Release Info: Hurting business
Martin Goldschmidt from Cooking Vinyl called and asked Chuck to make another record. He didn't have to ask twice, though he did have to wait a while.
"After I finished the last record naturally I was looking forward to going out and kicking the songs around on stage until each and every one of them learned how to entertain itself" explained Prophet. "Some songs never did learn how to behave... Eventually I started collecting new ideas. That inevitably led to a shoe box full of cassettes, pieces of string, titles, grooming tips, etc. In the cold light of day, some grooming tips are better than others. But before I knew it, some of these fragments disappeared inside full-blown songs. The rest was long sessions of work—taking the Farfisa in for repair, rewriting changing keys, sneaking looks at the rhyming dictionary when hopefully no one was looking—all the stuff that should never see the light of day"
Jacquire King (a neighbor of Chucks who worked on Tom Waits' Mule Variations among too many other cool things to mention) was enlisted to co-produce and re-produce. "Jacquire has a background in everything from hip-hop to field recordings," says Prophet. "I'm familiar enough with the two guitars/bass/drums terrain, so I played him some of my four track sketches. To my surprise he encouraged me to run with those scrappy parts of songs. In fact, we dumped a lot of the skeleton tracks into the computer. I've always needed someone on the other side of the glass that I can trust Having a co-producer enables me to avoid going off into too many secretarial tangents such as, `Are there enough tracks left to cover the Bullfight scene; Is there a mic on the baby rattler?"
Prophet continues, "The last record was like a play. Five of us on our fret at all times, playing simultaneously into the -tape recorder. This one was more like a movie: The players were assembled (the usual repeat offenders and some blind dates); there was no pre-production or rehearsals. Tracks were recorded and dissolved into opposing song locations. Bridges were reconstructed from fragments of dream sequences. All the different "shoots" came together in the editing room—a little like a `70s B movie—except we've got computers that can do that now!"
Between records Prophet is routinely drafted into other projects. "For all the right and wrong reasons; Just like everyone else I need to pay the utility bills." He lent sideways guitar riffing to the most recent certified gold record by Cake as well as to Kelly Willis' critical favorite, What I Deserve, among other more or less notables. He also took a few trips to Nashville to immerse himself in the world of veteran songwriters. "I've gone so far out of my~y way to avoid doing things professionally for so long Nashville was a romantic change of scenery It's a kick to see how others do it. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's like a bad date. Sometimes "it " pays off" Kelly Willis recorded the Dan Penn/Prophet composition, "Got A Feeling For Ya." There were also Prophet songs and c~writes on records from artists diverse as Kim Richey and Penelope Houston to Jake Andrews and others. He also contributed the track "February Morning" to an upcoming Kosovo relief benefit CD on Twah Records. Before heading out on the road in support of The Hurting Business, he'll stop at Ft. Apache in Boston with producers Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie to work on the new Warren Zevon record.