks like Chuck Prophet has done it again with another spectacular album to add to his collection. With his most recent album, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins, Prophet proves that 25 years after going solo, he continues to be one of the best singer/songwriters in the game. The album gives off a Tom Petty meets a heavy Dire Straits vibe which makes it easy to stomp your feet to the beat. Being recorded through analog, not digitally, takes you back to the times of classic rock. This album was greatly inspired by the mysterious death of Bobby Fuller and the impact he had on rock and roll and it also includes nods to David Bowie and San Francisco security guard, Alex Nieto who the world sadly lost in 2016. Prophet pays tribute to the legends we lost with 'Bad Year for Rock and Roll', touching on how the loss has taken a toll on the world and music. Harmonica, woodwinds and his wife Stephanie Finch on back up vocals, this album packs a punch that will leave you wanting more especially with its raw sound and soft rock taste. Using curious, angry, and sincere lyrics, Prophet has created a masterpiece that will raise questions and get people thinking now and much into the future. When the CD is done, you will be wondering why we don't have more people like Chuck Prophet in the industry.

[ LINK ]

by Jules Brown on April 24, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

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Prophet can be, by turns, both snarky and sardonic, qualities the aforementioned forebears know all too well.

CHUCK PROPHET – Night Surfer

Blurt

It's little surprise to find Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, David Bowie and Elvis Costello playing the part of would-be role models. After all, there are few albums released over the past several decades that don't find at least one of those icons sharing their sound. However, it's somewhat rare when all those influences mesh together or completely coincide.

It's not that Chuck Prophet needs any guideposts to find his way; indeed, after 30 years – five with seminal psychedelic band Green On Red, the remainder on his own – he clearly commands his own signature style. Still, there's no denying the influences that abound here, as strung through the ricochet rhythms of "Countrified Inner City Technological Man," the robust rocker "They Don't Know About Me and You," the kinetic strum of "Ford Econoline," and the relentless tempo igniting "Felony Glamour."

Likewise, there's no avoiding the inevitable comparisons that pop up in practically every song, often turning Night Surfer into a game of name that nuance. Prophet can be, by turns, both snarky and sardonic, qualities the aforementioned forebears know all too well. Happily though, he himself is no slacker, especially when it comes to both sentiment and sarcasm. And in many ways, that makes him every bit their equal.

DOWNLOAD: "Countrified Inner City Technological Man," "They Don't Know About Me and You," "Ford Econoline"

[ LINK ]

by LEE ZIMMERMAN on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under (Night Surfer)

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Chuck is from a bygone era, not that he’s old fashioned, it’s just that he makes music for records, where the physical pleasure of holding something in your hand is still the be-all and end-all for those of us still spin those large pieces of plastic, and

It’s Psychedelic Baby

Chuck Prophet - Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins (2017) review

[laughing] Straight from the get-go, I'm sitting here looking at the album cover wondering if this is a good picture "of" Chuck Prophet, or a good picture "for" Chuck Prophet ... either way, it slapped a mile wide smile across my face, as did the album.

If you've never seen Chuck and his band live, you should, because he splinters the floorboards at small venues all across this country, rocking you back like it matters ... and believe me, it does. Chuck is from a bygone era, not that he's old fashioned, it's just that he makes music for records, where the physical pleasure of holding something in your hand is still the be-all and end-all for those of us still spin those large pieces of plastic, and scan liner notes that we can actually read. But you didn't come here for a musical history lesson, so let me take you where you need to be.

Each time Chuck Prophet releases an album I think that it's been far too long since his last one, and here, with a bold title like Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins, if he doesn't pull out all of the stops, he's gonna go down in flames. But don't fear, the man is going to roll you over. Oddly enough, the album is so energetic that the lyrics, or the meaning of the lyrics can easily be lost as you spin across the room, because there are some serious visions that are laid down between the grooves. Beginning with the album's title, we are reminded that the cause of Bobby Fuller's death at age 23 has remained a mystery for 50 years. The singer and guitarist who led the Bobby Fuller Four to a Top 10 hit with "I Fought the Law," and was found dead of asphyxiation in the front seat of his mother's car on July 18, 1966. The debate still rages whether the rising star committed suicide, died accidentally or was murdered ... with the song twisting into a reaction to the deaths of so many young people being shot by cops [which you'll miss entirely unless you're listening]. Of course that brings in "Bad Year For Rock And Roll," which was partly inspired by the death of David Bowie, and so many others last year, not to mention "In The Mausoleum" a song dedicated to Alan Vega.

