Chuck Brodsky - Biography
This down to earth musical storyteller, with his dry, barb-witted social commentary combined with a deep underlying compassion, knows that the best stories are the little things in the lives of everyday people trying to muddle through with some grace. His great gift as a writer is to infuse these stories with humanity and humor, making them resonate profoundly with his listeners. His spoken introductions to his songs can be as spellbinding as his colorful lyrics, which he brings to life with a well-travelled voice and a delivery that’s natural and conversational. His groove-oriented strumming and fingerpicking draw on influences from the mountains of western North Carolina where he now lives, and from lots of different good old traditional folk stuff of all kinds.
Chuck Brodsky’s songwriting pokes fun at political corruption, road rage, mischief he made as a kid, even dumping garbage in the river; he sings about unsung heroes and forgotten but incredible people...odd characters from the game of baseball, migrant fruit pickers, the Goat Man, a clown, or “Radio,” a developmentally disabled man and the love showered on him for 40 years at a high school in South Carolina (this song was used in the 2003 movie “Radio”). In addition to being fixtures on the Dr. Demento show, his songs have been recorded by Kathy Mattea, David Wilcox, Sara Hickman, Chuck Pyle, and many others, and his tune “Blow ‘em Away” was selected by Christine Lavin for Shanachie’s 1996 “Laugh Tracks” album. He’s appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs “Mountain Stage,” “Acoustic Cafe,” and “River City Folk,” and has performed three concerts of his celebrated baseball story songs at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Chuck’s debut album, “A Fingerpainter’s Murals,” (1995) was a critical favorite with its collection of vividly rendered stories--from a farmer losing his land ("Acre by Acre") to a washed-up pitcher trying to hold on a little longer ("Lefty"). In 1996, Chuck signed with Red House Records and released "Letters in the Dirt," introducing us to great characters such as a roadside peach vendor ("Bill & Annie"), and the first white baseball player in the Negro Leagues ("The Ballad of Eddie Klepp"). The album earned critical raves, and his 1998 release, “Radio,” was even more widely acclaimed for its great stabs at our laughable culture, like "The Come Here's & the Been Here's," "Our Gods," and "On Christmas I Got Nothing." “Last of the Old Time,” Brodsky’s third album for Red House was released in 2000, and further cemented his reputation for telling it like it is with songs about phony politicians on the campaign trail (“He Came to our Town” ), secret meetings (“The Boys in the Back Room”), and “Schmoozing.” In the summer of 2002 Chuck released “The Baseball Ballads,” which Tim Wiles, Director of Research at The National Baseball Hall of Fame calls “a new chapter in the folklore of our national pastime.” “Color Came One Day,” produced by JP Cormier, was recorded in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and was released in 2004. Arthur Wood of Folkwax wrote “I humbly assign this recording a FolkWax rating "10" out of "10," only because I can't award an "11." Chuck followed that album in 2006 with “Tulips For Lunch,” also produced by JP Cormier and recorded in Cape Breton. His most recent release is the live double cd “Two Sets.”
Chuck has toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Ireland for 17 years, playing at folk festivals such as Tønder in Denmark, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Kerrville, Philadelphia, Strawberry, the Lincoln Center Out of Door series in New York, and others.
“Reflects the good old U.S. of A., warts and all...colorful tales...reminds us there's a whole wide world outside our doors."
"He is an extroadinary talent in my opinion. I would place him in the Dylan-Guthrie-Prine league without question. His lyrics are drawn from the lives of everyday people and his acoustic guitar playing is quite amazing."
---BBC Belfast (Northern Ireland) (Tony McAuley)
“One of the finest singer-songwriters in America. There are alot of good ones, but when it comes to the really great ones it boils down to a select few- he’s one of them.”
---Larry Groce - Mountain Stage (National Public Radio)
“If Mark Twain were reincarnated as a musician, his name might be Chuck Brodsky”
“What tales this singer-songwriter from Philadelphia has...With insight and good humor, he has taken these life experiences and distilled them into old fashioned story songs brimming with wit and compassion.”
---New York Times
“Haunting refrains...intriguing narratives.”
"Amazingly sensitive...finely honed songs...Wonderfully real...Songwriter extraordinaire...from the touching to the darkly humorous...In a grand tradition that runs from Guthrie through Dylan, Prine, and even Greg Brown, Brodsky has an endearingly personal approach to music.”
---East Bay Express (Berkeley, CA)
“A wonderful insighful storyteller ...Nobody else comes close...a deceptively gentle delivery and a preposterous arsenal of warm, disarming humour laced with cunning, caustic barbs...unquestionably the best folk ballad songwriter currently in America - bar none.”
---Penguin Eggs Magazine (Canada)
Chuck Brodsky PO Box 16009 Asheville, NC 28816 828-299-3538