Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express
Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express
For most of his life, San Francisco has been Chuck Prophet's muse...or more accurately, his drug of choice. "It can suck you under. That first hit. It really does a whammy to you. And if you're like me you can find yourself chasing the San Francisco dragon for the rest of your life. That's what the record is about."
Named for the ill-fated rock club of the same name, Temple Beautiful was "made in San Francisco, by San Franciscans about San Francisco." Roy Loney, vocalist and wildman in legendary Bay Area band The Flamin' Groovies contributes guest vocals to the title track.
One of the driving forces behind cult heroes Green on Red and the influential L.A. Paisley Underground scene in the 1980s, Prophet's creative mold was actually cast in San Francisco. Recalls Prophet, "Temple Beautiful is the name of a long closed rock and roll club which was between Bill Graham's iconic Fillmore Ballroom and the tragic storefront church founded by the Reverend Jim Jones. It's where I saw my first gigs."
Inspired by current San Francisco artists, Prophet felt compelled to pay tribute to the history and weirdness that brought him to the city nearly 30 years ago. "There's a kind of rock and roll psych renaissance going on in this town at the moment with bands like Thee Oh Sees, Girls, The Fresh and Onlys, Kelley Stoltz and Sonny and the Sunset's. I'm very encouraged by all this stuff going on here."
Part love letter and part unsentimental tour, Temple Beautiful attempts to capture San Francisco in all it's forms: romantic port-of-call, bohemian utopia, but even more so, an often unforgiving pioneer outpost filled with the freaks and characters not welcome in America's heartland. And musically, there is no doubt that San Francisco is one of the country's most enduring scenes, home to decade after decade of classic artists and albums. Temple Beautiful is at once a look back at the inspirations that spawned them and the next installment in its discography.
In addition to releasing two amazing albums in Soap & Water and ¡Let Freedom Ring! over the past several years, Chuck's music has been heard in hit television series True Blood (HBO), Californication (Showtime) and Sons of Anarchy (FX). Prophet also co- wrote all the songs on Alejandro Escovedo's critically-acclaimed album Real Animal.
THE JOSH HARTY BAND
No one knows what it is like to come from the Heartlands of America more than singer and songwriter Josh Harty. From his roots in Fargo, North Dakota with a preacher / police officer as a father, to his travelling the country with a 1965 Gibson guitar on his back, Harty embodies every nook and cranny of Americana, and his music is evidence of that.
On August 1st Harty will release his latest work, Nowhere (Magnolia Recording Co). This album is his most organic release to date, with siren-like harmonies on tracks like "Nowhere" (featuring Brianna Lane) and "Yesterday" with Chris Cunningham (Storyhill); as well as double bass, fiddle, accordion, and more on most tracks. The first six songs were written, recorded, and selected for this album with care, every word soaked with meaning and intimacy paralleled by very few artists. The seventh track, a live cover of Richard Thompson's 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, was added after production and is a perfect complement to the bare-bones nature of the rest of the album.
"I wanted to record something acoustic and honest; without frills or pretension and with minimal production. , says Harty of Nowhere.
Music fans and critics across the globe are recognizing Josh's technical skill as well, which he has gained through nearly three decades on guitar (he started playing in nursing homes with his father at age five and was first featured on two albums shortly thereafter).
The Atlanta Music Guide described Harty as having "fingers that seem to catch fire,"
which is validated throughout Nowhere, especially on the last track.
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