All of this, along with a couple of other tracks make this a deeply political album, though one laced with so much rock and roll, that it all comes across as some sort of joyous celebration for the lives of those caught in the crosshairs of the reaper.

But all of that is simply Chuck Prophet being a musical San Francisco journalist. He does swing back, rolling out "Coming Out In Code," which for all the world creates a West Coast translation of the old Velvet Underground number, "Waitin' For My Man." Even with his darker moments, the album is delightful, inventive, satirical, blasphemous, and exactly what America needs right here and right now ... complete with dueling guitars and relentless musicians swapping chords in the full light of the sun.

- Jenell Kesler

[ LINK ]

by - Jenell Kesler on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

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

INDEPENDENT

Chuck Prophet at his best on 'Bobby Fuller'

The song titles suggest this is an album worth hearing. They're Prophetic.

Along with the title cut, there's "Bad Year for Rock and Roll," ''Jesus Was a Social Drinker," ''If I Was Connie Britton" and "Post-War Cinematic Dead Man Blues," among others. As usual, Chuck Prophet's sing-speak vocals framed by garage band fury sound alternately angry and amused, and sometimes both at once. He's a throwback who believes two guitars, bass, drums and a sense of humor make for great music, and he's right.

The San Francisco-based Chuck Prophet sings about the price of love, the rewards of lust, flushing the past and American carnage, and even in the darkest moments he keeps toes tapping. "In the Mausoleum" is a dance tune and guitar workout.

Speaking of dancing, every song in "Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins" comes with a twist. "Bad Year for Rock and Roll" mercifully spares us a laundry list of the recently deceased but does mention Peter Sellers. "Jesus Was a Social Drinker" credits the messiah with "a best-selling novel."

And what if Prophet was Connie Britton? "My skin would smell like berries," he sings. Sweet.

[ LINK ]

April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

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Prophet was the consummate front man, an easy demeanour, wicked spiky sense of humour and the band were totally at ease with one another – locked in the pocket and enjoying the set.
*****

Music: Review: Chuck Prophet, Tunnels

Music: Review: Chuck Prophet, Tunnels

So how was Chuck Prophet, how was the show, how were his band The Mission Express? Well sonically they were blindingly good, delivering a two hour set of muscular bluesy Americana leavened with delightful harmonies and outstanding guitar work all built on a funky rhythmic groove. The material was excellent, Prophet & Co have an enviable back catalogue to draw from, packed with some of the finest songs laid to wax over the past few decades. Prophet was the consummate front man, an easy demeanour, wicked spiky sense of humour and the band were totally at ease with one another – locked in the pocket and enjoying the set. But visually? That's another matter because the Tunnels (busy as always) was rammed to the rafters and presumably there had been a discount for tall folk as the lofty demographic was well represented and every one of the lanky buggers was packed in at the front. So visuals were limited but there was a hell of an atmosphere throughout the room: a rambunctious crowd exchanged banter with the band, sang along – whether prompted or not – and spurred the band on during both new material and old favourites.

The band opened the set with the title track from the latest long player Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins and although the tune is still pretty fresh it was greeted like an old favourite by the crowd. (Trivia Corner: anyone able to connect Prophet to the Clash via Bobby Fuller? Answer at the end of the review). The nod to rock history continued with a lively cover of Chuck Berry's Ramona Say Yes delivered with swing and sass whilst Lonely Desolation completed the opening triple whammy. Prophet then addressed the crowd formally, acknowledging his pleasure at being back in town, "...Bristol's a guitar town..." and claimed to have seen the Blue Aeroplanes play a show with more guitar players on stage than the crowd before him, not beyond the realms of probability eh? Getting serious he then prefaced the next tune with a reference to the preponderance of celebrity deaths in 2016 and recent changes in the political landscape, suggesting that the world was losing its fundamental sense of decency particularly amongst those at the top. Although from the new LP, Bad Year for Rock n Roll has fast become a crowd pleasing anthem and the crowd drowned out the band during the chorus and lifted a blistering rendition into an early-set tour de force.

