Michael Chapman Tribute Album
This has been my year of getting into Michael Chapman – finally seeing him play live and catching up on his hugely impressive (and hugely enjoyable) back catalogue.
Then along comes this cherishable compilation from Tompkins Square Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done...
The serendipity of a track from Two Wings was enough to persuade me to invest, even though the label apparently couldn’t cope with the logistical challenge of getting a 55 minute set onto vinyl…
There’s a really interesting range of contributors doing their own thing with Michael’s songs – and, often, very effectively making them their own. There are the good compilation’s twin joys here of finding new artists you then want to go and find more of (for me, in particular, Hiss Golden Messenger‘s fiddle-n-drone and Black Twig Pickers‘ rootsy stomp), and hearing known, reliable quantities in new settings (step forward, Lucinda Williams and Thurston Moore). Two Wings are spot on: gorgeously themselves.
Elsewhere, 60s/70s Brit folk-rock is properly represented, through Maddy Prior, Bridget St John and Rick Kemp – though I have to say that the last, a longterm collaborator of Chapman, is the weak link here for me… Meanwhile,Meg Baird gives an amazing impression, decades adrift and on the wrong side of the pond, of being in just that category.
Essentially, there’s a wealth of treasurable stuff here – and the stuff you might not treasure is certainly worthy of your interest and attention. Thoroughly recommended.
(from Eden on the Line)