‘The Land That Time Forgot’  Was written for the most part with Prophets longtime co-conspirator,  but after the initial splurge of nailing three tracks in San Fran with Grammy-winning alchemist Matt Winegar, Prophet confesses,

“We hit a wall. Schedules. Money. Towed vehicles: a thousand large to get one van out of lockup.” So the San Fran troubadour returns with his new album varying from the rich heartland rock of songs like ‘Best Shirt On’, to the drum machine driven  ‘Marathon’ and all the way back to stripped back words and guitar of ‘Nixonland’ and ‘Get Off the Stage’, Prophet’s work has always been sublime from his days as the perfect foil for Dan Stuart in the magnificent Green On Red to the roots folk and Americana of his early solo career. Chuck Prophet is a rock and roll star a real gunslinger of the six-string variety in a world that needs rock and roll stars and songwriters that just ooze class and quality.

There’s something quite beautiful about the track  ‘Paying My Respects To The Train’, Turn the record player up loud, sit back,  close one’s eyes and let Chuck pour some good times into my stereo speakers with that mellow baritone croon as he start singing and his stories paint a thousand pictures with the beautiful and dovetailed harmonies of his partner in crime  Stephanie Finch, that have always worked so well together on his albums from the early knockings of Brother Aldo to this like a modern-day Cash and Carter.

‘Fast Kid’ has so much going on whilst swaggering outta the speakers there’s a steady beat holding everything together over some contrasting synths and slide with some easter sounds for good measure all adding up to an incredible listen.

The acoustic ‘Love Don’t Come From The Barrel Of A Gun’ is more upbeat than it sounds whereas ‘Nixonland’ is smoldering storytelling at its very best from the snare brushes to the softly spoken words your hanging onto his every word man he could be reading the phone book and it would still be cool.

The album continues to twist and turn with the fantastic balladeering of  ‘Meet Me At The Roundabout’ and ‘Womanhood’ to the final cut of ‘Get Off The Stage’ and its autobiographical lyrics and spot-on assessment for a certain individual and another twist to complete what is a blindingly good record and I haven’t even gushed over ‘High Like Johnny Thunders’.  Let’s just say that this is an album you shouldn’t forget and one you should cherish and love as much as his previous albums, a real genuine American talent of the highest grade, just get yourself a copy and play it to death you deserve it and Chuck Prophet deserves it.

Buy it Here

Author: Dom Daley

“If you’re to believe what you read, today’s San Francisco is under siege by predatory tech nerds and drones, plutocrats, wiz kids and opportunistic real estate developers. People have reacted in different ways to this onslaught. The Occupy Movement for one. You may have heard of people laying down in front of google buses in protest or smashing google glasses on the sidewalk.

There’s also the path of art… In 2012, I released Temple Beautiful – an open love letter to San Francisco and its history and characters. After two years of performing the songs across the U.S and the globe, in late 2013, my band and I delivered the 12 song cycle Temple Beautiful with a string octet (scored and conducted by Brad Jones) in our hometown of San Francisco.

We had one chance to get it right. And this film is a document of the twists and turns in the road that brought us to that one-night-only sold-out performance at the Great American Music Hall (Itself a former bordello and a deco SF institution).

The songs performed that night include characters like Willie Mays, martyred supervisor Harvey Milk, Cain & Abel porn kings Jim & Artie Mitchell, mythic oddball “Red Man,” preacher/Svengali Jim Jones, politician-turned assassin Dan White, and Emperor Norton, with cameos by Laffing Sal, Carol Doda, Bill Graham, and Fatty Arbuckle. Locations also play a key role, including the Castro and Mission Districts. One song is devoted to the White Night Riots, sparked by the light sentence received by the assassination of Milk and Mayor Moscone.

Some will have you believe that technology is the new culture. Then again, how can technology equate culture? Can Rock and Roll build community? Can songs connect people to the world? These are the questions explored in Strings In The Temple.”