The set then seemed to rush by, Temple Beautiful an engagingly raucous call and response; Alex Nieto a moving, stirring description of (yet another) shameful American death – beautifully illustrating Prophet's ability to craft contemporary protest songs; Barely Exist introduced with a tale of a recent German show at which Prophet was asked "We tore down our wall, why do you want to start building walls?", said tale generating ironic cheers. There was considerable skill on display with the selection of songs too – Jesus Was a Social Drinker and Ford Econoline (apparently the second best thing to come out of Detroit – after The Stooges) both introduced levity amongst the more serious topics giving the show lyrical light and shade.

You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp) was introduced as the "...the heaviest thing you've ever heard..." (clearly the words of a man unfamiliar with the Temples Festival, RIP), however, the tune did indeed bring the heaviness as its riff ate up the room whilst the crowd once again took the vocals from the off. As they also did with Summertime Thing, which somehow managed to conjure up balmy evenings and languid sun drenched days despite the grey dampness the other side of the venue doors. Although the focus of the show, Prophet and his songs were beautifully served by the Mission Express: Stephanie Finch supplied sympathetic backing vox with delightful organ, piano & synth throughout but shone on In the Mausoleum (for Alan Vega), a booming reverb drenched tribute to another fallen hero. The rhythm section (Kevin White, bass guitar and Vicente Rodriguez drums, vocals) were the bedrock for the songs – White maintaining the tempo with metronomic precision, locked into the groove with Rodriguez as they offered a danceable counterpoint to the weight of the guitars. James DePrato traded lead & rhythm with Prophet throughout the night, both more than capable lead players and their duelling encompassed the melodic interplay of Lizzy with the heft of Skynyrd in their prime.

There was more amusement with the introduction to We Got Up and Played, as Hull got a slagging when Prophet endeavoured to find a comparison for a town as boring as Cleveland, birthplace of the song. That song pretty much summed up the whole ethos of the Mission Express, describing life as a working band a galaxy away from the stadium filling super groups. Cohen's Iodine was the final tribute to a much missed icon, with Finch leaving the keys for the co-vocal on a lovely, moving cover. After closing the set with a massive Willie Mays is Up at Bat the crowd were howling for more before the band had left the stage, ensuring the encore was never in doubt. Once again Bobby Fuller was with us in spirit with a pounding cover of Let Her Dance before the final tune You And Me Baby (Holding On) ended the set with yet more guitar weaving as Prophet and DePrato went toe-to-toe (or rather headstock-to-headstock) one final time. Tonight reminded us once again that there are dozens of talented artists to be seen in decent venues for less than a price of a Beyoncé beanie, and that two hours of quality songs, & banter delivered by time served musicians can lift the spirts as we all find ways to cope with a world that seems more like a Spitting Image episode than ever before.

Trivia corner answer: The Clash recorded Bobby Fuller's I Fought the Law and meanwhile Prophet has on several occasion performed their masterpiece London Calling in its entirety live.

[ LINK ]

by Jonathon Kardasz on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

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While this record was being made in 2016, we lost a lot of our heroes, Alan Vega among them. And obviously, there’s another track called “Bad Year For Rock and Roll” which is not just about losing heroes, it’s about losing faith.
*****

Rocker Chuck Prophet taps into ‘California noir’

Rocker Chuck Prophet taps into ‘California noir’

Chuck Prophet's new album is "Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins."

