‘This man is so laid back that he makes JJ Cale sound like he’s on helium.’ – Q Magazine
Michael Chapman (born Leeds Yorkshire - 1941) first became known on the London and Cornish folk circuits in 1966. Playing a blend of atmospheric and autobiographical material he established a reputation for intensity and innovation. Signed to EMI's Harvest label he recorded a quartet of classic albums. LPs like 'Rainmaker' and 'Wrecked Again' defined the melancholic observer role Michael was to make his own, mixing intricate guitar instrumentals with a full band sound.
The influential album 'Fully Qualified Survivor', featuring the guitar of Mick Ronson (David Bowie) and Rick Kemp's bass (Steeleye Span) bass, was John Peel's favourite album of 1970. 'Survivor' featured the Chapman 'hit', 'Postcards of Scarborough', a characteristically tenderly sour song recounting the feelings of nostalgia and regret.
Chapman is one of the finest finger picking style guitar players still around . As part of a continuing musical lineage that includes the likes of John Fahey, Jack Rose, Ralph McTell, John Martyn, Davey Graham & Bert Jansch, Chapman is still as active as he ever was and his playing is on top form. There are regular releases of new recordings,(Fish – 2015) old recordings (Live at Folk Cottage -2013) and reissues of his classics, with ‘Window’ & ‘Playing the Guitar The Easy Way’ recently reissued by USA label Light in The Attic on CD and vinyl format to complete the reissue series of his early work on EMI’s Harvest label.
Recent collaborations with Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and the American 'primitive school' of guitar players have opened up a whole new audience of admirers in the UK, USA and Europe.