The Chapmans - Simple Man
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Simple Man (Pinecastle, 2005)

The Chapmans

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

The third album from The Chapmans, a four-piece family band and winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Emerging Artist Award for 2002, is their best work to date.

The band includes Bill Chapman and his three sons, Jeremy, Jason and John. The Chapmans very capably handle the bulk of the instrumental work and a fair amount of the songwriting. What truly makes them special, as with many family bands in bluegrass, is their vocal work, specifically their harmonies. Songs like "Uphill Climb," "How I Love You," "Runaway Kind" and Jimmy Martin's "You'll Be A Lost Ball" help to bear this out. The band's treatment of The Stevens Sisters' tear-jerker "Jeanie and Tommy" and "Photograph" help show off John Chapman's skills as one of the top young lead vocalists in bluegrass.

Like many of today's acts, The Chapmans are willing to look beyond 'the usual bluegrass suspects' of Monroe, Stanley and Flatt and Scruggs for material that fits their style. This album helps show off their versatility and creativity. Though a national touring band, they are still under the radar of many bluegrass lovers. This album shows they are deserving of a higher profile.

CDs by The Chapmans

Simple Man, 2005

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