San Francisco songwriter Chuck Prophet had a reason for calling his new album "Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins" and echoing Fuller's hit "I Fought the Law" in its title track. As a kid in 1960s El Paso, Fuller was so obsessed with Buddy Holly, he and his brother drove to the New Mexico studio where Holly recorded, studied it, then constructed a replica in their parents' living room. But by the time the Fullers moved to California, the Beatles and Beach Boys had usurped the charts, making them, as "greasers from Texas, totally out of time," Prophet says, adding, "Then, sadly, Fuller was murdered at 23. So much of my record is California noir: People who came to California chasing a golden dream, with the noir being the difference between dream and reality."

Your "Sins" song "In The Mausoleum" was penned for the late Alan Vega. And it even taps into his classic techno-rockabilly sound.

While this record was being made in 2016, we lost a lot of our heroes, Alan Vega among them. And obviously, there's another track called "Bad Year For Rock and Roll" which is not just about losing heroes, it's about losing faith. I don't care who you are or whatever your beliefs are — I think 2016 really put your faith to the test. And there were a lot of things that happened last year that were just raw meat for me to gobble up as a songwriter. But I'm just a photographer. I just try to capture what I see.

What did you see on "Rider or the Train"?

That song is character-driven, and it's for a lot of forgotten people, a lot of people who, for one reason or another, are on the streets. When they asked Jim Thompson how he wrote so many novels, he said, "Well, it's easy, because they're all the same. The stories may be different, but the plot is always the same, which is that nothing is what it seems." And I feel like the homeless epidemic is just a manifestation of that. Nothing is what it seems, and everybody's got a story to tell.

Judging by the satiric "If I Was Connie Britton," another thing you observed was the TV series "Nashville."

Connie Britton leads a charmed life, and I thought, "Now there's a song!" But I'm amazed how much stuff they get right on "Nashville," like the mechanization of the publishing deals, the lot of the working-class musician in Nashville. They get the structure right, and then pour a nice, fat dollop of "Melrose Place" on top of it. I don't watch it compulsively, but I have watched it.

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by Tom Lanham on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under Artist Profiles (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

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With references to El Paso, police shootings, and thoughts of being anywhere when “that song” comes on the radio, Chuck opens up the discourse (“I hear the record crackle; the needle skips and jumps…”).
*****

Elmore

Chuck Prophet

"I Fought the Law" was the only major hit for the Bobby Fuller Four, reaching the top ten in early 1966. By July, Bobby Fuller had died under mysterious circumstances. In Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, Chuck Prophet does not attempt to solve the mystery. He does, however, keep alive the spirit of the man who perhaps fought the law and lost, exploring the themes of celebrity, death, and disillusion.

As the title song opens the album, we are introduced to the man who inspired the music. With references to El Paso, police shootings, and thoughts of being anywhere when "that song" comes on the radio, Chuck opens up the discourse ("I hear the record crackle; the needle skips and jumps..."). Moving forward to today, we are reminded of those we lost in 2016, beginning when "the thin white duke took a final bow" giving us "one more star in the heavens now." Yes, it's been a "Bad Year for Rock and Roll," leaving us wondering when it's all going to end.

Endings and beginnings intertwine and hope blends with disillusion ("Open Up Your Heart" and "We Got Up and Played") but life goes on, sometimes with a smile. The bouncy T-Rex sound of "If I was Connie Britton" paints a portrait where "everything would go my way."

Prophet's Ray Davies-like vocals merge with the blistering chops of the Mission Express to create a rousing, thought-provoking melange of the highs and lows of society, all brought to a blistering end in "Alex Nieto" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYyyZHnR7d8), a tribute to a Bay area security guard killed by local police officers. Though "Alex Nieto was a pacifist, a 49ers fan" who "never made it home again," Chuck Prophet opens the gates, takes it home, and plows through a place of reckoning

–Gene Knapp

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by –Gene Knapp on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under CD Reviews (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

Chuck Prophet, one-time guitarist with cult country rockers Green On Red, knows and loves his rock’n’roll.