– Chuck Prophet

That’s the background sorted and with a new imminent studio album, ‘The Land Time Forgot’ (review very soon) the former Green on Red man is still the hot ticket and as productive as ever making music that relevant and above all bloody good. Yep Roc has made available as a digital download this epic and quite beautiful performance containing some exquisite songs and overall performance. Chuck is one of those rare talents that never turned in a bad record.  Sure some are a class apart like ‘Brother Aldo’ from his solo offerings or ‘Here Comes The Snakes’ from the old band but this is an accompanying piece for the album ‘Proper’ and with bells and whistles or should that be with strings and bells?

The title track is a honky tonkin’ Rock and Roll thing of beauty from the dirty slide guitar to the T rextasy strings and the handclaps and xylophone makes it something really special and sounds like the best of times being had by everyone and the fiddle players are really taking this home and from the generous round of applause, this audience is really witnessing something special.  In direct contrast, a pin could be heard dropping on ‘Museum Of Broken Hearts’.

 

You get to appreciate just what a talent Prophet is on records like this as he turns his hand to several styles yet always maintains the Chuck Prophet vibe and whoever rallied the troops and did the arrangments here has really elevated this set to the next level.  ‘White Night Big City’ is a cocky strut and can only be outdone by the impeccable cover of ‘Shake Some Action’ who’d have thought such an awesome Rock and Roll track would sound so cool with strings holding down the lead. Genius!

To wrap this bad boy up the softly sung balladeer that is Chuck Prophet leaves us with ‘No Other Love’ and I get lost in the moment as the strings wrap themselves around the slide guitar as Chuck hushes his lyrics the listener’s way and its not a tear in my eye just a spec of dust, honest. All that is left is the audience to give a huge round of applause before the record is done.  Simply brilliant stuff and now I can’t wait for the new studio album which is coming so very very soon.  Ladies and gentlemen get yerself some Chuck Prophet and do it now! You don’t need to take my word for it because Yup Roc has made the performance available on youtube (check it out below)

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Author: Dom Daley

“How do you define success? If you let somebody else define what success is, you’re a sucker. I’m no sucker.”

Chuck Prophet started out as a post-punk California kid who helped kick-start the alt-country genre when he joined Dan Stuart’s Green On Red, then making a name for themselves as part of the so-called Paisley Underground alongside bands like The Dream Syndicate and The Bangles. While Green On Red established a reputation for self-destruction illuminated by flashes of brilliance in the studio and on festival stages around Europe in the late 1980s, Prophet simultaneously immersed himself in roots music and forged a solo career via backroom and basement venues across his adopted home of San Francisco. He has emerged as one of the most respected musicians of his generation, admired for his talents as a songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and live performer. He has worked with the likes of Tony Visconti and Warren Zevon, and his songs have been performed by artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen and Solomon Burke.

Those who know him through his social-media presence or his live shows are well aware that no one tells a story quite like Chuck Prophet; here, his voice rings clearly from the first page to the last as he gives his perspective on writing, recording, and performing, and talks candidly about his struggles and remarkable recovery from years of addiction. As Prophet’s official archivist, author Stevie Simkin draws on over a hundred hours of interviews with his subject, as well as contributions from fellow musicians, producers, friends, and associates, and unique access to unreleased songs and live recordings and scores of previously unseen photographs. Time and again, Simkin puts the reader in the room with Chuck as he talks, or in the studio as he plays, and the live experience is captured from both sides of the stage monitors.

An exciting rock’n’roll odysseyWhat Makes The Monkey Dance… is essential reading for every fan of this phenomenal artist, but also for anyone with an interest in alternative music during a period seismic change, offering a fascinating portrait of how a true artist has managed to carve out a career at the sharp end of a notoriously ruthless industry.

Pre Order his book and new album Here

As we enter week god knows what of this Lockdown we thought we’d go through the gears and begin with this wonderful rendition of ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ from the awesome Chuck Prophet.

Always messing with your head Hank Von Hell is back in the room with ‘Disco’ and here’s the official video

The Kopek Millionaires – So Alone (Bandcamp Self Release) Gotta love Johny Skullknuckles when he drops a single without fanfare I always think to myself – what a tune! and being a massive fan of Soho Roses and knowing Mr Skull Knuckles this was always going to be a bit of a banger and so it would prove to be.  If you haven’t got a clue who or what I’m chundering on about then this is a great time to educate your ears and marvel in a bit of punk rock n roll before it was even a thing.  Mixing up the make up of Hanoi Rocks n the Dolls and drinking special brew with the Buzzcocks Soho Roses were a couple of singles and an album then crash and burn in a blaze of glory one last night in the Astoria never to be seen or heard of again.  Let Johny and his Kopek Millionaires remind us all of their splendour with this trashy take on their classic ‘So Alone’.  Enough waffle from me just clck the link and head over to bandcamp for a blast done exceedingly well.

Bandcamp track Here

Johny Skullknuckles – ‘A Face Made For Radio’ (Self Release) If one release wasn’t enough Johny turns in his second offering. ‘A Face Made For Radio’ is four tracks of snotty power-pop-punk rock n roll (and breathe) ‘Turn My Day Into Night’ is a rapid couple of jabs followed by a wild haymaker and if it connects then whamo! you’re done.  Its snotty ragged punk rock with melody and a hook. Then he follows it up with something a little punkier ‘Cheap Night Out’ is the sound of a cheap night out great guitar licks around a banging backbeat.

‘Overattached’ is a ’70s agony aunt dedicated to kinda song.  Like The Boys meets Buzzcocks with a punchy bass run it’s my pick of the four. then to wrap it up there’s the trashy ‘Cool Christine’ and whilst she might be cool shes not as cool as the tune about her.  Keep on Rockin’ Skullknuckles we need more trashy punk n roll in the world and this will tide us over nicely.  pick up a copy here

Chuck Prophet – ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ (Yep Roc Records) With a distinguished career in one of the 80s best alt-rock bands Green On Red and a solo career since that’s produced dozens of great songs why would this latest single from Chuck not be on our radar? with his sultry late-night vocals and amazing guitar skills, Prophet sees the first release in two years and is about to hit the road  ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ is a mellow laid back affair led by acoustic guitar and strings its a beautiful number and anything singing about the Dolls and Thunders gets a huge thumbs up from me especially when its this good.

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Calva Louise – ‘Interlude For The Borderline Unsettled’(Ditto Music) an EP featuring Five tracks that are really three-track because Calva goes old school and does a clean and non clean mix as well as a remix of the lead track ‘Belicoso’ sees the band deliver some of their CyberPunk racket on the public. With a heady mix of dance and breakbeats its a confusing sound it’s not quite the prodigy but the spirit is there.  ‘Sleeper’ is more pop noise if there’s such a genre (there is now) this manchester three-piece are causing a stir on mainstream radio stations with a Radio 1 jock hailing their sound as ‘Face Melting’ so not too shabby praise. the band mix it up further with ‘Adelante’ channelling their inner Depeche Mode with a decent slice of electronica. Facebook

 

The Young Gods – You Gave Me A Name (BUONASERA Productions Sàrl) Available on all digital platforms the Young Gods have been pushing the limits of sound for more than thirty years. They began as pioneers of industrial punk who flirted with surreal cabaret, and as sonic wizards they moved on to shamanize electro/techno music, all the while forging their own unique sound. Some genres for you to explore right there.  this release is a trippy slice of experimental rock it comes with a remix of ‘Tear Up The Red Sky’  by Gaspar Narby. Check it out, space cadets.

Jay Allen & the Archcriminals – ‘Beautiful Chaos EP’  (Rum Bar Records) The fact that Jay Allen is truly Neil Diamond’s Cousin isn’t something you hear every day and who are we to argue? but there is where any comparisons might begin and end as Jay rocks with a roots ragged slice of rock and roll maybe had they had Cous Neil singing the BVs that would really have been something. Its a rock solid single is ‘Beautiful Chaos’ and the fact its part of the Rum Bar stable is good enough for me to want to give it a play and some.  The second track ‘Big Lie’ is from the same ragged rock n roll that bands Like The Replacements fell outta.  Just check em out on their Bandcamp page you might just surprise yourself – Bandcamp

