Release Date: Apr 15, 2014
Record label: Anti
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Blues-Rock, Roots Rock, Bar Band, Retro-Rock, Boogie Rock, Comedy/Spoken, Beat Poetry
A true American iconoclast, Chuck E Weiss will forever be known as the guy immortalised in Rickie Lee Jones’ Chuck E’s In Love, where it’s noticed the protagonist has taken to combing his hair and stopped frequenting the pool hall. In fact he should be revered for his slim but impressive body of albums, of which this is merely the fourth, and the first since 2006 LP 23rd And Stout. Executive-produced by his buddies Tom Waits and Johnny Depp (who plays bass and drums on a typically esoteric number called The Hink-A-Dink, and solo guitar on the rambunctious Boston Blackie), Weiss summons up a wealth of characters and weird scenarios as he tells the tale of Tupelo Joe, a rescued feral cat named Shushie and the shaggy dog story Willy’s In The Pee Pee House.
Chuck E. Weiss was born in 1952, which makes him too young to be one of Norman Mailer’s White Negroes (1957), but old and precocious enough to be imprinted on that era of mostly African American cool culture. It was a time of hep tenor sax jazz, a wild rhythmic lingo and spiel, cynical sentimentalism, and an attitude that acknowledged life in the past was better than the present tense, Cold War-wise that is.
It's been seven years since Chuck E. Weiss released 23rd & Stout, a set that drunk-walked between roots rock, vintage R&B, jump blues, zany experimentation, and post-Beat humor. Red Beans and Weiss marks the songwriter's first album for Anti. It was self-produced, though it lists Tom Waits and Johnny Depp as executive producers.
Chuck E. Weiss is sort of a fringe character in rock music. Immortalized in song (Rickie Lee Jones’s “Chuck E.’s in Love” from 1979) and revered by other musicians, Weiss is largely unknown to the masses. But life in the shadows suits Weiss, a longtime fixture in Los Angeles’s music scene where he regularly plays his brand of the blues in bars.