Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – May 12th, 2017

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express

Veteran singer-songwriter with a penchant for telling great stories

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express

Casey Neill

May, 12th, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$15.00 - $17.00

This event is 21 and over

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express
Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express
Chuck Prophet describes his new album ‘Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins’ (Feb 10, Yep Roc) as a “California Noir,” an album inspired partly by the mysterious death of rocker Bobby Fuller in LA in 1966. “California has always represented the Golden Dream, and it’s the tension between romance and reality that lurks underneath the surface in all noir films and paperbacks, and that connects these songs

Gritty and jangly, Chuck’s new album features 13 original works that explore doomed love, loneliness and fast-paced violence via Chuck’s muscular songwriting craft. They include songs about Fuller, the death of David Bowie, and the killing of a San Francisco security guard named Alex Nieto that drew international headlines as “Death By Gentrification.”


‘Bobby Fuller’ finds Chuck coming full circle. He cut the album to tape at Hyde Street Studio in San Francisco, which also happens to be the same studio where Prophet did his very first recording session, while still in high school. Chuck brought out his ’64 Stratocaster for the sessions, conjuring a sound that Jonathan Richman once described as “gasoline in the sand, like a motorcycle at a hot dog stand.” He’s backed by The Mission Express, a band featuring his wife Stephanie Finch (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Kevin White (bass), Vicente Rodriguez (drums, vocals) and James DePrato (guitar).


Lead single “Bad Year For Rock and Roll” is a timely homage to rock greats lost in 2016: “The Thin White Duke took a final bow / there’s one more star in the heavens now/I’m all dressed up in a mohair suit / watching Peter Sellers thinking of you.” “Jesus Was A Social Drinker” starts as a punchy mid-tempo rocker with clanking cowbell before unfurling into an explosive, psychedelic coda. “Alex Nieto” is what Chuck refers to as his first protest song. It’s “an homage to a good man who should still be alive,” says Chuck.
Casey Neill
Casey Neill
Casey Neill's career has always walked the line between lyrical song craft and ferocious live shows. He is a songwriter and bandleader from Portland, Oregon with a sound that explores haunting melodies, high octane folk-punk, and weather beaten narrative. Neill performs solo and with his band, The Norway Rats - a murderer's row of Northwest music vets from acts such as Black Prairie, Eels, and The Minus 5. For over a decade he has toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. A new record titled 'All You Pretty Vandals' produced by Chris Funk of the Decemberists was released in November of 2013. It's an anthemic, junkyard rock album Neill says he's "spent a decade trying to get to - both in my own writing and the sound of the band."

"Be it through raucous rockers, fragile acoustic ballads, passionate bursts of punk fury or soulful touches of Irish folk, Neill's narrative talent and concern for real people's struggles stand out. (Neill) evokes an epic feel that fits perfectly with the implicit grandiosity of this emotional material, delivered with a raspy, affectionate voice that recalls Life's Rich Pageant-era Michael Stipe. The results are so evocative, you'll be tempted to steep further in these memories, the better to share Casey Neill's particular blend of personal and historical experience." — SPLENDID

"These are songs with stories well told. This is what it's all about" — STEVE EARLE

Casey is a frequent side player in power pop band The Minus Five along with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck of R.E.M. He added vocals to tracks on 'Scott the Hoople in the Dungeon of Horror' - a 5 LP, 57 song collection of new Minus 5 music released this past Record Store Day. Hardcore bands, bluegrass acts, and other songwriters have performed and recorded Casey's songs - most notably Irish supergroup Solas' take on "Lowground" on their CD's "Waiting for an Echo" and "Reunion". His career launched in 1997, after inking a three record deal with acoustic label Appleseed and contributing tracks to their Pete Seeger Tribute collection along with Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and Bonnie Raitt. A compilation of his material entitled 'Memory Against Forgetting' was released by Indigo Girl Amy Ray's Daemon imprint in 2005. Following a few years treading the boards in New York City, Casey moved back to Portland and it's thriving music community.

"Soul-searing songs "— UTNE READER "remarkably good songwriting" — NO DEPRESSION

In 2007, a far more electric Casey Neill record 'Brooklyn Bridge' was released and The Norway Rats were formed. 'Goodbye to the Rank and File' followed in 2010 and garnered rave reviews from online blogs, radio, and press. In 2011, Casey was hired by New York's Mabou Mines Theater Company to perform and compose for their new work 'Landscapes' at PS122. In the year since the release of All You Pretty Vandals, Casey and band have performed over 100 shows in 21 states including NPR's prestigious Mountain Stage Radio show. The album is a series of character sketches, and two cities dear to him, Portland and New York. There are love songs to Patti Smith ("She Came Alive") and the Lower East Side ("Sainted Streets"), hymns to the roadless Northwest wilderness ("The Dark Divide"), and "My Little Dark Rose", featuring Langhorne Slim. The song is a snapshot of Portland in the 90s, when the city was "a much rougher place and the music was louder," adds Neill.

Music critic Jay Horton described it best for Portland's arts paper Willamette Week: "Casey Neill has been filtering post-hardcore energies through an Americana muse for tales of wry lamentation, and the barroom mythologizing wed to painstaking craft has never sounded so perfectly realized. He brings a certain empathetic grandeur to high-minded tales of resolutely low lives with crack musicianship and casual authenticity".