In his 2008 release, Time Passed and Time Passing, Chapman produced an album of songs that were never released before.
As was described somewhere on the web (I spent so much time reading while I was making this series of posts, that I can’t remember where exactly where I read it) – it sounds like an intimate saloon gathering with your beloved musical hero.
Chapman’s is on his own in this album, playing terrific acoustic and electric guitars and sing. His singing is somewhat rough, not as powerful as his early albums, but it still has its own magic if you manage to see the intimacy of these recordings.
A Strange Map Of Texas/The Twisted Road opens the album with a reverbed electric guitar that brings the American wilderness, while Sometimes is a beautiful acoustic ballad that Chapman quoted his own riffs from Electric Ragtime and Naked Ladies (from Fully Qualified Survivor).
Fahey’s Flag is a nice gesture to the great late American guitarist (and a hero on his own terms), where Chapman plugged his acoustic guitar to an overdrive pedal and plays a fantastic slide guitar.
Dewsbury Road/That Time Of Night throws me back to his Night Drive from Wrecked Again. The muted fingerpicked electric guitar, and the overall nocturne vibe, and Michael’s South’n’Comfort voice, really touches the soul.
Silverking/Dust Devils is the classic Chapman ragtime moment of this album while Vanity&Pride is a perfect album closure, with its atmospheric vibe, that immediately sent me back to John Martyn‘s Small Hours mood, though it doesn’t sound the same, but both tracks have a lot in common in terms of the vibe they pass.
Reviews of this album were a bit too harsh on the vocal performance which, true, are not what ‘we expect’. But, expectations aside, and thinking that this is a man in his late 60’s, I find this album very emotional, sort of a career summery without having a best of attached to it. A real gem, don’t overlook it.