(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Chuck Prophet, one of contemporary rock’s greatest songwriters, brings his group, the Mission Express, to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, August 10, at 9pm. Noir-rockabilly artist Sarah Borges will open the show. Both performers are favorites of Helsinki audiences, and are performing during the city’s all-encompassing Hudson Music Festival.
Chuck Prophet writes and sings wry, trenchant rock songs that connect the dots, musical and otherwise, between Tom Petty and Warren Zevon. Stylistically, Prophet embraces a host of traditional and classic sounds, including country, soul, LA rock, indie-rock, folk-rock, and plain old rock ‘n’ roll. Lyrically, Prophet is deceptive, seemingly tossing off one-liners in his wry twang, but often in the service of full-fledged story-songs or sociopolitical narratives that are always cinematic, often funny, and subtly brilliant.
In his first show before a small crowd at the old Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., Prophet channeled the classic rock virtues of Tom Petty together with the showmanlike values of James Brown to make for a stunningly memorable evening. From his twangy, surf guitars to his soul preacher moves, Prophet was an iconoclast, and in form and in content — narratives about losers, drifters, con men and the like — his show could have been the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino film. The California rocker is a quirky original who has been associated in one way or another with musicians and bands including Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, Cake, Kim Richey and Kelly Willis.
Prophet and company are making the sort of music that has made pop stars of the White Stripes and their ilk, yet they are doing so while drawing on a much wider canvas and with greater wit, intelligence and virtuosity. A masterful guitarist to boot, Prophet takes Robbie Robertson’s grammar and vocabulary and builds on it and to use the instrument for its articulate musical possibilities, and not merely to play blues and jazz licks.
Think of him as America’s answer to Ray Davies.
Prophet’s band, the Mission Express, includes James DePrato (guitar), Paul Taylor (drums), Kevin White (bass) and Stephanie Finch (keys, guitar). Prophet himself is no slouch on the Fender Telecaster.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call: 518-828-4800