Tributes paid to prolific singer-songwriter Michael Chapman, who has died aged 80

The announcement was made earlier today (September 11), informing fans that Chapman died at his home at age 80.

Folk singer-songwriter Michael Chapman has died at the age of 80.

The announcement was made via Chapman’s Instagram page earlier today (September 11). No cause of death was revealed, but the social media post stated that Chapman died in his home.

“Please raise a glass or two to a gentleman, a musician, a husband, a force of nature, a legend and the most fully qualified survivor,” it reads.

His label Paradise of Bachelors also issued a statement on the platform.

“Michael Chapman was a hero and friend to so many, including us,” they wrote, “moving with unmatched grace, vigor, and gruff humor within and beyond his songs and those he inspired from others. We are devastated to hear of his passing today.”

Born in Leeds in 1941, Chapman released his debut album, ‘Rainmaker’, in 1969. Since then, he has issued over 40 full-length albums. His final recorded effort, ‘True North’, was released in 2019 via Paradise of Bachelors.

In his work, Chapman explored roots music, such as blues and folk, through acoustic and electric instruments, issuing multiple instrumental efforts and collaborations over the decades. His work has also been influential to various artists ever since, including Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore.

In 2017, Chapman told The Guardian that he had dinner with Moore in 1998, who confessed to him that his 1973 album, ‘Millstone Grit’, helped spark the genesis of Sonic Youth. “He blames the feedback extravaganzas on there for them forming,” Chapman said.

On Instagram, Moore shared a clip from a fireside performance by Chapman via Ecstatic Peace Library. “And this is the last time we saw you by the fire,” he wrote. “We got to know England when (and because) we got to know you. Thank you hero.”

A 2012 compilation album, titled ‘Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done: Friends Play Michael Chapman’, featured covers of his songs by Moore, Lucinda Williams, Hiss Golden Messenger, and William Tyler, among others.

Chapman also spent his time in recent decades touring with younger contemporaries such as Bill Callahan, Ryley Walker, Daniel Bachman, and the late Jack Rose.

Singer-songwriter Steve Gunn, who went on to produce ‘True North’ for Chapman, told The Guardian that his 1970s albums “were so ahead of their time”. Upon news of his death, the musician tweeted pictures of Chapman, one taken with Gunn.

US label Light in the Attic, who reissued his first four albums in the 2010s, called Chapman “a rare human”.

“Immensely talented, honest, supportive, funny, and always zero bullshit,” they wrote.

Source: Tributes paid to prolific singer-songwriter Michael Chapman, who has died aged 80

Pedair, Cerys Hafana and Eve Goodman perform at the National Library of Wales

Gwedd fodern ar y byd gwerin yng nghwmni Pedair, Cerys Hafana ac Eve Goodman, rhai o berfformwyr mwyaf cyffrous y sîn yng Nghymru heddiw, o leoliad hyfryd Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yn Aberystwyth.

A modern take at the folk scene in Wales today with Pedair, Cerys Hafana and Eve Goodman performing in the beautiful surroundings of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Nanci Griffith’s first appearance on Austin City Limits (Full Set)

This recently uploaded YouTube video is from Nanci Griffith’s first appearance on Austin City Limits, shortly after the release of her breakthrough album Once in a Blue Moon. I remember watching this amazing performance for the first time on PBS on 1985. It was my introduction to Nanci, whose music I’ve cherished for the following 35 years.

Rest in Peace, Nanci. Thanks for the beautiful music.

Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi: They’re Calling Me Home – An album for our times

The duo’s new collection is shot through with a deep longing for home

Siobhan Long

Two years ago their Grammy-nominated album There Is No Other laid the ground for an intensely productive partnership. Now, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi have released an album that somehow manages to distil the essence of what many are experiencing in this pandemic: a longing for home and a grappling with death on a scale and in ways living generations hadn’t imagined before 2020.

The American-Italian duo, both long resident in Ireland, give voice to their longing for home, drawing from the American bluegrass and folk canon, Italian opera and folk traditions, English folk and a sheaf of original songs and tunes. Few artists have processed the challenges of pandemic living with such pin-prick precision and raw emotion. This is an album that interrogates our notions of home in this particular time – its emotional lure, its geographical inaccessibility and, unsurprisingly, its ultimate meaning: death.

Giddens and Turrisi don’t shirk the discomfort and disquiet of these times. This remarkably cohesive album of 12 wildly disparate tracks cuts to the heart of what isolation and distance might mean. They draw on the bluegrass tradition for their opening title song, written by Alice Gerrard, and end the collection with a powerfully wordless reading of Amazing Grace, Turrisi’s frame drum and Giddens’s lilting, nay, crying of the melody more lonesome than any lyric. In between the pair draw on the spare contributions of Niwel Tsumbu on guitar and Emer Mayock on pipes and flute, to exquisite effect. Mayock’s pipes on Amazing Grace are lonesomeness personified.

Their cover of Pentangle’s When I Was in My Prime strikes a beautifully spare pose, baroque in tone. Giddens’s pacing is

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