Chuck Prophet hit the road straight out of high school in the ’80s with the psychedelic roots band Green on Red, and he never looked back. In addition to working as a singer/songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, and collaborator with artists as diverse as Cake, Kim Carnes, Solomon Burke, and Alejandro Escovedo, Prophet’s deepening solo catalog of self-produced “sideways” roots rock has steadily become his calling card.
Born in the Southern California suburb of Whittier, the San Francisco-based Prophet made his debut as a solo artist in 1990 with Brother Aldo; one U.K. music paper called its collision of lo-fi and country “as close to the genuine article as a white boy can get.” Developing his style over the course of seven albums, including Balinese Dancer (1993) and Feast of Hearts (1995), Prophet hit his stride with his gritty meditation on suburbia, Homemade Blood (1997), followed by the studio-tweaked and poetic The Hurting Business (1998) and the streetwise epic No Other Love (2002), which sparked the radio hit “Summertime Thing,” while the title track was covered by Heart.
Prophet’s 2004 release Age of Miracles married vintage sounds with state-of-the-art studio technique, while never compromising its raw roots foundation. Released in 2007, Soap and Water barged through rock’s barriers with a helping of swamp rock and hip-hop. Between albums, Kelly Willis and Boz Scaggs were among the many artists who laid down versions of Prophet’s songs, while his guitar tracks showed up on recordings from Warren Zevon, Lucinda Williams, and Jewel. In 2005 and 2006, Prophet rejoined Green on Red as they reunited for a series of shows; one of the concerts was released on the album Valley Fever: Live in Tucson 2005.
Prophet continued to perform as a solo artist and with his band, the Mission Express — featuring his wife, Stephanie Finch, on keyboards and vocals — and released Dreaming Waylon’s Dreams in 2007, following it with a politically themed solo album, Let Freedom Ring, in 2009. The fascinating and ambitious Temple Beautiful, a concept album that tackled a sort of alternative history of Prophet’s adopted San Francisco, arrived early in 2012. In 2014, Prophet returned with the album Night Surfer, which featured instrumental assistance from former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Prairie Prince, drummer with the Tubes. Prophet delivered yet another eclectic and interestingly titled album, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, in 2017.
David Nagler is a New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based musician, singer, and songwriter. His latest project is The Appointees: 11 songs informed and provoked by Trump cabinet appointees. Nagler's 2016 release, Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems -- an orchestral folk song cycle celebrating the centenary of the poetry collection -- featured guest vocals from Chicago musicians including Jeff Tweedy, Robbie Fulks, Kelly Hogan, and more. The record was featured in Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, and more.
As musical director for Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders (featured on NPR and Salon.com), Nagler has performed with over 125 different artists including Joan Baez, Aaron Neville, Rosanne Cash, Lloyd Cole, Steve Earle, Andrew Bird, and Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields).
Nagler has arranged a Welsh men’s choir for Jon Langford’s Skull Orchard Revisited, a 17-piece orchestral pop ensemble for Chris Mills’ The Wall to Wall Sessions, and a “feral choir” for the Mekons’ Existentialism. He has played live and/or recorded with Okkervil River, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Bridget St. John, Eszter Balint, Martin Courtney (Real Estate), electro-R&B duo The System, and Tanya Donelly (Belly). He is the founder and frontperson for NY metropolitan area pop group Nova Social.