Penguin Eggs

Monday, 09 September 2019 11:56

Chuck Brodsky

Written by Roddy Campbell
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Them and Us (Independent)

Chuck Brodsky stands alongside Loudon Wainwright III and Si Kahn as one of America’s great social commentators. And if you haven’t heard of Brodsky after 12 albums, then obviously, you’ve been visiting The Little Prince on asteroid B 612. A natural story teller, he’s built quite a reputation chronicling delightful idiosyncrasies in baseball and Them And Us offers two wonderful new additions: Funeral For The Curse–the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series, of course–and Stand up Guy–an umpire who blew a perfect game call and later apologized.

 Besides baseball, Brodsky turns his talent to poignantly acknowledge the current great political and cultural divide in American society. And nothing he’s ever written is as chilling as Couldn’t Do What Dady Done–a look at white supremacy through the eyes of a son reflecting on his, and his father’s, ingrained bigotry. Let this song ring loud and clear from the balconies of The White House, please.

But he has a wicked sense of humour, too. Witness the bittersweet Call It Chicken about meat grown in a laboratory:

“Hey, call it chicken, it grows in a dish / Tweak it a little, you could call it fish / Try telling that to the man on the street / How all they’re growing is the chicken meat.”

Then there’s a couple of moving stories set in the Second World War, The Violin and The Forger. 

All told, Them and Us is exactly what you’d expect from Chuck Brodsky: carefully crafted songs to make you angry, think, and laugh out loud. Enjoy.

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