July 15, 2015

Cush/The Prayer Chain live performance

Cush, June 2015
When the Prayer Chain broke up at the end of 1995, guitarist Andy Prickett, bass player Eric Campuzano, and drummer Wayne Everett eventually formed the collective Cush (as they were joined by a rotating cast of other musicians--most notably original vocalist Mike Knott). The only member of the Prayer Chain that wasn't a full member of Cush at any point was Prayer Chain vocalist Tim Taber. Taber did sing one line on the debut Cush LP in 2000, and also sang on a Cush b-side that was released eventually on a live album.

Cush is primarily a collaboration of Prickett and Campuzano, and is Prickett's primary outlet for songwriting (he has played guitar for dozens of bands over the years and done lots of production and engineering work; but unfortunately rarely writes). Campuzano's primary songwriting outlet for the longest time was the Lassie Foundation, but is now Stranger Kings (with Holly Nelson on lead vocals, debut album released in 2014).

Cush has played with countless line-ups and lead singers over the last 15 years, but for the majority of those shows the backbone of Prickett-Campuzano-Everett was present. I was fortunate enough to attend the primary exception--in the Netherlands at Flevo Festival 2003--when Cush performed with only Prickett, joined by a collective of Dutch musicians (who had never performed with Cush previously, and never did again).

I give all this background because last month Cush performed a show for the first time ever with Tim Taber on lead vocals. Everett was unfortunately not behind the drum-set, but otherwise it was practically a Prayer Chain reunion show, as Cush even performed two Prayer Chain songs. As this show was in California and I am in Germany, I wasn't able to be there, but thankfully the band recorded all seven songs in HD Video and can be watched on YouTube. The performance is outstanding, and the video is also really high quality (the camera is positioned poorly for the first song, but the angle is corrected in the middle of the second).



Cush at the Constellation Room, June 9, 2015
1. The Drug That You Can Never Take (SP3, 2014)
2. Heaven Sent (Cush, 2000)
3. All My Eyes Knew (SP3, 2014)
4. God Help Me (SP2, 2003)
5. Mercury (Humb 1994, Mercury 1995)
6. The Bomb Was Brighter Than the Stars (Cush, 2000)
7. Chalk (Humb 1994, Antarctica 1996)

If you are a Prayer Chain fan unfamiliar with Humb, it was the original 12-track version of Mercury that was rejected by the record label. It was put on Bandcamp a few years ago along with the backstory.  All of Cush's and the Prayer Chain's music is now on Bandcamp and can be streamed for free and purchased at low prices. The most recent Cush EP came out just about a year ago and is outstanding:


Also, 2015 is the 20th Anniversary of Mercury, which resulted in a Kickstarter that funded the upcoming release of the album on vinyl. I am highly anticipating the delivery of my copy:

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