Thom Chacon Delivers It Straight Up On Sophomore Effort

Singer/songwriter Thom Chacon delivers hardscrapple tales in a voice well-suited to the task that will immediately remind you of what's his name? Maybe John Prine, or John Mellencamp, or Steve Earle or Bruce or Guy Clark or?

But after a spell you'll just hear Chacon. HIs storytelling is as direct as his vocals. His melodies are serviceable and well-drawn, but not yet instantly memorable. It took a few plays to hear past the obvious influences but after that, this album makes for a consistently entertaining spin.

If you're looking for allegory look elsewhere because Chacon's words are to be taken literally. His stories are of the wrongly convicted, the hunted illegal, the wanted, the indebted living the "American Dream" worth more dead "cause baby I owe", the hooked on alcohol (etc.). If you're looking for happy tunes, you've come to the wrong place, not that Chacon's characters complain. They are mostly defiant, heroic and stoic.

The action mostly takes place on the Southwestern American border and the parched-throated Chacon sounds as if he's not had water in days. He's playing guitar and harmonica recorded live in the studio and backed by, among others, Dylan's rhythm section of drummer George Recile and bassist Tony Garnier who keep the proceedings moving smoothly, yet turbulently throughout.

The live-in-the-studio production by Perry Margouleff engineered by William Wittman at Margouleff's Pie Studio was recorded and mixed in our favored analog domain and mastered that way by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound so can you guess how this LP pressed at Quality Record Pressings sounds?

I'll put it to you this way: if "Ain't Gonna Take Us Alive", with its 12 string electric doesn't deliver the chills on your stereo, your stereo needs work.

The sound is immediate, unprocessed, three-dimensional and as deep and honest as Chacon's songwriting and singing. The dynamics and instrumental textures are as good as you will hear on a record—or live for that matter. The bass line erupts in a way you may have thought was extinct on modern recordings. Why can't everything sound this good?

Music Direct Buy It Now

Rayman's picture

Music Direct and others.

Also Amazon is not as good at shipping vinyl.

The only damaged vinyl I've purchased has come from Amazon.

All the others care enough to ship properly.

A few times I got a vinyl album in a regular cardboard box with some air bags thrown around it.    Thats unacceptable!!

Amazon is a last resort to me.

Why roll the dice?

KCVelasco's picture

I'm really gald to see someblogs that are dedicated for old school music. This just proves thatno matter how old the song is, music doesn't die. - KSA Kosher