I (again) and going to embark on a new adventure in blogging and try to do a short feature, each and every Friday on an artist I think you NEED to know about, that you may not know about. They don’t have a CD that was just released, they don’t have any particular show coming up, but are just someone I thoroughly enjoy listening to and think you should as well.
The head of the “revolving chair band”, the Bean Picker’s Union, Chuck Melchin is a character who will play with nearly anyone, adds a great deal to any artists songs, and is just a hell of a musician and songwriter in his own right. An extremely smart musician who doesn’t over-think parts, but always comes up with something original and leaves others thinking “why didn’t I come up with that/play that right there?!”.
Melchin is as prolific a songwriter as they come. His music truly has an air and ambiance about it. His songwriting burrows deep into your being and makes you feel and experience what he was writing about. The majority of the music he puts out is fairly sparse in it’s accompaniment (at least it feels that way) with a handful of string instruments typically filling the void of sound behind Melchin’s clear, strong and (sometimes) melancholy voice. It evokes an atmospheric texture to the songs, pulls you into the gray and surrounds your soul with the story. You don’t just listen to Chuck’s songs, you experience them. The only way to really describe this music is that it is truly beautiful.
His songwriting is always on point. He weaves narratives with often mournful and haunting perspectives (fitting the bill of the sonic qualities perfectly). One might feel that the typical “sad song” doesn’t hold as much clout as something more upbeat, a country shitkicker if you will, but the songs that pour forth from this songwriter are moving, deep, and powerful.
The 2007 full length ‘Potlatch’ goes down as one of my favorite local releases of all time. The follow up record ‘Better the Devil’ released in October 2012, was just as strong and further cemented the fact that Melchin is just a great songwriter, arranger or music, and musician. And even further, I posted a review of Chuck’s “Demos and Covers” (http://redlineroots.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-bean-pickers-union-demos-and-covers.html) because I enjoyed that so much.
Go check out all of the Bean Picker’s music up on their bandcamp page. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.