Songwriting juggernaut Chuck Prophet
has been a Bay Area fixture since his early days in the proto-experimental rock outfit Green on Red, but far more rewarding has been his prolific solo output. ¡Let Freedom Ring!
, his ninth studio album, has the outsider’s take on what’s generally referred to as Americana music with an over-the-border bent. Recorded in Mexico City during the first panic of the swine flu scare, the album has a jagged anxiety of shifting tectonic plates. A chugging minor-key tune, “Sonny Liston’s Blues” traipses along to kick things off as if on a crumbling ledge. Slowly congealing into torn-love songs replete with the usual Prophet trademarks—such as the inimitable way he hollows out his throat and nose to drawl his long o’s
—the lingering metaphor is about America, el Norte
, where “the hawk cripples the dove.” Always a passionate live performer, Prophet headlines on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Mystic for the KRSH 95.9-FM listener appreciation party. Jesse DeNatale opens. 23 Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma. 8pm. $15. 707.765.2121.Gabe Meline