A couple of weeks ago I passed a little shop just off Great Western Road in Glasgow. It’s still a record shop and has been for as long as I can remember. As my mind started to track back I remembered a lost Saturday many, many years ago as I trawled through the vinyl sections and stumbled across a record by Green On Red. I can’t think why I bought the record other than I must have heard something that intrigued me and where that piece of vinyl has gone is anyone’s guess, but it’s my earliest connection with this week’s special guest. Chuck Prophet’s own time with Green On Red happened a little later and that inevitably led to the solo career for which Chuck has just released his tenth solo album.
I’m loathe to burden any listener with the weight of over-praise, but … I really do think this new album, ‘The Land That Time Forgot,‘ may well be Chuck’s finest to date. As you will hear in the conversation I recorded with him, there’s an expansiveness to the record which allows Chuck to ruminate on subjects which are always going to be fascinating through the Chuck lens. I’m also convinced that great artists will always be on the money when it comes to prescience. Yes, Chuck writing about Trump is entertaining and necessarily derogatory, but the timely pathos of ‘Paying My Respects To The Train’ should be required listening for all Americans as they approach this year’s election.
I’ve held numerous conversations with Chuck Prophet over many years. Each time we conclude I always wish it had gone longer…..what would Chuck think about this?…what would Chuck say if I mentioned…Elvis? Americana? The New York Dolls? The Gun Lobby? So when we connected on Facetime and I even messed up the time difference, Chuck took the early start in his stride and we ended up in a very long conversation about…well…everything.
We’ve kept the chat about Chuck’s own career and particularly his new album until the second hour of this week’s AC to make room for a rather special hour first. In that hour we will play out some favourite records of Chuck’s which you might expect to hear on his new satellite radio, Country Show via Gimme Country. (Every Friday if you’re looking for it).
You’ll love his choices and I expect, like my producer, Richard Murdoch and myself, you’ll want to be adding a few new names into your record collection by the end of the night. Listen out for some rare gems from one or two familiar names.
We seldom dedicate both hours to artists, but when we do, we like to think they are very special indeed. Take a bow Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart and Nick Lowe. If these names are familiar but Chuck hasn’t darkened your turntable I suspect you might be doing a little record shopping by the end of the week. Join me this Tuesday night for a very special two hours with Chuck Prophet on BBC Radio Scotland. It all starts at five past eight.