In recent years, the revered British guitarist and songwriter Michael Chapman has seen his classic Harvest records from the 70’s reissued by Light In the Attic, and he has also toured with Bill Callahan, Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore, Ryley Walker and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
On the eve of the Fully Qualified Survivor’s 75th birthday (January 24), his latest album Fish has garnered praise heaps of praise from Mojo, Uncut and Record Collector (which gave it five stars).
The English singer-songwriter and guitarist will not only be celebrating his 75th birthday in 2016 but also 50 years as a professional musician, in which time he has released more than 40 albums.
Chapman originally began playing guitar with jazz bands in his home town of Leeds and then became well known in the folk clubs of the late 1960s appearing alongside John Martyn and Roy Harper, as well as the progressive music scene. He attended art college and then worked as a teacher while honing his craft, influenced at first by other English layers such as Ralph McTell.
His first album was Rainmaker in 1969, released on the Harvest label and produced by Gus Dudgeon who also worked with Steeleye Span, Elton John and David Bowie around the same time. Further albums on Harvest were followed by label changes and the album Savage Amusement produced by the legendary Don Nix. Chapmen has recorded for a variety of labels and also released albums independently since the ‘80s and by the turn of the century was being acknowledged by bands such as Supergrass and other high profile contemporary musicians.
A tribute album titled Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done: Friends Play Michael Chapman was released in 2012 on Tompkins Square Records and included contributions from Lucinda Williams, Maddy Prior, William Tyler, His Golden Messenger and Sonic Youth’s.
All of Chapman’s back catalogue for Harvest has now been re-released by USA based label Light In The Attic in both heavyweight vinyl and CD formats. He has also recorded several instrumental albums for Tompkins Square records, including Fish in 2015.
Tompkins Square also released Chapman’s 2010 double CD Trainsong : Guitar Compositions 1967-2010.