Scotsman

Music Review: Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express

Chuck Prophet, one-time guitarist with cult country rockers Green On Red, knows and loves his rock'n'roll. Whether he is covering his namesake Chuck Berry's Ramona Says Yes with contrasting embellishment from his wife Stephanie Finch on sighing backing vocals and a lean, mean lead guitar display from James DePrato, or taking a left turn into the bittersweet Byrdsian jangle of Lonely Desolation, playful new wave rocker Jesus Was a Social Drinker or existential roots ballad Barely Exist, he and his righteous band the Mission Express were simultaneously in thrall to and command of their tradition. ABC2, Glasgow **** So when Prophet declared in freewheeling song that it's been a Bad Year for Rock and Roll, you had better believe him. He paid tribute to the fallen heroes of 2016, covering Leonard Cohen's Iodine and stealing brazenly and lovingly from the late Alan Vega's band Suicide for the heatseeking rhythmic riff of In The Mausoleum. But Prophet and chums were also the revivifying tonic, celebrating the low-slung drawling joys of their great American songbook with the rollicking call-and-response of Temple Beautiful or the brooding, stormy (though not quite as heavy as promised) You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp). There were a few too many meandering jams in the second half of the set, for all their strung-out place in rock'n'roll, but at least when Prophet indulged, he did so with a sense of humour, delivering an entertaining geek sermon on Wish Me Luck. Not that this charmed and charming performer needs it. FIONA SHEPHERD

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by FIONA SHEPHERD on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under

If it comes down to one man to save rock and roll, my money’s on Chuck Prophet.

The Speed of Sound with Kyle Meredith

Chuck Prophet on The Speed of Sound with Kyle Meredith

If it comes down to one man to save rock and roll, my money's on Chuck Prophet. His most recent run of albums harkens back to the purest form of the genre, with feet in both 60s garage and 70s riff-rock. His most recent LP, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins, also looks at the legends we've lost, and on a wider scale, our troubling surroundings. It's a statement from an artist who's finding a new stride to hit 30 some odd years into his career.

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by Kyle Meredith on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under

To celebrate his new album, we asked Chuck Prophet about 5 albums that changed his life.

CHUCK PROPHET: 5 ALBUMS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

Chuck Prophet will forever be closely linked to his less than 10-year stint in the seminal Paisley Underground meets Alt-Country

CHUCK PROPHET: 5 ALBUMS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

February 10 2017 by Bjørn Hammershaug

Chuck Prophet will forever be closely linked to his less than 10-year stint in the seminal Paisley Underground meets Alt-Country outfit Green On Red.

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Bobby Fuller Died for Your SinsChuck Prophet

But despite his major contributions to the band, particularly on albums like Gas Food Lodging (1985) and The Killer Inside Me (1987), and his potentially career-defining role in shaping the alternative rock sound of the 1980s, Prophet has managed to maintain an eclectic and wholly worthwhile solo career since 1990. Well established as a prominent singer, songwriter and genuine storyteller, Chuck Prophet draws from the rich well of Country and Folk as well as from Rock & Roll, putting out solo work on esteemed labels like Fire, Cooking Vinyl and Yep Roc, in addition to working with legendary artists like Lucinda Williams, Jonathan Richman, Alejandro Escovedo, Warren Zevon, Aimee Mann and more.

His solo catalog includes the critically-acclaimed Homemade Blood (1997), Age of Miracles (2004), ¡Let Freedom Ring!(2009) – a collection of political songs for non-political people – and his homage to his hometown of San Francisco, Temple Beautiful (2012). Out today, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sinsis a set in the style of California Noir, complete with songs about doomed love, inconsolable loneliness, rags to riches to rags again, and fast-paced, hard-boiled violence.

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Chuck Prophet Essentials30 songs

To celebrate his new album, we asked Chuck Prophet about 5 albums that changed his life.

* * *

The Clash

London Calling

Punk rock encouraged us all to pick up a guitar and form a band and lay it on the line in an effort to express ourselves. But for me, it was this record that showed us what was possible with punk rock. It's all in there. The straight-up disco of "Train in Vain." The Bo Diddley-goes-to-Jamaica of "Rudie Can't Fail." The rockabilly of "Brand New Cadillac." This record, to this day, is a kind of gateway drug for the kind of records I aspire to make. It's ultra-distilled. London Callingis The Clash's 200-proof masterwork. The ultimate proof of anything.

