Eugene Chadbourne

Chad-Born Again

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This album was released as a CD-R in the late '90s on Eugene Chadbourne's own label, but it was professionally recorded in 1991 at a good studio in Louisville, KY. Chad-Born Again is simply a gem. Unlike a bunch of the Doctor's home releases, this CD sports good sound and excellent playing by a limited cast of musicians who remain constant throughout the album. Joe Conroy and David Stilley accompany Chadbourne in a set of avant-country songs and a couple of free improvisations. Songs range from stupid ("Bunyan") to protest. Topics include religion ("Jesus Protects Mexico," the hilarious "Christian Canons"), the Israelo-Palestinian war ("Dirt"), and the 1990 face-off between the Indian Warriors and the Quebec police in Oka (near Montreal) over a golf course ("Cop Died for Golf Course"). Chadbourne's wit is at its sharpest. As for his voice, it's a case of like it or loathe it. Then again, Bob Dylan never was a great singer and the Doctor's words have more bite (and his guitar more edge). The CD also comprises three songs in duet with Jon Rose. These were recorded under worse conditions and two of them were already available on You Are in Bear Country ("Devil on the Radio" and "Skip a Rope"; they may not be the same recordings, but the difference would be very slim). Those who like the man's songs but care less for his improvising or studio experiments will consider Chad-Born Again a must. Recommended.

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