Belladonna – ‘Astronomer Of Life’ (Belladonna Records) The video of Astronomer Of Life is synced to a scene of a pre-existing movie, the last scene of the Russian director Andrej Tarkovsky 70s movie Stalker. It is a one-take-only video, but it has an overwhelming starkness, otherworld-ness and emotional power.  That’s what the press release said me I’d say its an acoustic atmospheric number that doesn’t particularly go anywhere and is just kinda’ there. A band for a late-night chill out I’d imagine and maybe not what a singles club is looking for at this time.  but we’ll let you be the judge of that

 

 

Beat City Tubeworks – ‘Rat Race’ (The Sign)  You wanted the best you got the best Beat City Tubeworks channel their inner Kiss meets Imperial State Electric and come up with ‘Rat Race’. Action rockers everywhere will wet their dirty denim when they get down n dirty with ‘Rat Race’ Jönköping Sweden birthed these rockers and they’ve sped along ever since.  you know the drill by now it’s 70s Rock mixed with some dirty attitude and this is taken from their soon to be released album ‘I Just Cannot Believe It’s The Incredible…’ which originally came out in 2016 but the Sign Records are rebirthing the beast so check em out. Facebook

Lazybones – Trash Talk (Say Something Records) “That moment when you know you’re about to say something you’ll regret, when you’re right on the edge and you just can’t stop it,” vocalist Candi Underwood explains. this thumping track has boundless energy as the song is driven by that wild fuzzed guitar and the big vocals that spit the lyrics all over the track.

It’s fresh and commercial enough to have wide-reaching appeal and no surprise that Radio has been playing this track Facebook

Cabinet Of Millionaires – ‘Stop The Coup’ (Chocolate Fireguard Records) Politically charged electronica much like Chumbawumba of yesteryear.  Cobbled together speeches fro the likes of Corbyn and Jones reciting some of Johnson’s lies and foul-mouthed diatribes that seem to pass the general population by without even a raised eyebrow.  Many people say you shouldn’t mix politics with music but we say bollocks to that if it needs saying then say it and Cabinet of Millionaires pull no punches as they say it as it is. With three mixes coming out early December to coincide with the election this should soundtrack everyone old enough to vote as they enter the room to put their cross on the ballot paper.  No more austerity and Tory rule We’ll have some of that! Bandcamp

 

The 1865 – ‘John Browns Gat’ (Mass Appeal) NYC residents kick up a storm with their groove-heavy track.  Taken from their forthcoming album ‘Don’t Tread On We’ there’s a tonne of attitude and punk happening here but it’s mixed with something altogether different siting Husker Du and Rage against the machine as influences will probably tell you nothing about where they’re coming from. Maybe not as hard-hitting as some of the other songs on the album its a brief glimpse into what they are about and Honeychild Coleman has a captivating vocal style. Check out ‘Get Out’ for a mash-up of styles in a very listenable sound. The 1865 have something to say so we suggest you listen up!

Bandcamp

 

 

 

Dom Daley.

When a term gets hijacked and used for bad things or at least if I were to say retro many would already have turned off but if I were to say T Rex, 60’s pop and walking on the darker side of the road inspired Noo Yawk Rock and Rollers from the shady recesses of the lower east side who tap into some of musics historic veins and draw inspiration then it means the same thing right? To me it does but not to others it would seem but when I drop a track from the new Beechwood record I hear ghosts from some of my favorites drifting through the laid back chilled out airwaves.  T Rex, for example, is all over ‘Bigot In My Bedroom’ and as good as Marc was he wasn’t Noo Yawk cool though was he as he strutted around Barnes and Roehampton.

‘Over On Everyone’ has a fantastic melody that could have been written by a pop-savvy Boys rather than their boys in the bar style and had hung out in the lofts with Andy and co. Beechwood ooze style and a laid-back class on this record (their second in less than a year) Clearly these cats can rock out and I wouldn’t mind betting Keith and Mick features heavily in their collection but so would The Beach Boys and the Everleys as some of the melodies are forged in the past.  Take ‘Nero’ and its biting guitar riff that shows a doff of the cap to Ron Asheton and his Stooges for sure and me not being a fan of the instrumental I love this and its groove.

