Cleaning Out the Old INbox: Chuck Prophet, Boca Chica

Don’t forget the Kristofferson Kontest… I’ll draw the winner tonight after work.

Now… a couple of quick hitters to clear a few tracks out of my “to blog” file.

First up is the upcoming release from rocker Chuck Prophet. Let Freedom Ring! is set for release October 27th from Yep Roc records, and promises to deliver the same style of genre-bending rock that made me such a big fan of his 2007 release Soap & Water. It’s the same blending of roots, pop, and punk that Prophet brought to the table as a co-writer and guitarist for all thirteen songs on Alejandro Escovedo’s Real Animalmy favorite album of 2008.

I should mention that I haven’t heard the entire record yet, but the four tracks I have heard leave me very excited for the full product. I’m sharing the title track with you here as well as a YouTube video where Prophet explains the process behind recording the album he calls, “A love and sex comedy in twelve parts.”

Chuck Prophet: Let Freedom Ring! (Buy Album)

Next we have Lace Up Your Workboots from Boca Chica, an indie-folk outfit fronted by Pittsburgh songwriter Hallie Pritts. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I have a distinct weakness for femme-folk artists such as Crooked Still, The Be Good Tanyas, Madison Violet, etc… You can now add Boca Chica to that list, as the group shares some common ground with all of those artists.

Of course, they probably wouldn’t have caught my ear as much as they did if didn’t delineate a bit from the standard folk fare. Influences here come from all over the musical map and include artists as diverse as Gillian Welch, Andrew Bird, and Fleetwood Mac. Just try listening to “Shake Your Party Dress” without hearing echoes of Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham.
There are other surprises here as well. A lonesome steel guitar drives the album’s title track and creates a tune that would fit nicely alongside Neil Young on any playlist. A vibraphone comes along for the ride on the banjo and cello driven album opener “Lake Erie.” The unusual instrumentation gives the track, which is a meditation on mortality, an etherial quality that takes it just a notch beyond your standard folk song. And that’s what makes the album as a whole such a compelling listen. It is folk presented in an unfamiliar form… and well worth checking out.
Boca Chica: Lake Erie (Buy Album)
Boca Chica: Shake Your Party Dress (Buy Album)

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