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photos are just images (as is some of the music),
are no people in them to define the scale.."
is proud to be associated with this new release. Michael told us about
what had inspired the album. Just as Americana 1 was about the soft
,soupy atmosphere of the deep South, no 2 is made with the hard edged
light of the South west in mind.
flew in to LA late at night , hired a car and got out of there quick,
down the coast towards San Diego, found motel and slept. At breakfast
some nutter wearing a blind man's shades tried to sell me a six hundred
year old crystal. Welcome to California.
met the wonderful Dottie at Owl Station, paused for a while and then
headed for the border. There was no mention of Charlie Mingus in Nogales
and we ended up in Bisbee, playing jazz guitar duets in the Silver King
Hotel, everything painted white and a mysterious heating system.
into serious Indian Country, the ghosts of Geronimo and Cochise everywhere.
Up into the Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon,
being proper tourists for once. It snowed in Williams Az.
we drove some of what remains of the old Route 66 towards California,
slept in William Bendix's room in Gallup NM, saw Clark Gable's honeymoon
suite in Oatman then turned off to Joshua Tree to finish the Gram Parsons
cycle we had started in Waycross Ga. in '98.
The photos are just images (as is some of the music), there are no people
in them to define the scale.
Recorded as usual at Phoenix with Alex Warnes. MC
Michael Chapman "Americana 2"
02. Breakfast In California
04. Blues For The Mother Road
05. When Dottie Goes Dancing
06. Apache Creek
07. Looking For Charlie In Nogales
08. White House
09. Ghosts In The Sycamores
10. Dust Devils
11. Thunderbird Lodge
12. So Many Echoes
second album in the series inspired by and documenting Michael's journey
across the Southern States of America. As 'Americana ' was about the
soft, swampy atmosphere of the deep South, 'Americana 2' is made with
the hard-edged light of the South West in mind.
Again, the totally instrumental songs perfectly evoke the landscape
and the lives of the characters that inhabit it. Each track has a story
behind it, some weird, some touching, some just about being there and
experiencing. He also records on banjo for the first time ever !!!.
The album comes with a 16-page booklet of Michael's evocative photographs
taken along the journey, which enhance the listening
Chapman - Americana 2 Reviewed
It's a well kept secret that Michael's still
alive and well and making great music. His latest studio album of
songs (The Twisted Road) came out quietly a couple of years ago, swiftly
followed by a very fine completely solo, all-instrumental venture,
Americana, which was inspired by his then-recent tour of the Southern
States. I described Americana as a potent invocation of genius loci,
and the same holds true for its slightly lengthier sequel. That sense
of time-stands-still (or rather, inhabiting a different time-scale)
is acutely strong throughout, whether on the delicate opener La Madrugada
(with its distinct echoes of Miles Davis in his Spanish-sketches period)
or the leisurely stretching-out of Blues For The Mother Road, or even
on invigorating little vignettes like the 2½-minute Silverking
(another of those perfect little encapsulations of the spirit of improvised
bluesy ragtime that Michael does so well), the cheeky Dust Devils
and the joyous Mingus-prayer-meeting feel of Looking For Charlie In
Nogales, not to mention the timeless old-timey country-waltz of When
Dottie Goes Dancing.
House (subtitled "at peace in the Canyon de Cheliy") is
a luxuriant 6-minute bathe in acoustic guitar textures, and Ghosts
In The Sycamores strongly recalls the melancholy of the descending
chord-sequence of No Song To Sing. The 7-minute Navajo-inspired Thunderbird
Lodge finds typical Chapman ramblings elevated to high art. Michael
even makes his début playing banjo on the strangely hypnotic
Apache Creek, which makes inventive use of "found sounds"
(rhythmic water splashes) within a musical structure wherein I detect
more than a nod to Hank Marvin! In a slight departure from the earlier
Americana, Michael here has the benefit of the instrumental expertise
of steel guitarist Jeff Betsworth, while long-time collaborator Rick
Kemp plays fretless bass on the spacious, elliptical final track (So
Many Echoes). The production is excellent, and the presentation most
attractive - this time the package is enhanced by a fulsome portfolio
of evocative photographs. Michael has produced another impressive
album here to rank among his best.
Kidman netrythms Magazine
Oct 2002 other michael chapman album review