Who put the wham in the whamma-lamma ding-dong? You did! If those lyrics sound familiar, you’re either a fan of the sensational Chuck Prophet or paid attention during the end credits of Sundance cult favorite, TEETH (where it worked extremely well). The often swampy, singer-songwriter-guitarist extraordinaire was the focus of my first-ever visit to the Music Cafe, and his 6-song, 35-minute set was a thing of beauty. Accompanied by only a drummer (who also added some nice backing vocals), Chuck’s remarkable guitar work was brought to the fore without the usual accompaniment of keyboards, bass, and steel guitar so prevalent in both his recordings and live sets.
For 6 songs, a fan couldn’t have asked for more. Opening with an instrumental cover of “Boogie Shoes” to get everyone in the mood, he followed with one of my all-time favorites, “Summertime Thing.” The rest of the set included “After the Rain”, “I Bow Down and Pray to Every Woman I See”, the classic “New Year’s Day”, and to top it all off, “Who Put the Bomp…”, the likely reason he was in Park City in the first place. Since the Music Cafe was running about a half hour late, I was afraid I’d have to leave before the end of the set or miss my next screening. But as I straddled the doorway torn between rushing off to the bus depot or remaining for one last song, I heard those opening notes and my decision was made. See Chuck doesn’t get to Orlando very often, and this was such a unique format to see him in. It all worked out well in the end, and I actually made it to the screening of ROCKET SCIENCE with a minute to spare. And though more people seemed interested in the odd and poppy girl-vocal band preceding him, “The Bird and the Bee” (apparently fronted by the late Lowell George’s daughter!), those that attended got a real treat–whether they knew it or not. Vagina dentata indeed!