domingo, 17 de abril de 2011

Chuck E.Weiss - Old Souls & Wolf Tickets


The ultimate scene-maker, Chuck E. Weiss has spent a career hobnobbing with the cool and famous in rock's hierarchy while barely pursuing a career of his own. Born in Denver, Weiss was originally a drummer, touring with bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins. By the late '60s, Weiss had performed and/or recorded with Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Roger Miller, and others. While still living in Denver, he struck up a friendship with singer/songwriter Tom Waits, later writing songs like "Spare Parts" with him and moving to Los Angeles. Living at West Hollywood's infamous Tropicana Motel with Waits and singer Rickie Lee Jones, Weiss became the subject of Jones' hit "Chuck E.'s in Love." Weiss' career finally stumbled off the launching pad with the 1981 release of The Other Side of Town, a collection of demo tapes released on Select Records. Rather than follow this up with a proper release, Weiss instead put together a band called the G-d Damn Liars and spent the next 11 years performing a weekly gig at the L.A. nightclub the Central and later partnered with friend Johnny Depp to convert the club into the Viper Room. After a 18-year hiatus from recording, Weiss' second album, Extremely Cool, was released on a Rykodisc subsidiary, Slow River, in 1999. Old Souls & Wolf Tickets appeared in 2001, followed by 23rd & Stout in 2007.Weiss, a crony of Tom Waits since the early '70s, has probably heard more than enough comparisons between his and Waits' music. It's nonetheless hard to avoid when describing Old Souls & Wolf Tickets, which has much in common with Waits' own fusions of hipster growl, blues, smoky after-hours jazz, and weird Americana. Just because it sound at times like a poor man's Waits, however, doesn't mean it isn't likable enough on its own terms. Weiss is considerably more steeped in Louisiana-styled R&B, backwoods blues, and Cajun music than Waits is, so what you get here sometimes sounds like an unholy cross between Waits and Dr. John. The New Orleans influence is no secret from the mere title of the opening track, "Congo Square at Midnight." Weiss' wizened, sly vocals are a good match for the off-kilter material, which stews together goofy, onomatopoeic wordplay with the kind of bemused boho world-weariness you would expect from his persona. Sometimes the goofiness crosses over to silliness, as in his deliberately high, squeaky minstrel vocals on "Piggly Wiggly." When he gets close to straight blues, the results get more pedestrian. A duet that he recorded with Willie Dixon in 1970, "Down the Road Apiece," might excite extreme completist blues collectors, but sounds out of place on a CD where everything else was recorded 30 years later.

Chuck E. Weiss (Vocals & Drums), Tony Gilkyson (Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele), Billy Watts (Guitar), Zeke Zirngiebel (Guitar), John Herron (Piano & Organ), Mike Murphy (Piano), Steve Nelson (Bass), Terry Wilson (Bass), Will McGregor (Bass) Jim Christie (Drums), Don Heffington (Drums), Tony Braunagel (Drums), Spyder Mittelman (Saxophone), Bill Churchzille (Trumpet), Stan Freese (Tuba), Eleni Mandell (Bckgr Vocals), Spyder Mittelman (Bckgr Vocals), Damn Liars (Bckgr Vocals),Willie Dixon (Bass & Vocals), Carey Bell (Harmonica), Sunnyland Slim (Piano), Buster Benton (Guitar)

1-Congo Square At Midnight
2-Tony Did The Boogie Woogie
3-It Don't Happen Overnight
5-Piggly Wiggly
6-Two-Tone Car (An Auto-Body Experience)
7-Anthem For Old Souls
8-Sneaky Jesus
9-Down The Road A Piece
10- No Hep Cats
11-Jolie's Nightmare (Mr. House Dick)
12-Blood Alley
13-G-D Damn Liars
14-Dixieland Funeral

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