The “Godfather of Cosmic Americana” Michael Chapman is back!

Leaving you this weekend dear dear readers with news that the Leeds born so-called “Godfather of Cosmic Americana” is back with a new album ‘True North’ recorded with close ally Steve Gunn and which features pals Bridget St John and BJ Cole. Chapman has been championed by (or collaborated with) the likes of Hiss Golden Messenger, Ryley Walker, Jack Rose, Bill Callahan, Thurston Moore and Alex Turner.

The follow-up to his celebrated 2017 album ’50’, the new records finds the elder statesman of British songwriting and guitar plumbing an even deeper and honing an even keener edge to his iconic writing. Due for release February 8th 2019 on Paradise of Bachelors, the album is described as featuring “predominantly new, and utterly devastating, songs hews to a more intimate sonic signature—more atmospheric, textural, and minimalist than 50, stately and melancholy in equal measure.” Joining him on this introspective journey is a cast of old friends and new disciples: once again Steve Gunn produces and plays guitar, and fellow UK songwriting hero Bridget St John sings, collaborating with cellist Sarah Smout and legendary pedal steel player BJ Cole, who has accompanied everyone from John Cale to Scott Walker, Elton John to Terry Allen, Felt to Björk.

By the time the album is out, Chapman will be seventy-eight years old and will have released nearly as many records which is a staggering achievement in anyone’s books. “The elegiac True North navigates the treacherous territory of time, resulting in the most nakedly personal album of his career, his most authoritative, unguarded, and emotionally devastating statement. The album begins with the gnawing regret of “It’s Too Late,” and every song Chapman sings thereafter directly references the passing of time—its blind ruthlessness, its sweet hazy delights—in noirish language almost mystical in its terseness and precision.”

Oh and look, you can see him live too on these dates:

27/03/2019 Hebden Bridge – The Trades Club
28/03/2019 Preston -The Continental
31/03/2019 Newcastle on Tyne -The Cluny
02/04/2019 Guildford – Holy Trinity Church
03/04/2019 Sheffield – The Greystones
04/04/2019 Chester – St Mary’s Creative Space
06/04/2019 Reading -South St Arts

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Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield has been the Editor of Americana UK for the last 17 years and still feels like this is his pretend job, mainly because it is.

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