What The Fuck Is Americana?
The vibe from Frank and Murry is tangible, touchable and traumatic as they wheedled and convinced the devil to climb down from the Asking Tree. The folk songs from their Murder ballads album flickered, stuttered and then were illuminated by Bob Frank`s rich voice, that dripped with honey hashcaked lifespent. I also felt some singeing stinging guitar work and the soulfull vocals of John Murry. They shared their stage tonight with Nate on piano/accordian and Todd Roper (currently on tour with Mr. Charles Prophet) on drums.
The four of them haunted us with tales of gruesome murder, tragedy and death. John returned to the stage to sing about desire and stolen love with Charles and his Mission Express. The fact that the lyrics he had scribbled down were all about the stealing of Ms Finch away from Charles made us remember that its a fool who wont eat anything fried, and the meek aint gonna inherit shit -as the Reverend Love once posited. Stranger things have happened in army surplus auctions in New Zealand.
Chuck and his band scorched their way through a set that slam dunked the new Soap and Water album through the net very hard.The man just gets better – the songwriting is reaching a real peak, his guitar playing is just breathtaking – like a strafing meteor crashing through the cosmos.His vocals are sounding good my man.
The band kicked so much ass they came back out for an encore with their plates of meat wrapped in blood flecked bandages.He also pulled some tunes out from his huge back-catalogue just to see who was taking notes.The Soap and Water tracks rocked hard. The man with the monkey always knows when its time to sharpen his wit.
Kathleen Haskard and The Guilty Preachers (who include the co-producer of her new record Dont Tell, Simon Alpin. The other co-prducer was non other than Charles) played on the second night. Sounding better than ever live they crunched their way through faster numbers with drive and intensity. Kathleen has a real presence and is not shy to show the slower tunes have just the same power, especially the killer tune Losers Weep, which silkily wraps in and around your throat without leaving any marks at all…..
A great two nights of gigs, Chuck Prophet really did pull all the stops out. But please…..can anyone answer this question thats on everybody’s lips—What is fucking Americana these days?
Paul Hawkins has been interested in popular culture and music, protest and survival for as long as we can remember. He began writing about things, making music and other noise at an early age. Paul has interviewed musicians, writers, poets, protestors and artists.