Review: Once again Chuck Prophet successfully negotiates the crosswalks of life and other shite I wrote about his latest, Bobby Fuller

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Chuck Prophet – Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins (2017)
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Chuck Prophet’s best recent albums feel like an invite to come out and see a local band with him. It’ll be fun – we’ll grab a few drinks, dance, get sweaty, meet some folk, share some laughs and some feels, maybe get some food after … let our hair down, get home safe.

He has a playful, disarming way about him that lets him cross the fourth wall. There’s an earnest purposefulness to it, but at the end of the night you’d never say he was the bossy one.

“Crap about Bowie dying huh,” you might have said at one point and he’d have said/sung, “Yeah, it was a Bad Year For Rock and Roll.” Or “See Oakland cops shot another dark kid,” and he’d nod, “Yup. Alex Nieto. Good kid. Worked. Going to school. Sitting on a park bench eating a burrito. WTF?” Or later, when you were wearing a lampshade giggling “hey, look at me,” Chuck might have come back at you with some stand-up routine about being Connie Britton and say it’s ok, Jesus Was A Social Drinker too.

As with 2012’s Temple Beautiful, a wistful insider’s street guide to San Francisco during the tech buck invasion, his dud-free Bobby Fuller (who dat?) is an amber light at the intersection of where we’ve been and where we’re going.
Chuck’s driving; we’re safe.

Like Kate Wolf before her, Martha Tilston finds peace and perspective outdoors

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Martha Tilston – Nomad (2017)

Sitting by the ocean looking out or outdoors on a starry night looking up, it’s nigh impossible not to become reflective. That is where English folkie Martha Tilston sets the vignettes on her latest (7th) album, a gently-prodding pondering of the human condition – or at least her own experience of it.

“Oh the beauty we could see if we could just know who we are”, she sings (Kate Wolf-like) on the concluding track Blue Pearl and by then, if you’ve been wise and taken Nomad outside with you to commune with nature, you’ll find that just as liberating as she has.

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