This Out of the Chute is different from the usual in that this is not an interview (though there will be one in the coming weeks). Out of the Chute takes on a different tone this week as Chuck Hawthorne sets to release his first CD - Silver Line - tomorrow. So let's open the gate and give a listen...
Like the train that has run from Durango to Silverton CO since 1879, Chuck Hawthorne’s voice carries a classic tone reminiscent of Woody Guthrie. A true story-teller painting picture after picture.
The title track sets the wheels in motion for a great album as the Silver Line moves down the tracks. From Welding Son of a Gun through Rough Luck, Chuck shows us the good times and the moments of sadness we all experience on our path through life. The times of rejoice balance the periods of sadness making up the Americana quilt that covers us, their threads interwoven to form a warm hug of love and memories to be cherished.
A couple of the tunes are unique, set apart by the musical arrangement. Bound To Be Bound carries the heartbeat rhythm of a vision quest while keeping pace with the steady turn of train wheels along the track. As I listened to Dragon Flies, I could picture this song as part of a soundtrack for a fantasy movie, something similar to Erogon.
While the dark soulful strains of Enemy will have you traversing dark hallways of your past, Ovando lightens the mood. Like the Montana namesake, Ovando - co-written with Shawn T. Pabst, is a beautiful waltz lamenting to the blending of past and present.
The prayerful notes of Ashes & Embers would flow beautifully into Post 2 Gate were it not for the mastery of songwriter/ producer Ray Bonneville. The two tracks are separated by The Gospel Hammer, a song with strong Americana roots that keep the over-all tone of this album from becoming heavy.
Every album needs a song about a woman and Chuck wrote the perfect one in Leaving Amarillo. The harmony vocals of Eliza Gilkyson are the perfect little extra something to let this song stand out from the rest. Rough Luck, penned by the legendary Ray Bonneville, is the only tune on Silver Line Chuck did not write (or co-wrote as is the case with Ovando). A chance meeting with Ray Bonneville in an airport put Chuck on the track that helped make this album possible... a journey that is filled with anything but 'rough' luck.
These are just a drop in the bucket to the songs and stories Chuck Hawthorne has to tell as he takes us on an acoustical journey through time filled with love, pain and rebirth. From Texas to Iraq and points in between, Silver Line offers earthy lyrics and a rhythm rich in heritage. . I can't wait to hear where he takes us next. I am tipping my hat
Before I tell you where you can find Chuck Hawthorne, here is the video for Post 2 Gate: