Since his neo-psychedelic Green On Red days, Chuck Prophet has been turning out country, folk, blues, and Brill Building classicism. THE LAND THAT TIME FORGET is something different, a weather vane picking up signals from outer space – or maybe it’s the Heartland.
Priced out of his beloved hometown, San Francisco, Prophet found himself re-energized in Upstate NY just a few miles from the Vermont border – and made a record that is much a 21st century exorcism as it is America.
The songs inhabit a world where a Fast Kid might be on the run from the truant officer or a handsy boss…or the Immigration Service. These are love songs that turn political on a dime (Love Doesn’t Come from the Barrel of a Gun), and melodic hallucinations about kicking back in the Oval Office after hours “talking to my baby, saying baby, let’s not fight.”
Where else besides a Chuck Prophet LP are songs going to come at you from both the Tenderloin and an English roundabout, with stopovers in Nixonland and a love-struck mirror on a Saturday night while a workingman tries his Best Shirt On? With special appearances by the ghost of Johnny Thunders and Willie Wonka and John the Baptist and the train that brought Abraham Lincoln home one last time.
In Waving Goodbye, a young girl leaves small town attitudes behind to conquer the world one gig at a time. Then there’s a dance Marathon, lost in time and reborn as a reality show. According to Womankind, men had their run, but it’s over. (The good news is he can still try to sing his way into her heart.)
And it all leads up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where a singer has his say, in two and a half loping verses and a middle eight.