NO OTHER LOVE (New West Records) Chuck Prophet
Certainly one of the greatest of the West Coast groovers, Chuck Prophet's also one of rock's greatest vocalists. An absolutely funky ass guitar player, he also laid down great bass and dobro lines, as well as percussion and drum machine tracks on this new recording.
"I Bow Down and Pray to Every Woman I See" is my new obsession, can't get enough of it. When he repeats the title hook, he sounds like he's singing into an old bullet mic plugged into a little distorted guitar amp. Reminiscent of Captain Beefheart, a legendary vocalist.
I just saw Chuck's band play in front of Lucinda Williams, at a free outdoor gig they do on Wednesdays during the Nashville swelter called The Uptown Mix. They were absolutely great, and reproduced all the highlights of No Other Love, no small feat. Chuck's partner in crime Stephanie Finch was on keyboards, acoustic guitar, and essential background vocals. She's a big part of the music, to understate the matter, I'm sure. Max Butler was also outstanding on guitar, and Winston Watson on drums and Rob Douglas on bass a superb rhythm section. I found the guitar interplay and the vocals above and beyond the call of duty. Lots of good wah-wah pedal melodies and funky parts setting up songs that were funny or poignant stories of life, love, and loss. Prophet's lyrics cut deep in urban screwball fashion, the songwriting is very original and consistently strong. Seven of eleven were written by the artist himself, and the remainder cowritten with his buddy klipschutz.
After eight albums with the seminal alt-outfit Green On Red and six on his own, Prophet is way too good to be only this well known. Do the right thing -- sample the clips, buy the record (it's in stores now), and tell all your friends who value good music about him. He's toured the U.S. and Europe extensively for two decades. He's the real deal, an American original.
Chuck Prophet is one of the singingest, playingest mofos out there. He should be huge - and he is, in my book. Check him out!