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We're so proud to make our contribution to help out our good friend Charlie Chesterman. Please give what you can to a worthy cause and you'll get some great music in return.
Chorus Vs. Solos: A Tribute to Charlie Chesterman
"Chesterman is one of the best American songwriters of the last 25 years."
--Alex Green, Caught In The Carousel
Artists cover songs of Scruffy the Cat front-man and Roots-Pop/Alt-country pioneer Charlie Chesterman to raise money to help in his battle with cancer.
Available Feb 29, 2012 (leap day!) at chestermantribute.bandcamp.com
Contributions from Young Fresh Fellows, Letters To Cleo, Mark Bryan (Hootie & the Blowfish -- with Peter Holsapple of the dB's) and Hawaii Fried Dough
24 tracks spanning Chesterman's 30+ year career
No set price. Fans are encouraged to give what they can.
Pre-order includes immediate download of tracks by Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents (with Duke Levine) and the Farewells (with Frankie Blandino)
Proceeds to go to the Friends of Charlie Chesterman fund
He brought punk rock to the plains, way back when such a thing just wasn't done. His band the Law plowed that sound into the heartland underground and it's never been the same. His next band Scruffy the Cat drove the sound back east with high-octane hooks, a rockabilly gleam in its chrome and that heartland soil on its motorcycle boots. The papers called it "Cow Punk." The kids knew better, and by the 90s, they'd see that the seeds Scruffy and Charlie had sown would blossom into a full-fledged "Alt-Country" movement. Charlie's kept on growing too, continuing to produce solo work that'd rival Hank Williams, Chuck Berry and the Ramones (or as Charlie calls them, "the Holy Trilogy").
So now, as Charlie bravely battles cancer, bands he's inspired over the years, folks who love him and his music, have come together to sing his songs, to raise some money to help him and his family, and to let him know how much he and his music means to them. Sort of a musical "Get Well Soon" card.
"Charlie's such a great songwriter, and we wanted to showcase that," says executive producer Jeff Mellin. "I think folks who only know Charlie from the Scruffy days, or have never heard of him, are in for a surprise treat. And fans who do know these songs well are going to hear them with fresh ears."
Some of the highlights:
Peers (rivals?) the Young Fresh Fellows share a grudge and a wink on "I Hate Everything."
Yes, that's Mark Bryan (Hootie & the Blowfish) with Peter Holsapple (dB's) in Occasional Milkshake doing Scruffy's college radio and MTV favorite "My Baby (She's Alright)."
Longtime Chesterman producer and collaborator Pete Weiss and his Weisstronauts fiddle with the musical riddles of "Question Mark."
Girl-group delinquent Jenny Dee gets "Bucknaked" with the help of telemaster Duke Levine and Boston Music Award-winning producer Ed Valauskas.
Shaun "Wolf" Wortis' stark re-interpretation of "Good In Blue" shows off Charlie's knack for a turn of a phrase and the twist of a knife.
Avant Garde composer (and former Oscillator and Miss Mary mastermind) Joel Mellin gives "Go Go Lil Fairlane" an Indonesian Gamelan arrangement.
You can even hear Chaz himself backing up Kay Hanley on Letter's To Cleo's version of "You Dirty Rat."
You'll hear every side of his songwriting personality, from the elegant melancholia in Brian Charles' "Mona's Prayer", the Farewell's "Trash" and Jeff Mellin's "Shabby Dress," to his garage-shaking, pub-rocking abandon in Tastes Like Chicken's "Three Chords and a Ya Ya Ya" and the Viv's "Tiger Tiger," to the countrified wit in Ray Mason's "Lonesome Cowboy's Lament," to the playful romanticism of Orange Nichole's "Sexy Rickenbacker; and the happy-go-lucky instrumentals of Hawaii Fried Dough's "Jaguar Tan" and Classic Ruins' "Theo's El Camino."
24 tracks in all. All fun, and all for a good cause. Money raised will go to The Friends of Charlie Chesterman, a fund set up for Charlie and his family by longtime friend Michael Charles.
For full track list, visit ChestermanTribute.bandcamp.com
Kevin James - Ukulele, Bongos, Shakers and Fog Cutters
John Soares - Ukulele, Bongos, Shakers and Mai Tais