A Review of the Chuck Brodsky CD
"Color Came One Day"

"Color Came One Day"
by Chuck Brodsky

Copyright 2004
Produced by JP Cormier

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Best known for his marvelous baseball-related songs, another of Chuck Brodsky's talents is as a chronicler of America, present and past, telling both big and small tales. In this release, he gives new life to a couple of obscure regional historical figures as well as providing biting commentary on the state of our country today. Plus, he rewards listeners with a few offerings borne of his chosen profession.

The most compelling cut is "Dangerous Times," about a number of pre-and-post 9/11 peculiarities of American political life that never get fully addressed in any prominent or readily accessible media. Brodsky writes:

"...Some dictators are bad
Some dictators are good
That's a hard one to explain
But I wish somebody would...

...The twisting of the facts
The stretching of the truth
The terrorists among us
They manipulate the news...

...There isn't time to read
The contents of the bills
That Congress votes for anyway
Up there on The Hill..."

"Claire & Johnny" is a unflinchingly sober selection about the full destructive force of Alzheimer's on an elderly couple.

Life near a company town is the predicament presented in "Seven Miles Upwind," a re-visiting of the employment versus quality of life conundrum. In the same vein, "Trees Falling" is a progress-is-inevitable and he-who-has-the-gold-makes-the-rules tale.

"Miracle In The Hills" presents the extraordinary real-life deeds of Dr. Mary Martin Sloop and her husband in bringing health care, schooling and electricity to a neglected rural part of North Carolina. The life of Ches McCartney is put to music in "The Goat Man." It's an inspiring and humorous tale about a man, after losing an arm in an accident, taking to the road with a goat-pulled wagon and traveling for 30 years throughout the South.

The sly and clever "Forest Hills Sub" heaps scorn upon the banality of and single-mindedness emanating from the members of a housing subdivision where diversity isn't appreciated, let alone cherished.

Two of the offerings related to Brodsky's field of employment are "G-ddamned Blessed Road" and "Al's Ashes and Me."

The philosophical and ambivalently-titled "G-ddamned Blessed Road" has some similarities to a previous well-regarded Brodsky road song, "We Are Each Other's Angels." This one continues the journey of life theme and is applicable to musicians and non-musicians alike.

"Al's Ashes & Me" is the equivalent of Michael Paterniti's book "Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America With Einstein's Brain." In the song, Brodsky meanders about nationally and even internationally with the remnants of the late poet/philosopher/curmudgeon/musician Al Grierson. Upon entering the grounds of the Kerrville Folk Festival, Brodsky opens the song with:

"Welcome Home Al, said the sign at the gate
I got there early, Al got there late
Together we entered and greeted our mates
Al - he was back in Texas..."

The other woe-unto-the-musician tune is "The Room Over The Bar." Guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of any listener, it is the flip side to those jawdropping tales about the contract guarantees for rock music figures while on tour--limousines, the best champagne, a top floor suite, a bevy of masseuses and so on. Here's what most folkies encounter to ease the strain of the road:

"...The room over the bar has a funny kind of smell
Your feet stick to the carpet, what it is you cannot tell...

...The room over the bar - number 213
Not particularly large, not particularly clean..."

This release encompasses a very worthwhile sixty-three minutes, focusing on both the light and dark in America, as well as providing some humor along the way.

Brodsky, on vocals and guitar, is backed by JP Cormier on acoustic guitar, acoustic and electric bass, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, percussion, keyboards and harmony vocals.

Track List:

All songs written by Chuck Brodsky.

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