Today (February 9) sees the release of the long-awaited new CD from The Chapmans, Grown Up (A Revisionist History).
It marks the 20th year of this family band, featuring brothers John on guitar and lead vocals, Jeremy on mandolin, Jaso on bass, with papa Chapman Bill on banjo. Tyler Beckett tours with the band on fiddle, but is not featured on this recording.
Jeremy told us in an earlier interview that Grown Up really was an overview of of their 20 years playing music together. Long-time fans will recognize many of these tracks, as 11 of 13 are newly-recorded remakes of songs they had recorded in years back.
“We really wanted to have the CD representative of The Chapmans as an anniversary project, so we decided to produce it ourselves. That way we felt the music and song selection was really all about where we were as a band, while revisiting our history. We made sure to include a few songs that we had written as kids, we recorded all of our tracks in our home studio, and designed all the artwork on the CD packaging ourselves.”
The music is powerful and fresh, mixing a number of Chapman originals with some grassy versions of hits from the country and R&B worlds. Standouts are their a capella cover of Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home To Me, which they had recorded once before in 1995, and Buck Owens’ Love’s Gonna Live Here, which John Chapman sings in duet with Rhonda Vincent. John also does a fabulous job on Small Exception Of Me, famously recorded by Dean Martin in the 1970s, followed by a classic bluegrass version by John Duffey with Seldom Scene a few years later.
John also shines on a new version of I Wanna Be Loved Like That, a hit for Marty Raybon in 1993 when he was with Shanandoah, recorded here with a string quartet.
Other guests include Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Rob Ickes on resonator guitar and Noam Pikelny on banjo.
Grown Up (A Revisionist History) is available wherever bluegrass CDs (and downloads) are sold. Audio samples can be heard on the Compass Records web site.