MP3 Chuck Brodsky - The Baseball Ballads
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---Good Times (Santa Cruz, CA)
10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, COUNTRY: Country Folk
"Baseball's troubadour poet laureate...Chuck combines his gift for lyrics and melody with his love for baseball history and culture, and in the process creates a new chapter in the folklore of our national pastime."
---Tim Wiles, director of research, National Baseball Hall of Fame Library
"A sharp eye for detail, a wicked sense of humor and the ability to create memorable characters."
"Passionate observer - twister, remaker, syncopator of the simple tale, the not-so-simple cliche...Social commitment and the individual heart go hand in hand with humor, wit, and longing."
---Village Voice (New York, NY)
"One of the most insightful and well-rounded collections of baseball songs in recent memory...The Baseball Ballads serves as a reminder to fans about why the game pulls on the heartstrings of anyone who has rooted for the home team...Brodsky's songs pinpoint the everyday details that comprise a player's life and create baseball history...The outcome is a fascinating collection of ballads that can be considered classics worthy of the national pastime."
"And then there's Chuck Brodsky's tremendous new CD of all baseball songs, "The Baseball Ballads," also in the folky, countrified genre...This is gorgeous music that might even teach you a little baseball history while you're singing along."
---Jayson Stark (ESPN)
"This is a grand-slam home run of an album!"
"The Baseball Ballads is full of songs about misfits and faded glories...Brodsky's clean fingerpicking, shaggy-dog twang and gentle melodies give the album an easy coherence, but the stories and characters are what count. These tales, obsessively researched and rendered with off-beat affection, put some skewed humanity back in a game that needs it."
"The Baseball Ballads is a collection of songs celebrating little-remembered heroes and goats, a smorgasbord of bizarro baseball history that serves as an affectionate antidote to the game's current ills...Brodsky's mix of comedy, tragedy, and sentimental storytelling will make a lot more sense even to a neophyte than the recent rounds of salary demands and profit-sharing negotiations...Brodsky turns his eye for irony on the whole of baseball history, and comes up with some spectacularly improbable stories...Brodsky (who has an amiable Dylanish twang) sings about baseball the way it used to be: unpredictable, colorful, somehow laden with moral force...he enshrines a game that mostly exists in memory."
"Chuck weaves breathless tales of breaking the color barrier and creates short stories of some of his own favorite players with one of the most pleasing voices in the genre. The tales are marvelous and the rapid-fire delivery begs attention."
---Creative Loafing (Charlotte, NC)
"The Baseball Ballads" is a collection of brilliant Brodsky originals, each song reflecting some colorful character in the game...Brodsky hits these tracks out of the park, and they go on for miles...These are tales of baseball's quirky, dedicated and sometimes unloved participants...These are characters in the periphery, people who carved a unique niche in the game, on and off the filed..."
"It's to Brodsky's credit that these baseball songs can appeal to people (like me) who don't even like baseball much, and it's because whatever subject he touches, Brodsky is able to give it powerful human interest."
---The Canton Voice (Ohio)
With arresting songwriting, groove-oriented guitar playing, and a soulful, compassionate voice, Chuck Brodsky quickly became a fixture on the national acoustic music scene. In 1992 he won the Emerging Songwriter Award at the Napa Valley Folk Festival in California. His debut CD, "A Fingerpainter's Murals" (Waterbug Records, 1995) was a critical favorite with its collection of vividly rendered stories--from a farmer losing his land ("Acre by Acre") to a washed-up pitcher trying to hold on a little longer ("Lefty"). But the song that cemented Brodsky's reputation as a funny and trenchant songwriter was "Blow 'em Away," a delightfully nasty blues about a pistol-packing commuter.
The radio tip sheet "The Maverick Report" named it "Song of the Year," and it made its way onto a number of compilation albums, including Dr. Demento's "Basement Tapes." Singer/songwriter David Wilcox made the song one of the highlights of his concerts and recorded it on his 1996 live album, "East Asheville Hardware." Chuck was invited to perform at New York's Bottom Line as part of their prestigious "Required Listening" series. He was also invited by Christine Lavin to contribute a cut to Shanachie's 1996 "Laugh Tracks" album. His songs appear on a number of other compilation CDs, including three "Fast Folk" discs, two of "The Leak Magazine's" CDs, two "American Impressionist Songwriters" CDs, and four "Diamond Cuts" albums of baseball songs.
Chuck grew up in the Philadelphia area. As a teenager he worked at a legendary folk club, the Main Point, where he was introduced to a lot of great songwriters and performers (such as bluesman George Gritzbach and Steve Forbert). Others who influenced Chuck include Bob Dylan, Nic Jones, Jackson Browne, David Massengill, and further toward the literary side, Mark Twain. They say that to tell great stories you have to live an adventurous life. It's a tip that Chuck Brodsky took to heart. In 1981, he took his guitar and hitchhiked to California. He's worked as a migrant fruit picker, driven an ice cream truck, labored on an Israeli Kibbutz, worked for a book distributor, was a bank courier (until he lost a check for ten million), and spent two years streetsinging in Europe. In the process, Chuck learned what all great writers know--that the best stories are the little things in the lives of everyday people who are trying to muddle through with some grace. Chuck's great gift as a writer is to infuse these stories with humanity and humor, and to make them resonate profoundly with his listeners.
In 1996, Chuck (who now lives near Asheville, North Carolina) signed with Red House Records and released "Letters in the Dirt," introducing us to great characters such as a roadside peach vendor still wondering after thirty years if he married the right woman ("Bill & Annie"), and the first white baseball player in the Negro Leagues ("The Ballad of Eddie Klepp"). The album earned critical raves, and articles about Chuck and his characters appeared all over the country. His 1998 release, "Radio," was even more widely acclaimed for its great stabs at our laughable culture, like "The Come Here's & the Been Here's," "Our Gods," and "On Christmas I Got Nothing." For a three month period shortly after its release "Radio" was the 3rd most frequently played album on Americana stations nationwide, according to "The Gavin Report."
Chuck's touring has broadened to include Canada, Ireland, and Israel. He's played such prestigious festivals as the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Strawberry Music Festival (CA), the Kerrville Folk Festival (TX) and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and has twice given concerts at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He's been a guest on nationally syndicated radio programs such as "Mountain Stage," "Acoustic Cafe" and" River City Folk." Kathy Mattea recorded his song "We Are Each Other's Angels" (from "A Fingerpainter's Murals") for a 1998 independent film entitled "Dear Mr. Goodlife." Sara Hickman also recorded the song for her children's album "Newborn" and for her "Spiritual Appliances" album. Chuck's song "Radio" was used by NFL films for a national broadcast on ESPN about a man with Down's Syndrome who is adored by his whole community.
"Last of the Old Time," Brodsky's third album for Red House (his fourth CD overall) was released in the Summer of 2000. Chuck continues to tour full-time, building a loyal following wherever he plays. His down to earth presence, touching storytelling, and his dry, barb-witted social commentary bring both tears and laughter to the listener...often during the course of the very same song. The San Francisco Bay Guardian describes him as "A genuine troubadour with no soap box, no urban boho contentions, and a few axes to grind," adding that " Brodsky picks and grins with the best of the Woody and Ramblin' Jack descendants."
Described as "baseball's troubadour poet laureate" by Tim Wiles, Director of Research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, Chuck released "The Baseball Ballads," an entire CD of his celebrated baseball songs in May of 2002 on his own https://www.tradebit.com Records label.
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