High & Lonesome and Brudenell Social Club presents…
Scott Hirsch & Michael Chapman
Tuesday 5th September — 7.30pm
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, LS6
Tickets on sale now via Crash, Jumbo, Brudenell & online: seetickets.com/event/scott-hirsch-michael-chapman/brudenell-social-club-leeds/1097783
Together on a bill for the first time, two artists who share a musical cosmos but who’s orbits hadn’t yet collided: Scott Hirsch, California native who has long travelled the world’s highways with Hiss Golden Messenger, for whom he plays bass guitar and is the sonic ear behind much of the production work for past albums, and Michael Chapman; veteran British songwriter and guitar sage, a peer of legends such as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Roy Harper. Commemorating fifty years of touring, Chapman’s ‘50’, released in January 2017 on Paradise of Bachelors, is undeniably a late career masterpiece, whilst Hirsch’s solo vision has only just been debuted in 2016’s ‘Blue Rider Songs’. ‘50’ was produced by and features Steve Gunn; one of the new generation of pickers with whom Hirsch has often shared a studio. Hirsch in fact wrote much of and produced the M.C. Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) and Gunn collaborative album, ‘Golden Gunn’.
Both artists cast a mercurial eye on their art-form, moving the primitive guitar into realms of blues, jazz and the avant garde. Chapman’s smoky vocals have an unassailable Northern darkness and grit, whilst ‘Blue Rider Songs’ is suffused with a cool, soulful and sweet atmosphere. They take to the road together this year on a select run of festivals and UK dates.
After many years spent as a steadfast and inventive collaborator—not only playing bass and producing four albums with Hiss Golden Messenger, but in large part forging that band’s sonic signature—multi-instrumentalist, recordist, and audio engineer Scott Hirsch finally made a solo album, and it’s called Blue Rider Songs, released August 2016 on Scissortail Records.
The album emerged from various personal contexts: a year of near-constant touring with Hiss Golden Messenger in 2015; a move with his family from Brooklyn to California, and the launch of his new Echo Magic West studio there; and above all, the process of making the self-titled Golden Gunn album with M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger and their mutual friend Steve Gunn. Hirsch wrote much of the music on that album, and watching Taylor and Gunn set words and vocals to his instrumental productions proved the necessary catalyst to take his writing and recording into fresh
territory under his own name. Hirsch even reinterprets Golden Gunn standout track ‘The Sun Comes up a Purple Diamond’ here, repurposing Gunn’s lyrics, but attenuating the song into something even more heat-stricken and dilatory than the hazy original.
Blue Rider Songs nods to the Tulsa sound and rural American greats like JJ Cale, drawing tangled traditions and tangents of North American vernacular music and in Hirsch’s inimitable aesthetic, brings in notably subtle contributions from old band mates The Court and Spark and HGM stalwarts Phil Cook (Organ and harmonica) and Matt Douglas (Sax), among others, along for the ride.
Pitchfork, Aug 2016. Laura Snapes on Blue Rider Songs, 8.0
Uncut Magazine, 2016. John Mulvey on Blue Rider Songs, 8/10
Uncut Magazine, Aug 2016. John Mulvey, 20th Uncut Playlist of 2016
«the godfather of new cosmic Americana.» The Guardian
«late-career triumph.» **** The Times
«His stellar vocals and Steve Gunn's atmospheric production elevate this to one of the guitarist's best.
Vindication here we come.» Uncut
“A world-class songwriter. Terrifically unpredictable … beyond any genre tag.” Pitchfork
WEBSITE // michaelchapman.co.uk/
TWITTER // @qualifiedsur
INSTAGRAM // @michaelchapmanguitar
Tickets £10 available now