Today, he should be recognized as one of the best and most important new songwriters to come along in the past few years.
Chuck grew up in the Philadelphia. 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, drove 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 street-singing 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, NC) 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 from around 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.
Chuck has toured everywhere from the US to Canada, Ireland and Israel. He has played at many of the major folk festivals including Kerrville Folk Festival and Winnipeg as well as appeared on many of the major syndicated radio programs such as "Mountain Stage" and "Acoustic Cafe." His songs have been recorded by Kathy Mattea and Sara Hickman and his 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.
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 same song.
- Gillian Welch
- Kate Wolf
- Jason Isbell