2005 saw the release of Chapman’s new album in his own label Rural Retreat.
The album, Plaindealer, is another set of songs, a more solid production, nothing flashy, just good songs and fellow musicians to play them. The album is sold only in Chapman’s gigs and in his online webstore.
The opening Streamline Train, a dynamic acoustic guitar, drums and bass, posses the mood of, well, a train.
The guitar sound is beautiful, crystal high end like Chapman likes it. The adult contemporary ballad Where Does It Leaves Me, is really beautiful and features a long time friend – Rod Clements, who plays Dobro.This is their first collaboration after 25 years.
Anniversary is a song Michael discovered after digging in some live recordings from club gigs he made, and that was recorded for this album. A powerful vocal performance and a nice arrangements makes this 10:30 minutes song to be my fav in this album.
Deportees brings back that Memphis arrangement of Don Nix‘s production, with a soaring lap steel guitar and backing vocals, while Three Sisters is another Chapman instrumental beauty. The guitar sound is just breathtaking.
Altogether, this is a solid set of songs, that captures the veteran musician in top shape as always, and I love the fact his voice became soar. It adds to his transformation into Johnny Cash.