Chuck Prophet

Costa Levante News - - CB LIVE -

By Barry Wright CHUCK Prophet, the ex-Green On Red gui­tarist, singer and song­writer has come a long way from his first record­ing ses­sion at Hyde Street Stu­dio in San Fran­cisco.

His ten­ure with the psy­che­delic, Amer­i­cana and Pais­ley Un­der­ground main play­ers Green On Red saw him and band founder Dan Stu­art re­leas­ing six al­bums be­tween 1985 and 1992, in­clud­ing the clas­sic and genre-defin­ing Gas Food, Lodg­ing.

When the band folded, Prophet and Stu­art went their sep­a­rate ways, al­though by that time Chuck had al­ready re­leased Brother Aldo, the first of his, to date, 14 solo ef­forts.

Through­out these years Chuck Prophet’s sound has al­ways os­cil­lated some­where within the vast Amer­i­cana/ roots rock frame­work.

Some­times it has been rock­ier, other times with more acous­tic lean­ings, the oc­ca­sional use of key­boards or mod­ern elec­tronic tech­nol­ogy, but the gui­tar has al­ways been at the core of Chuck’s mu­si­cal phi­los­o­phy.

Not the gui­tar in a Jimi Hen­drix/ Ste­vie Ray Vaughan type of solo-filled en­vi­ron­ment, just the es­sen­tial and trade­mark sound that it cre­ates.

Vo­cally, Chuck Prophet has a voice that at best can be de­scribed as hav­ing lean­ings to­wards the late-great Tom Petty with hints of Ian Hunter.

His lat­est re­lease, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins (2017) is ar­guably the pin­na­cle of his al­ready strong ca­reer.

Backed by The Mis­sion Ex­press - fea­tur­ing his wife, Stephanie Finch (vo­cals, key­boards, gui­tar), Kevin White (bass), Vi­cente Ro­driguez (drums, vo­cals) and James DePrato (gui­tar) - the al­bum quite rightly re­ceived good/glow­ing re­views for Prophet’s wry song­writ­ing, the rich­ness of his voice and the strength of the melodies.

Prophet de­scribes the al­bum as ‘Cal­i­for­nia Noir’.

He said: “The state has al­ways rep­re­sented the Golden Dream, and it’s the ten­sion be­tween ro­mance and re­al­ity that lurks un­der­neath the sur­face in all noir films and pa­per­backs, and that con­nects these songs. Doomed love, in­con­solable lone­li­ness, rags to riches to rags again and fast-paced vi­o­lence are al­ways on the menu on the Left Coast.”

The 13-song of­fer­ing boasts tunes cov­er­ing the com­plete smor­gas­bord of rootsy rock.

Firstly let us clear up who Bobby Fuller is, for which we will once again quote Prophet: “He’s the star of the ul­ti­mate Rock and Roll Baby­lon feel-bad story.”

An Amer­i­can rock singer, song­writer and gui­tarist best known for his cover of I Fought the Law who, in 1966 at the age of 23, was mys­te­ri­ously found dead in a car parked out­side his Hol­ly­wood apart­ment. To this date it is still un­clear if Fuller died as the re­sult of sui­cide, mur­der or an ac­ci­dent.

Fuller has been de­scribed as be­ing ‘a greaser in a world of Beach Boy bangs and Bea­tle boots, hope­lessly out of step with the times’.

Essen­tially this is a great al­bum and good learn­ing ex­er­cise for many young wannabes out there: mu­sic made by a mu­sic lover, who just hap­pens to be ar­tic­u­late, has a good turn of phrase and on this of­fer­ing a blind­ing ear for a catchy melody.

I would rec­om­mend lis­ten­ing to all of the Green On Red al­bums you can get hold of and then wan­der­ing through Chuck’s back cat­a­logue.

How­ever do not take too much time do­ing so as Chuck Prophet and The Mis­sion Ex­press are playing at the Sala Stereo in Ali­cante to­mor­row (Satur­day, Novem­ber 11).

In­ci­den­tally, al­though our man has come a long way since his first record­ing ses­sion at Hyde Street Stu­dio in San Fran­cisco, this is where he re­turned to record Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins. It may have been a long strange trip… but it was well worth the ef­fort.

Making the con­cert even more tempt­ing is the fact that sup­port act Curse of Lono - who re­fer to their mu­sic as cin­e­matic Southern, gothic, alt-rock - are get­ting blis­ter­ing re­views for their de­but al­bum, Sev­ered.

This def­i­nitely makes the €17 ad­mis­sion price a real ‘two for the price of one’ deal.

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