|Always wary of their Paisley Underground tag, it was only Green on Red's debut EP that leaned on the psychedelic sounds of the '60s before they traded it in for a boozy, all-American sound. They have been credited as latter-day forbears to the No Depression sound forged by Wilco and Son Volt.
Singer and songwriter Dan Stuart, Chris Cacavas (keyboards) and Jack Waterson (bass) formed their first group in Tucson, AZ, in 1979. Relocating to L.A., drummer Steve MacNicol joined up and the band released their debut EP on Steve Wynn's Down There label in 1982. By 1983, the band dumped the trippy psychedelic stuff for Gravity Talks, their Slash debut. By the time 1985's Gas Food Lodging rolled around and the band had added guitarist Chuck Prophet, they were earning critical accolades, but their greatest success came overseas with the release of 1985's No Free Lunch (Polygram). Between albums, Stuart paused to work with Steve Wynn and a smattering of their respective band members for their Danny and Dusty album, a record which allowed Stuart to play on his "drunken bum" persona.
Prophet and Stuart continued to hone their darkish, down-and-out loser blues on The Killer Inside Me (1987, Mercury) and Here Come the Snakes (1989, Mercury), but by the time 1989's This Time Around (Mercury) came out, interest in their work stateside had ceased. Cacavas had since left the fold to begin what had become a consistent, albeit overlooked solo career. The Prophet/Stuart duo found an audience for their music in Europe for Scapegoats (1991, China) and Too Much Fun (1992, Off Beat), but ultimately traded in the madness of what had become their collaboration for quieter lives.
Stuart relocated to Spain and Prophet continues the solo career he launched in 1990. His 1997 release Homemade Blood (Cooking Vinyl) bears little resemblence to the ramshackle outfit that was Green on Red. As it turns out, Prophet was a sleeper. ~ Denise Sullivan, All Music Guide