Kelley Stoltz

Antique Glow

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Jimmy JazzThe Clash

I love all of Kelley's records, but Antique Glow was where I came in and it will always hold a soft spot in my heart. Although a Detroit transplant, Kelley is a San Francisco treasure. If you're ever in San Francisco and you're a record geek and like to talk shop, or you just want to chat up someone with a PhD in Echo and the Bunnymen and a master's degree in obscure Brit-folk, visit Grooves Records in SF. You might be lucky enough to show up on a day where Maestro Stoltz is behind the counter.

Big Star

Third (a.k.a. Sister Lovers)

There are records that I get smitten with and then there are those few records that I return to again and again. This is Alex Chilton's abstract expressionist masterpiece and a record that's never let me down. With Jody Stephens behind the kit, John Fry behind the board and Jim Dickinson very much in his corner, Big Star's Third (aka Sister Lovers) is a triumph. They say that Alex was bitter by the time Sister Lovers came around. Whatever. Hell, I don't hear it (the bitterness). I hear beauty. The performances are loose. Effortless. Wild and free and off the cuff. But there's nothing half-assed or anything. It's a mystery to me how it all comes together. And I love it. I love when Alex sings, "I first saw you, you had on blue jeans . . ." It's poetry. From the heart, from the soul. Compositionally, this record, it's actually quite sophisticated. And with Alex's 3 A.M. first takes and the beautiful Carl Marsh strings, it's really the perfect marriage of the street and the regal.

J.J. Cale

Naturally

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HolocaustBig Star

There are those records that you can just turn people on to, ones you know will give pleasure. J.J. Cale's Naturally was one record that we could all agree on in the Green on Red van. The songs are short. Very demo-y you might say. It's a mystery that stays a mystery. It's the best place to start with J.J. – at the beginning. Sure, he plays one hell of a slinky guitar and all that, and half the songs were covered by people who turned them into bona fide hit records ("Call Me the Breeze," "After Midnight," "Magnolia"), and he was a stone-cold cool cat, but what he really did with this record is show me how record making can be elevated to an art form. J.J.'s the OG sonic auteur. I don't know how he made this. Maybe the trick is that J.J. engineered his own records. More likely, there's no trick at all. Whatever . . . it's a masterpiece. Check it out for yourself. The whole record is all of 30 minutes or so, what have you got to lose? His guitar and vocal are low in the mix. Lean in. It's worth the lean.

Lou Reed

New York

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Ah man, I've worn that record out. It's part of my DNA now. And giving credit where credit is due, it has had a massive influence on my writing. With every new record I make, if I'm lucky, I'll catch a kind of inspirational virus, and if it keeps me interested, I can follow it through. The virus usually starts with two or three songs that take me someplace I haven't been. Temple Beautiful was my San Francisco record, one where we tapped into the history, weirdness, energy, and spontaneity that brought me to San Francisco in the first place. I would never put myself next to Lou, but in a way, Temple Beautiful was my New York.

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by Chuck Prophet on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under

This show was a perfect demonstration of why rock and roll needs people like Prophet.

Firing it up with Chuck Prophet at The Garage, Islington, London

Firing it up with Chuck Prophet at The Garage, Islington, London

Photo; The Key@XPN-WXPN

`Bad Year For Rock And Roll' was Chuck Prophet's tribute to the many musicians who died last year. This show was a perfect demonstration of why rock and roll needs people like Prophet. Leading his tight and talented band for over two hours Prophet mixed high energy rock and roll with songs that both provoked deep thoughts and amused.

Amid the power Prophet showed humour, including a keen understanding of British customs (stiff upper lip and cricket), all done with immense charm and his slightly squinty smile. He came across as a nice guy and is a highly accomplished performer who formed a close tie with his audience. He may have been around for a bit but he made clear his appreciation of people coming out on a damp Tuesday night. Chuck, it was no hardship, your show just confirms why we love music. If you'd had a bad day at the office, regardless of which day of the week, a Chuck Prophet show will restore your faith in all that really matters.

