-Huntsville Theater Reviews 8/14/16
Chapman James innovates Folk Music like no other.
The Courier-Press of Evansville, IN states:
"...he (Chapman) jumps from light hearted folk/blues to intricate tunings and finger styles of contemplative concept-poetry with a flow seldom managed."
...afterwards I asked him where I could get his CD, he said it wasn't for sale but if I knew anyone that might want to record any of his work, he'd give me one. I said I did and I went home with a CD. I saw from the recording that all of his work is on the WEB at no cost other than a promise to give it a listen and some feedback at a site called "SongRamp". Evidently (as Harry Chapin once wrote) music is his life but not his livelihood .
JMundy (BAMM Venues)
SONG: HEART LIKE A ROULETTE WHEEL
GENRE: BLUES / BLUES
REVIEWER: DAVID MOON
Ok, here is a track that is believable. I can almost hear the slot machines in the background. This is the song you listen to on a night of revenge & trouble after you find that your girl has left you for someone else. I can hear some Jim Croce influence and wish he were still here to add some of his unique imagery to this tale. Overall, there is the essential broken spirit needed for the theme of this song. Now for the production, I wish I could take all the players and put them in a big Nashville studio room and record the song again- live. The guitar overdub sounds like a guitar overdub. The guitar is too far out front in the mix. I love blues boogie-woogie piano, but I wish it had been balanced better in the mix with the guitar tracks. The vocal track is over-modulated and near distortion. The rhythm tracks are good and tight, but the ending is too loose for a record. I think people will find themselves tapping their feet to this one. This song and the technical ability of the players is ready to be taken to the studio for the finished goods. I?d caution Chapman to find a unique production for his vocal tracks to help move away from sounding to much like Croce. I think it is time for Chapman James to take his spin on the musical roulette wheel. I?ll take $50 on black.
Technical Skill: 7.50
Recording Quality: 5.00
Long Term Appeal: 7.00
Having heard too many over produced, over equalized, effects laden tracks in the last few years, I have become a bit jaded regarding the current state of vocal pop and folk music. As a result, I get a great sense of relief and satisfaction when I hear a singer / songwriter that understands what melody, rhythm, and message is all about. "Dyin' Man" by Chapman James, finds a solid place near the top of the food chain within this realm. As a songwriter / performer, this artist restores my faith in the muse within an artist that allows true expression through music.
Chapman James has a distinctive, memorable quality to his voice with only a hint of similarity and style to early Harry Chapin. On this track in particular, the vocal is crisp, clear, and makes for great listening. The lyrics are well thought out, and that translates to storytelling at its best! The analogy between lost love and death is expressed in a fresh way that prevents it from turning 'corny'.
The song consists of just a vocal line, and some rather decent guitar work. I might take some small exception with the recording quality, but I'm sure that it is just the rendering to MP3, that is the culprit. Since I am a headphone listening freak, I would have added another microphone on the guitar, to help create a more 'spatial' feel to the instrument.
This is a great track. I have listened to some of his other available songs, and I really wish that this artist had CDs that could be purchased. Take the time to give your ears some welcome sonic nourishment and give a listen to "Dyin Man".
by Bill Wright
Technical Skill: 8.50
Recording Quality: 7.00
Long Term Appeal: 9.00