images from americana 2 travels photos by michael

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"..The photos are just images (as is some of the music),

there are no people in them to define the scale.."

 

Voiceprint 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.

We 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.

We 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.

Then 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.

Then 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 11/04/02

VPRR1CD Michael Chapman "Americana 2"

01. La Madrugada
02. Breakfast In California
03. Silverking
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

The 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
experience.

Michael 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.

White 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.

David Kidman netrythms Magazine Oct 2002 other michael chapman album review

 

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image from Americana click to see larger version

image from Americana click to see larger version
image from Americana click to see larger version
image from Americana click to see larger version
image from Americana click to see larger version

image from Americana click to see larger version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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