Michael Chapman

True North

Paradise of Bachelors

Feb 07, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


To hear Michael Chapman for the very first time can be a confounding experience. The British progressive-folk statesman's music is hypnotic, elaborate, sentimental; any cushy description feels facile, pointlessChapman's 40-plus album discography consists of enchanting guitar craftsmanship that's too dense to be considered American Primitive, too complex to be folk, too rustic to come close to jazz. Instead, Chapman picks and pulls from the aforementioned styles of choice and creates a mixture that results in pungent, earthy progressive folk music that's erudite and literary in its nature without sounding overly cultivated or stuffyhis music breathes and flows, winding witticisms and meandering, open-tuned voyages into the primitive-acoustic ether.

Chapman's latest studio album, True North, produced by contemporary guitar guru Steve Gunn, is his bleakest effort to date, a sparse reflection on aging and deeply nuanced literature. "Truck Song" and the opener, "It's Too Late," are driving, brooding vehicles that expand and extinguish much like life itselfage isn't so much a concept of True North as much as a blatant attribute; Chapman is no longer the young-gun folkie he made his name for in the early '70s. He's a weathered veteran of the written word and melodic guitar frameworks. True North isn't so much his masterpiece as it is a quintessential journey into one of recorded music's finest storytellers. (www.michaelchapman.co.uk)

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