Roger Chapman

Family & Friends [DVD]

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With close to two hours of music, 19 pages of electronic images and text, and a brilliant interview with Roger Chapman, this solid collection from the U.K.'s Angel Air and America's MVD imprints is a valuable addition for fans of the British pioneer rocker. Neil Young's "between the lines of age" prophecy is now reality and just as the Korgis' DVD Kollection and Starz's Back in Action: Live 2003 display the mileage those artists have endured, Chapman carries on, though he looks more like Archie Bunker's blue-collar brother or a distant relative of Bachman-Turner Overdrive than an aging Mick Jagger, the rock star look having long faded away. But Chapman still has the pipes, as well as the attitude, and the 16 selections -- including 11 originals -- certainly have the power. So this isn't someone merely holding on to a dream; the splendid mandolin on the Bruce Springsteen-ish "Habit of a Lifetime" has him in a raspy sort of folk/Joe Cocker mode, continuing to present his craft to a loyal audience. The perfect five-piece band that includes Steve Simpson, Ian Gibbons, Andy (Stewart) Hamilton, Gary Twigg, and Henry Spinetti -- collectively known as Short List -- takes Bob Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell" to new heights. Like a rock & roll George Foreman, Chapman takes the variety of melodies and stretches them across the small stage at the Newcastle Opera House. The lengthy gig is all very contained -- and the handy set list allows the viewer to pick and choose whichever title to watch with ease. A pleasant listening experience with educational information on this interesting musical figure.

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