The music was tremendous but what struck me most was the way Prophet connected with his audience. The venue was ideal, smallish and almost full with an appreciative audience who bonded immediately with Prophet. Such a two way mutual respect was a feature throughout; it was like turning up to see a mate's band who was doing well but they hadn't forgotten their old friends.

In a way Prophet teases his audience. Power chords build up to some ferocious exchanges between him and guitarist James DePrato. These then came to a sharp halt, giving way to quite humorous, almost delicate, stories wryly delivered with a smile and twinkle in the eye. All part of the service.

Prophet combined good coverage of his latest (13th solo) release and some old faves. Highlights of the new record were title track and opener, 'Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins' and `Alex Nieto', about a pacifist who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both examples of hard rocking Chuck, a softer tone for a potentially delicate subject, `Jesus Was a Social Drinker' was the best example of his keen sense of humour.

From the back catalogue, rockers were `Ford Econoline' and `You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp)', the latter introduced as not one for those with a weak heart. He was right. `Summertime Things' combined a measured acoustic opening before a switch back to electric lifted the rafters once again. With such an ability to express so wide a range of emotions Prophet writes his own material, but a good writer never forgets others. There were two standout covers; another Chuck's `Ramona Say Yes' and Leonard Cohen's `Iodine'.

You could say the show got too frantic at times but Prophet never lost control. Even when switching between mics he knew what he was doing and brought the pace out of the red zone just in time. His band, The Mission Express, were with him every turn of the way, each having an opportunity to shine individually as well as contribute to the tight sound they made together. They are Stephanie Finch (Mrs Prophet, on keys), Kevin White (bass), Vicente Rodriguez (drums) and James DePrato whose guitar playing both acted as a foil for Prophet as well as shining in his own right.

Chuck finished with his strong American credentials, `Willie Mays Is Up At Bat' following `Wish Me Luck' that would have floored a lesser artist. An encore of `Let Her Dance' and `You And Me Baby (Holding On) wrapped up a most uplifting evening of a heart worn rocking on the sleeve.

On the way out I overheard a couple of people comparing him to Tom Petty, both in looks and style. That had occurred to me but this is truly an artist with his own stamp of originality. If you can't see him live, get the new album.

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by LYNDON BOLTON on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under

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Chuck Prophet is the bard laureate of San Francisco.

SF rocker Chuck Prophet plays Great American Music Hall

SF rocker Chuck Prophet plays Great American Music Hall

Chuck Prophet is the bard laureate of San Francisco. He has celebrated the city, mourned loss and waxed nostalgic with his last three albums — "Night Surfer," "Temple Beautiful" and the excellent new "Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins."

His music is perfect for long convertible rides with the top down, impromptu dance parties and especially live shows. Prophet's catalog is filled with driving rockers, noirish grooves and earnest tributes to San Francisco legends and martyrs.

Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express are scheduled to play at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday, April 15. They take a month off, then play locally again at the Rancho Nicasio Restaurant and Bar in Nicasio on May 19.

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by Peter Hartlaub on April 21, 2017 COMMENTS • Filed under (Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins)

James DePrato was simply stunning

Bristol Post

Review: Chuck Prophet at The Tunnels

Review: Chuck Prophet at The Tunnels

By The Bristol Post | Posted: October 15, 2014

Comments (0)

★★★★★

By Keith Clark

IN the 20 years Chuck Prophet has been coming to the UK he has often brought with him very well-known singers to open his shows. So it was not really surprising that the Bristol venue was already packed by the time Jonah Tolchin, his touring companion on this year's tour, took to the stage.

Sadly Tolchin, who hails from New Jersey, was a tad disappointing. He has a big voice and his guitar playing was equally powerful, but vocally he often strayed from the notes and his playing was a little repetitive.

