MICHAEL CHAPMAN &
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
+ very Special Guests
“I had an art college education and on a rainy night in 1966 I went into a pub in Cornwall, but I couldn’t afford to pay to go in. So I said, I’ll tell you what, I don’t want to stay outside in the rain, I’ll play guitar for half an hour for you. They offered me a job for the rest of the summer and I’ve been at it ever since” – Michael Chapman
With a muse falling somewhere between Kevin Ayers and Warren Zevon, Michael Chapman could be described as a folk-rock, psychedelic jazz troubadour. Chapman rose to prominence during the heady heights of the UK’s folk rock scene in the early 1970s. With such lofty champions as John Peel and Charles Shaar Murray, Chapman quickly rose to prominence releasing four acclaimed albums on the seminal Harvest label. ‘Fully Qualified Survivor’ is generally regarded as the pinnacle of his Harvest output and featured none other than the legendary Mick Ronson on guitar and with songs of the calibre of ‘Postcards Of Scarborough’ it is something of a mystery as to why Chapman was never afforded greater mainstream acclaim
Chapman’s status was further cemented by a seminal appearance on The Old Grey Whistle and with a new home at Deram, a subsidiary of the famous Decca label, Chapman continued to maintain a high profile throughout the 70s with a string of excellent albums.
Chapman has recently enjoyed a renewed appeal and a new audience amongst lovers of folk and guitar playing on both sides of the Atlantic. He was rediscovered and championed by artists such as No Neck Blues Band and Jack Rose, both of whom he toured the US with, and now that the UK has finally caught up he is in regular demand amongst more leftfield audiences.
2011 was a very busy year for Chapman, with Lights In The Attic’s deluxe vinyl re-issue of Fully Qualified Survivor and Tompkins Square’s 2cd set Trainsong: Guitar Compositions 1967-2010, as well as his first ‘noise’ album The Resurrection And Revenge Of The Clayton Peacock for Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label .
He also toured the UK in the company of William Tyler and played some European dates with Steve Gunn, cementing his place in the affections of an audience mostly several decades his junior and a series of new releases and live shows for 2012 will no doubt build on that.
Chapman has never really considered himself a folk artist as such, his dextrous style arguably owing more to ragtime, rock and jazz, and his live gravel-voiced acid proclamations and exquisite playing are not to be missed.
Hiss Golden Messenger
Hiss Golden Messenger is the recording name of Michael C. Taylor, a Californian songwriter whose work is spun from the very brightest threads of the Cosmic American Tapestry.
Like lost classics pulled through the slipstream, elements of country, folk, blues and gospel all shine bright through a sound described by David Bowie as ‘mystical country, an eerie yellowing photograph’.
Deeply lyrical meditations tell of sin, sacrifice and redemption in the wilderness beyond the cabin walls – timeless themes drawn into songs performed with compelling emotional resonance and inimitable charm.
Taylor is an artist of rare talent and an authentic voice of soulful honesty that will strike a chord with anyone willing to peer up through the air and beyond the sky. 2012 sees the cd re-issue of the beautiful full-band album Poor Moon on Tompkins Square (following its vinyl release in 2011), plus some more solo shows this side of the Atlantic, including an appearance at Kilkenny Roots Festival in May.
“Outright devastating…Shires alternated between violin and ukulele on songs triangulating the vivid, lyrical poetry of fellow Texan Townes Van Zandt and the wrenching emotional intensity of, say, Lucinda Williams.”-AOL Spinner
With two bona-fide country classics already in the bag in the shape of ‘West Cross Timber’s & ‘Carrying Lightning’, Texas native Amanda Shires has already drawn Dolly Parton & Emmylou Harris comparisons from writers usually a little more circumspect with their praise. And if you listen to Amanda then you will realise that such comparisons are easily made – Shires combines the aching lyrical melancholy of Tom Waits and the poignant delivery of Dolly to create a sound that is deeply affecting and utterly heartbreaking.
Shires has extensively toured and recorded with Jason Isbell of Drive By Truckers, Justin Townes Earle & Devotchka