There is a darkness that hits upon the likes of the Jesus And Mary Chain on ‘I Found You Out’ from the roaring chords to the hushed tones on the lead vocals to the clean picked guitar lick its certainly got style and substance and then as it crashes to its conclusion its followed up with the 60’s pop of ‘Up And Down’ and before we’re done here the beautiful ‘I Don’t Blame You Anymore’ is a killer tucked away nicely at the death and it kinda falls into the country-tinged drink up its time to go home of ‘Our Love Was Worth The Heartbreak’ that sounds like the Dolls jammin with Keith n mick and shooting the breeze with Bukowski whilst he’s observing these barflies.

Another day another great band falls out of the club and onto my ever-expanding list of bands to keep an eye on, on the basis of them making great records that look good and sound better.  Get yourselves some Beechwood I’m serious you be glad you did.  Remember kids you snooze you looze!

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BEECHWOOD upcoming European tour dates :
November 13 @ Merleyn — Nijmegen, NL
November 14 @ Paard — Den Haag, NL
November 15 @ Patronaat — Haarlem, NL
November 16 @ Q Factory — Amsterdam, NL
November 17 @ Espace B — Paris, FR
November 18 @ Kesaco — Puymirol, FR
November 19 @ Stereolux — Nantes, FR
November 21 @ Blah Blah — Torino, IT
November 22 @ Arci Taun — Findenza, IT
November 23 @ Cox 18 — Milano, IT
November 24 @ Super Bock Under fest — Lausanne, CH
November 27 @ Les Pavillons Sauvages — Toulouse, FR
November 28 @ Amperage — Grenoble, FR
November 29 @ Le 106 — Rouen, FR
November 30 @ La Bulle Cafe — Lille, FR
December 1 @ La Grange à Musique — Creil, FR
December 2 @ Le Galion — Lorient, FR

With a brand new album out and in the shops the king of power pop took up our invitation to have a chat about his career and the new record.  He shouldn’t need an introduction but seeing as I’m here I’ll give him one for those of you not familiar with any of his work.  He began his recording career with The Nerves back in the early 70’s and weaved his tapestry through the halls Of Power Pop N Roll playing with his band The Beat and as a solo artist he’s penned many a classic tune and continues to this day recording records and playing shows he’s taken the stage with the likes of The Ramones and Green Day over the years and just put out one of the years best power pop albums ‘Out Of My Head’.

