Floating throughout the rock and roll ether are musical crossroads. In that spot where the Kinks’ Ray Davies, Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Strummer and Dave Alvin come together you will find Chuck Prophet. For years, the San Francisco based singer songwriter has penned brilliant biographies of the down and out. Of a better time now passed and the continued longing that makes us all human. In support of his last album Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins, Prophet brings his remarkable catalog to The Turf Club on August 24.
Info and Tickets HERE
One of the great injustices of popular music is the rewarding of hype over merit. Singer/songwriters, in particular, often labor for years without their just due. Then sometimes the stars align, a single song breaks out and the masses discover what other artists have known for a long time; that the person has a depth of songs that can fill an evening. Think Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff or the aforementioned Escovedo. Chuck Prophet is one of those guys. He’s been there forever and the quality of his work guarantees he’ll be there til the dusty end.
I first stumbled across Prophet a decade ago while reading liner notes to one my personal Desert Island albums, Alejandro Escovedo’s Real Animal. That one is also about survival. About Escovedo’s participation in the earliest days of the West Coast punk scene and the characters that flashed across the stage before most ran headlong into the pavement. It walks this beautiful line between reminiscence, melancholy and gratitude set to an angry rock and roll snarl. Prophet co-wrote every song on the album. Since that time I’ve made sure to keep an eye (and an ear) out for Chuck Prophet.
He describes the new album as “California Noir”. He says: “the state has always represented The Golden Dream and it’s the tension between romance and reality that runs beneath the surface of all noir films and paperbacks that connect 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.” In other words, a collection of Prophet tunes that stay true to his vision.
While his songs stand up well given solo acoustic treatment, it’s just more rock and roll fun when presented in a full band format. Prophet is touring with his group The Mission Express for this one.
In support of the headliner is New York based post punkers Jeremy & The Harlequins. They exploded onto the scene in 2015 with a critically acclaimed LP titled American Dreamer. The band’s Stray Cat’s swagger meets NYC back alley. Their 3rd release Remember This on the Yep Roc label is due out August 17.