By the time Chuck Prophet and his regular band The Mission Express took to the stage the venue was full and ready to rock. He has a new album in the shops, Night Surfer, and we got plenty of new numbers that showed that Chuck Prophet has lost none of his ability to write extremely well-crafted narrative songs often with cascades of surreal imagery set to hook-laden melodies that stay in your head for hours.

Countrified Inner City was as riff heavy as a Rolling Stones song while there were echoes of The Beatles in the powerful Wish Me Luck.

Ford Econoline was about the most raunchy sounding homage to a van you are ever likely to hear, Tell Me Anything was incredibly catchy and for Guilty As A Saint he got the stage lights turned right down for what he described as "a sensitive song."

But the night was dominated by classic Prophet from right across his long career. Songs like Just To See Your Smile, The Left Hand and The Right Hand, Castro Halloween, the quite surreal I Bow Down And Pray To Every Woman I See and the lengthy encore song You Did were greeted with loud cheers.

Temple Beautiful and Willy Mays Is Up To Bat, about a notable baseball star, turned into sing-alongs with the audience responding with loud enthusiasm. The extended version of Summertime Thing with Prophet trading his amazingly inventive guitar solos with fellow guitarist James DePrato was simply stunning. But then it was a stunning performance by an artist and a band that ne

Temple Beautiful and Willy Mays Is Up To Bat, about a notable baseball star, turned into sing-alongs with the audience responding with loud enthusiasm. The extended version of Summertime Thing with Prophet trading his amazingly inventive guitar solos with fellow guitarist James DePrato was simply stunning. But then it was a stunning performance by an artist and a band that that never fail to excite.

Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Review/story-23169729-detail/story.html#ixzz3HfiMreiF

Follow us: @BristolPost on Twitter | bristolpost on Facebook

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by Keith Clark on October 30, 2014 COMMENTS • Filed under

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relive and rediscover the richness of Prophet's words.

Journal Sentinal

Chuck Prophet's latest album, "Night Surfer," is full of contradictory imagery.

Chuck Prophet Night Surfer Yep Roc Records Roots-rocking singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet's latest album, "Night Surfer," is full of contradictory imagery. There's that album title, for one, and just look at these song names: "Countrified Inner City Technological Man." "Felony Glamour." "Guilty as a Saint." And on "Laughing on the Inside," he also sings of "crying out loud." Thoughtful and intriguing imagery lures you in more than anything. And if you find yourself giving "Night Surfer" repeat listens, and chances are you will, it won't be because of the music as much as the desire to relive and rediscover the richness of Prophet's words. Listen to the album on Spotify. Chuck Prophet performs Nov. 6 at Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave. — Piet Levy

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by Piet Levy on October 30, 2014 COMMENTS • Filed under (Night Surfer)

BLURT

Album: Night Surfer Artist: Chuck Prophet

Label: Yep Roc

Release Date: September 23, 2014

www.yeproc.com

It's little surprise to find Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, David Bowie and Elvis Costello playing the part of would-be role models. After all, there are few albums released over the past several decades that don't find at least one of those icons sharing their sound. However, it's somewhat rare when all those influences mesh together or completely coincide.

It's not that Chuck Prophet needs any guideposts to find his way; indeed, after 30 years – five with seminal psychedelic band Green On Red, the remainder on his own – he clearly commands his own signature style. Still, there's no denying the influences that abound here, as strung through the ricochet rhythms of "Countrified Inner City Technological Man," the robust rocker "They Don't Know About Me and You," the kinetic strum of "Ford Econoline," and the relentless tempo igniting "Felony Glamour."

Likewise, there's no avoiding the inevitable comparisons that pop up in practically every song, often turning Night Surfer into a game of name that nuance. Prophet can be, by turns, both snarky and sardonic, qualities the aforementioned forebears know all too well. Happily though, he himself is no slacker, especially when it comes to both sentiment and sarcasm. And in many ways, that makes him every bit their equal.

DOWNLOAD: "Countrified Inner City Technological Man," "They Don't Know About Me and You," "Ford Econoline"

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by BY LEE ZIMMERMAN on October 30, 2014 COMMENTS • Filed under

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