Chuck Brodsky - Biography
Chuck Brodsky is a storyteller, a songwriter, a troubador, a modern day bard. His acoustic guitar and voice draw you in with genuine, down-to-earth warmth and quirky, rootsy, finely crafted songs. Chuck’s wit and irony, set to haunting melodies delivered over syncopated guitar strumming or sweet fingerpicking, tells stories of oddball and underdog characters. His songs celebrate the goodness in people, the eccentric, the holy, the profound, the courageous, the inspiring, the beautiful. They poke fun at what needs poking, and sometimes challenge what needs to be challenged. They’re sworn to tell the truth.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, a very young Chuck fell in love with the piano and despite taking lessons, still managed to teach himself to play. Years later, on his first day at university orientation, gazing out the window he was inspired by two guys playing guitars. Chuck bought a guitar and enrolled in the school of life. Influenced by Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Lowell George, John Hartford, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Greg Brown, The Rolling Stones, and Nic Jones, Chuck began writing songs in a unique style of his own while paying homage to the traditions.
After hitch-hiking to San Francisco and performing weekly at the Tattoo Rose Café open mic, Chuck spent a few years singing for tips on the streets of Europe, and worked as a fruit picker back in the USA. He played in coffeehouses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1980’s. Chuck won the "Emerging Songwriter Award" at the Napa Valley Folk Festival in 1992, and was warmly embraced at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas the following year. Over the past 20 years Chuck has performed at festivals and in concert all across the USA, Canada, Ireland, Denmark, England, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia, Wales, and the Shetland Islands of Scotland.
His ten albums have received world wide critical acclaim, including Chuck’s recent release “The Baseball Ballads 2” (2013). Early cds were produced in Atlanta by Sugarland’s Kristian Bush. His most recent four studio recordings were produced in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, by J.P. Cormier.
Chuck’s passion for our National Pastime and its colorful, off-beat cast of characters is evident in two albums devoted entirely to Baseball tales. The first white man to play in the Negro Leagues. A pitcher who threw a no-hitter while hallucinating on LSD. A catcher who was also a spy during World War II. A baserunner who cost his team the pennant by not touching a base. The Clown Prince of Baseball (Max Patkin). And Chuck’s favorite player from childhood getting booed by hometown fans.
Chuck has performed three times at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and 18 of his celebrated Baseball story songs have been enshrined in the Hall’s sound recording library. His songs about the Holocaust have been incorporated into the teaching curriculum in Germany and are used to teach German school children about their country's history.
His beloved Philadelphia Phillies featured the song “Whitey & Harry” as well as an interview with Chuck in the documentary film about their legendary Hall of Fame player and broadcaster Richie Ashburn. Sony Pictures release, “Radio” (2003), included a cameo appearance by Chuck as well as his closing title track. “Moe Berg: The Song” can be heard in the PBS film “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story” (2010). Kathy Mattea’s recording of his “We Are Each Other’s Angels” is the closing track for the film “Dear Mr. Goodlife” (1998). Eleven of Chuck’s songs appear in the motion picture “The Deposition” (2011). His song “Blow ‘em Away”, recorded by David Wilcox and many others, appears on the Christine Lavin produced “Laugh Tracks.”
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