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Michael Chapman

Performing Arts

Michael Chapman photo: Graham Smout
Michael Chapman
with William Tyler
Sat, June 4, 2011 8 PM
“It’s easy to discern the influence of Chapman’s poised and tumbling grace on the latest generation of six-string troubadours…as he plunges a procession of cascading notes into the ether like a mountainside waterfall communing with a gleaming pool of dancing eddies—sheer swirls of homespun emotion.”—BBC

We’re big fans of the many adventurous acoustic guitar soloists who currently conjure fresh dimensions in sonic wonder from six strings. In the past you’ve seen a range of such players here: pysch-folk experimentalist Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance, former Timothy Leary music director Peter Walker, the late, great Jack Rose, and English wunderkind James Blackshaw. Now it’s time for Michael Chapman and William Tyler, two more artists who are rightly celebrated for their achievements in the acoustic underground.

Michael Chapman is an English cult legend who began his career on the Cornish folk music circuit in 1967. He soon signed on with UK prog-rock label Harvest (also home to Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett’s solo work, and Roy Harper, among others), where he recorded four influential albums, including the recently reissued folk-rock landmark Fully Qualified Survivor, which featured future Bowie collaborator Mick Ronson. His brilliantly atmospheric and ruminative playing has been actively touted in this country by both Jack Rose and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and Tompkins Square recently put out a two-CD set, Trainsong: Guitar Compositions 1967–2010, on which Chapman magnificently recasts key pieces from his lengthy career in solo guitar versions.

Nashville's William Tyler is known for his work supporting an array of outstanding and wildly diverse artists ranging from Lambchop to Charlie Louvin and Rhys Chatham. With Behold The Spirit, his solo guitar release for Tompkins Square, he has established himself as a tour-de-force talent whose beautiful playing and intricately varied guitar compositions confirm his presence as a leading figure in this scene.
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