Californian singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet, formerly of cult 80s neo-psych outfit Green On Red, shares new single and video for “Nixonland” – the third single to be taken from his incoming album “The Land That Time Forgot”, due for release August 21st via Yep Roc Records.
Always a storyteller, the dozen album tracks create “weird and wonderful worlds” in which their protagonists might be on the run from the truant officer, a hands-y boss or the Immigration Service.
They also see Chuck’s first politically-influenced songs too, reflecting mostly on his upbringing in a Republican Party household. New single “Nixonland”, out today (30th April), is a recollection of his childhood years spent growing up in the former president’s hometown, La Habra.
Since psychedelic Alt-country pioneers Green On Red broke up in 1992, Chuck has recorded fourteen solo albums – most recently 2017’s “Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins”, and toured and recorded with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Aimee Mann, Cake, Alejandro Escovedo and Jonathan Richman.
Legends such as Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Solomon Burke and Heart have covered the San Francisco artist’s songs.
“My family did used to go to San Clemente on vacation,” says Prophet. “Camping there under the stars. Hunting for grunion at night under a full moon. Grunion hunting is a trip and a half.
“Running along the shore at midnight under a full moon with a bucket. You can see the waves glitter and sparkle with these silvery little fish as they wash up on the sand. I remember a Secret Service guy stopped us as we were running along the shore. I looked up and could see it, high on a cliff: Nixon’s “Western White House.”
“I also remember a field trip in fourth grade to a place in La Habra, California that had a plaque that read something like, “This was once the site of Richard Nixon’s first law office.” Yes, yes, your tax dollars hard at work. He was everywhere!
“I actually looked that up. Googled it. Afraid that I may have dreamed that up. It’s true. It happened. The building is now gone, but they took some bricks from it and the plaque is still there.”
Prophet has described “The Land That Time Forgot” as a “21st Century Exorcism” from Silicon Valley to the White House, originally inspired by the never-ending gentrification he’s witnessed in his hometown.
While the Bay Area stalwart has recorded most of his solo albums in the region, the sessions for “The Land That Time Forgot” took place in Upstate New York, after Prophet found himself priced out of his regular haunts.
With fresh distance, he explores “the hope, despair and melancholy wonder of his native San Francisco like never before”.
Most of the record’s dozen songs were co-written by Prophet and klipschutz (lower case K is correct), aka poet, songwriter and journalist Kurt Klipschutz, Chuck’s longtime collaborator. Produced with Kenny Siegal (Langhorne Slim, Amanda Palmer, The New Pornographers).