If Chuck Prophet’s impressive credentials translated to actual fame and wealth, Bono would be ringing him up for advice on how to better market his band. Prophet’s career and influence dates back to the early ’80s and the roll call of musical figures he has worked with over the past four decades could fill a wing of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, if that august institution recognized Rock & Roll more than Fame.
Prophet’s wild ride began with The Serfers in 1979, which soon morphed into Green on Red. Associated with the Paisley Underground movement, Green on Red’s influence has rippled through Indie Rock over the intervening years, with their Psychedelic early work and their later AltCountry direction guiding two separate but equally passionate camps.
Prophet began his solo career in 1990 with the album Brother Aldo. After a decade of highly regarded releases, constant touring and the development of a huge European/U.K. fan base, Prophet signed with New West for 2002’s No Other Love, featuring a rare radio hit, “Summertime Thing.”
A chronic collaborator, Prophet has been co-writer and guitarist for both Alejandro Escovedo and AltCountry firebrand Kelly Willis, and his songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Peter Wolf, Kim Richey, Solomon Burke and many others.
Prophet released the overtly political ¡Let Freedom Ring! in 2009, and his subsequent solo albums — especially last year’s incredible Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins — are among the best in his discography. Against all odds, Chuck Prophet is hitting his stride as he approaches Green on Red’s 40th anniversary. For anyone familiar with his body of work, it’s not the least bit surprising.