Live & Direct With Chuck Prophet


Chuck Prophet dropped by the WYEP Studios to play Live & Direct on March 27. 2017. Prophet was on tour promoting his album Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, whose title pays tribute to the early rock star, best known for his hit "I Fought The Law," who died at 23. "I relate to him for a number of reasons. He was an auteur, one of the first rock and roll auteurs. He made his own records, wrote his own songs, ran his own band. He was just a guy out of El Paso, TX who did amazing things. He recorded his early records in his parents living room. He and his brother built an reverb chamber in their back yard out of cement and corregated tin. They wanted to get that Buddy Holly sound, you know."

Prophet then played another new song from the album, "Jesus Was a Social Drinker," which marks at least three times he's penned a song with Jesus in the title. He goes on to talk about playing his song "You Could Make a Doubter of Jesus" on the David Letterman show a few years back and his mother's response: "Well, honey. Um, your father and I stayed up and watched you on the television. Honey, I gotta tell ya, that's not my favorite song of yours!" He talked about checking out what was on his mom's Kindle recently, "My hands were shaking! I started scrolling through the titles. About 50% of the titles were theology and the other half were true crime. I'm like 'OK!' This is me!"  

Something that stands out about Chuck Prophet's music is his vocal delivery, "My favorite kind of singer is someone who doesn't sound like their singing. I like the way people sound like the way they sing in their car." He describes his evolution in writing to write the way people talk, "I used to write a lot of pretentious stuff when I was learning. I thought it was all very Dylanesque. I would do all these cartwheels across the page, non sequiturs and stuff. I think it's more satisfying if you can capture a characters real voice the way they would talk. That's what my heroes do, people like Randy Newman and Jonathan Richman. As I've gone on, I think I've gotten clearer, if anything."

Set List: 

- Bad Year for Rock n' Roll

- Jesus Was a Social Drinker

- Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins

- Summertime Thing