Not so long back I caught a great doubleheader over the bridge in Bristol consisting of Jesse Malin and Chuck Prophet. Now people in the know would probably remember Chuck Prophet from his days in a band called Green on Red, I caught them live a couple of times back in the day, and could never quite categorize them, psychedelic, alt-country, alt-rock, indie there were so many labels that fitted but if you got bogged down in how to listen to them from which viewpoint you missed the fact that they were a Bloody good live band. Where am I going with this, not long after seeing Chuck this little beauty dropped in my inbox from Dan Stuart, the guitarist, and frontman of Green on Red.
Settling in and kicking back you are immediately caught up in the production, it’s so clean, the music breathes, its given space. There’s something in the picked intro to opener March 5th, 1961 that pulls you into the story that runs through the LP, setting you up chapter by chapter, song by song.
We drift through the story, it’s definitely got that Alt-Country vibe, steeped in that Americana tradition. Moods and emotions change as you work your way through and fleetingly my thoughts drift towards the Who as a point of reference especially on “Here comes my boy”. There’s even a hint of Bowie wrapped around “Tucson”, what I’m saying is very much as with Green on Red you can’t quite label things, to me a sign of how comfortable someone is with their music, letting things develop organically taking on its own life story, following its own pathway to the finish.
This LP draws in so many references to so many different artists, sometimes Lou Reed, Sometimes Roger Waters, Sometimes Roger Daltrey, Sometimes Steve Earle, what have they all got in common? They are fantastic storytellers.
I would class as one of those evenings into late nite LP’s when your sat, drifting along with the sound, watching the sun go down following the story as it unfolds. This is a companion piece to a novel that will be published at the same time the third part in the Marlowe Billings trilogy. This is an excellent piece of work getting darker as the LP moves forward track by track someone going through their life story, laying everything bare. Well worth some attention from a much wider audience.
Buy the album Here