Chuck Prophet Trio (Photo courtesy Union Stage)
Since his neo-psychedelic Green On Red days, Chuck Prophet has been turning out country, folk, blues, and Brill Building classicism. After a false start recording in his hometown of San Francisco, Prophet decided to get out of Dodge and found himself re-energized in Upstate New York just a few miles from the Vermont border to make 2020’s The Land That Time Forgot, a record that is much a 21st century exorcism as it is America.
Says Prophet of the single “Willie and Nilli, “America 2.0. The Tenderloin, the TL, the Loin, take your pick. The blighted inner-city nowhere. Here are your kids next door. Beautiful losers, yeah. But there’s a tenderness. With choruses! Sonically it’s rain on a conga drum all the way. With an electric e-bow guitar by James DePrato weaving in and out. An e-bow straight out of Bowie’s Heroes. Jim Goldberg’s black-and-white vérité cover image of the LP brings it home. Settling in for a night of Chinese food, cheap vodka and Metallica on a homemade stereo. It’s a kind of seduction, a prayer even. It’s the best and the worst of times in three verses. With the thumb on the scale leaning toward the best of times. Everyone was young once. Even my folks who incidentally are on the back of the LP cover in my Dad’s Chevy rhymes with levee were young once.”
Watch the official lyric video for “Willie and Nilli” by Chuck Prophet on YouTube:
Written mostly with Prophet longtime collaborator and co-conspirator klipschutz, the songs that inhabit The Land That Time Forgot come at you from an array of locations both real and imagined including San Francisco’s Tenderloin, an English roundabout, and Nixonland while hanging out with the ghosts of Johnny Thunders, Willie Wonka, and John the Baptist, and contemplating the train that carried Abraham Lincoln home for the final time.
To compliment the critically acclaimed album, in early 2022, Prophet released The Land That Time Forgot Revisited, a four-song digital live EP recorded at the Make Out Room in San Francisco featuring “Meet Me at the Roundabout,” “Womankind,” “Fast Kid,” and “Kiss Me Deadly,” with his band, the Mission Express, and a string quartet (the Makeout Room Quartet).
Chuck Prophet appears at Union Stage with the Chuck Prophet Trio.
W/ Mark Erelli
Saturday, Jan. 7
Doors @ 6:30pm