Michael Chapman

Still Making Rain Remixed

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Hopefully this reissue of Chapman's 1993 disc will find a wider audience than it managed the first time around. For those who love his late-'60s work, there's a real harking back to the classic Rainmaker in the title, and even a new version of one of his best-known songs, "Postcards of Scarborough." Doing everything himself, Chapman melds his gritty voice with thoughtful lyrics and rippling guitar work, although he does cut loose on a couple of occasions, on the instrumentals "Akublu" and "Elinkine," while his non-vocal take on "She Moves Through the Fair" glides with an almost ethereal grace. He can still write some stunning, insightful songs, like "Fool in the Night," with its remorse, or the wistful "Falling from Grace." He's still a master of making more from less, using percussion subtly, and making the sound seem remarkably full, but still intimate, with just a few layers of his own guitars. And, like the best singers, he can take clich├ęs (as he does on "Bon Ton Roolay") and invest them with real depth, or make a political piece like "Geordie's Down the Road" accessible and memorable. Chapman has a rare talent, and it's still going strong.

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