Back in the early days of The Nerves How come the three of you didn’t co-write the songs together back then?  
When I joined The Nerves I had not begun to write songs yet, it was only after hearing what Jack and Peter were writing that I decided I had to try too. Jack was the main writer at the time and he was adamant about keeping everything separate. Each of us were to write and sing our own songs. He was very helpful to me though. He spent a lot of time listening and critiquing my songs. He was a great mentor in that respect.
Did you ever imagine you’d be part of the band that spawned such a classic song as ‘Hanging On The Telephone’?  
I knew Hanging on the Telephone was a hit the moment I heard it. It was the first day that I had met Jack Lee, he played me the acetate of the demo he had made and it blew my mind!
Did you think your original version was the best?  
I am very proud of our version it stands up to the test of time.
Have you heard the Def Leppard version or L7’s?  
Yes, and I like the credit Def Leppard gave it on their record. 
After you settled on the west coast was it easy putting the band together?
Back then, The West Coast was a better environment for me and the kind of music I was trying to do. After The Nerves, I had the very good fortune to meet Steve Huff. He became my main songwriting partner for many years. Writing with people is a very personal thing, it has never been easy for me to do. I’m that regards I was very happy to meet Paul Stingo who I worked with on the last record, Out Of My Head.
Bomp have done a great job of reissuing all the older stuff that was pretty hard to get hold of and you managed the and sorted out the tours and stuff did that set you in good stead for later on trying to negotiate the deals?
I have been DIY now for many years, there isn’t a lot of hard negotiating really mostly verbal agreements with people who are more or less friends.
They put out the comp in the noughties with bonus unreleased previously songs is that it now the well completely dry or is there more to eventually come?
There might be a few odds and ends but most of the recorded unreleased tracks have been used.
Moving onto more recent times, were you contacted by Green Day for them to include a track on the American Idiot play?
They never contacted me, they just played the song quite frequently but they always told the audience who it was by, I really appreciated that.
Didn’t you join them on stage as well?  that must have been so cool.
Yes, I played ‘Walking Out Of Love’ with them (2 times in a row!) onstage at the Bowery Electric here in New York for the end of show party they had when ‘American Idiot’ closed. Billy Joe was extremely gracious to me, I will never forget how nice he treated me!
You played with a lot of influential punk bands back in the day when it was all fresh and new, how did the audiences take to the difference in sound from say the Germs and the Weirdos compared to your more melodic power pop.
At the time it seemed to me that the audience related more to The Germs and The Weirdos. We always seemed to be on the outside.
You’ve always championed bands and artists in a business that doesn’t always reward the best; hardest working bands or the most talented, who in your opinion were the ones who fell through the cracks are there any noticeable bands you were convinced were going to be stars?
It such a relative question, nowadays my idea of success has changed. If you can somehow make your living doing what you love then you are a success. I think if you can stay in the game that’s a big part of it. That’s what I am trying to do.
From the king of power pop until this year’s release you’ve released three albums with Alive is it as enjoyable making records as it sounds?
Actually making a record is always a pretty gutwrenching experience. I am constantly ripping it apart and building it up again in an effort to make it as good as possible.
Your records always sound like they were made with a smile on your face and you are totally happy with what your doing would that be a fair assumption?
No, but that is the trick, you have to make it sound effortless even though you drive yourself nuts trying to do it!
How do you find recording now compared to back in the 70’s is it easier with technology or not?
It has never been easy and hopefully, it never will. I think you have to make a big effort to create something worthwhile.
In fact, it seems like everyone is trying to get back to recording as we did back in the 70’s!
You’ve also recorded with some exceptional players like Chuck Prophet, Greg and Cyril from the Flaming Groovies to name a few do you get a bigger buzz now making a record or touring?
I enjoy what I am doing a lot now mainly because I think I am more in the present. It was a great experience making the Paul Collins record in SF I got to record with so many fantastic musicians, that record will always be a special one for me!
You also do your own management and play an active role with new bands trying to break through.  Is that still exciting for you or is the industry still a massive ballache.
It’s a tough business that is for sure! Being DIY has its pros and cons, the pros are you pretty much get to do what you want. I have come to accept my position in the business and I’m ok with it. I do what I love to do, more or less on my own terms.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received
From Jimmy the Greek who owned The Downbeat in SF. “You gotta have tight beginnings and tight endings and everyone will think you’re great!”
What advice would you give to a hungry young band looking to someone of your skill and status for advice and guidance?
Work your ass off and never give up!
Finally, when do you begin work on the next album?
Still basking in the afterglow of this one!
and what about some shows in the UK?
Love too, it’s just a matter of working out the logistics.
so until he hits the road and someone in the UK offers him some dates I guess we’ll have to make do with the records which is no bad deal.  So thanks to Paul for taking the time to chat to RPM now go check out the new album at the link.

PAUL COLLINS BEAT “Out of My Head” EURO TOUR 2019 – Buy tickets here
This tour will be done completely by train, a new model for the new millennium of touring! Arrive alive and on time!

Feb 7 Stockholm Melodybox
Feb 8 Malmo Folk å Rock
Feb 9 Hamburg Nochtwache
Feb 12 Mannheim Altes Volksbad
Feb 14 Berlin Cortina Bob
Feb 15 Essen Freak Show
Feb 16 Kortrijk Den Trapp
Feb 17 Utrecht dB’s
Feb 18 Brussels CHAFF
Feb 19 France Orleans Blue Devils
Feb 20 France TBA
Feb 21 Clermont-Ferrand Bombshell
Feb 22 Saint-Etienne Le Clapier
Feb 23 France TBA
Feb 25 Alicante Sala Stereo
Feb 27 Valencia Loco Club
Feb 28 Madrid Fun House
Mar 1 Spain TBA
Mar 2 Spain Segovia

 Nev Brooks.

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.

 

Pick up the Jesse Malin back catalogue here

Pick up the Chuck Prophet here