In The Garden

[B]'Extremely Cool'[/B] is [B]Chuck[/B]'s second album since 1981....

‘Extremely Cool’ is Chuck‘s second album since 1981. Which means that it has taken him 18 years to complete. He is bosom buddies with [a]Tom Waits[/a] -who appears frequently on this record. He helped set up The Viper Rooms with pal Johnny Depp. And he plays the kind of black’n’blues and beat-up old jazz that only those who have tongued the Devil’s tonsils can pen with any confidence. Asked why it took so long to produce the album, Chuck knowingly confessed, “I was distracted.”

And that, historians, is how a Hollywood legend is created. Which probably accounts for the ludicrous artistic licence afforded on ‘…Cool’ wherein every primitive blues trick, every bonkers jazz trill is milked to the point of Jazz Club cheese. Of course, it sounds fucking marvellous -in the way that twisted, wretched old rock’n’roll coots with enough Jack Daniel’s always do.

Take the exhilarating Delta shuffle of ‘Devil With Blue Suede Shoes’, for instance; or the voodoo boogie of ‘Just Don’t Care’: one part Muddy Waters to two parts Cramps. Nothing, however, quite prepares for the absurd jungle-rumble of ‘Do You Know What I Idi Amin’ with Chuck‘s tracheotomy-frazzled vocal timbre reaching comical proportions.

It is apparent that Chuck wears this stuff like a second skin. He’s one of the last living embodiments of Old American country folk eccentricity and respect is, therefore, due.

So, buddy, have a drink on m… oh, you already have.