So much to say, so little space

Follow Me (Pinecastle)
The Chapmans

By Bob Mitchell

On my way to the airport recently, a cabby who loves traditional country and bluegrass music was lamenting the fact that today's youth does not seem interested in keeping such music alive. Obviously, he has never heard the Chapmans.

When you listen to Follow Me, keep a firm grip on your shoes because this is a high-energy project that will knock your socks off. Ray Denton (III Tyme Out) not only produced this outstanding release, but also lends his dynamite bass vocal to a groovy take on Sam Cooke's 1950 hit, "You Send Me." In addition, he brought Russell Moore to guest on "Losing Again." There is so much that can be said about this recording that it is difficult to know how to keep a review to a reasonable length. On a five-point scale of excellence, this release is a 10.

John Chapman's dandy lead vocals are the glue that holds this recording together. In addition, his lead and rhythm guitar is stellar. Brother Bill's banjo is remarkable especially on an exciting cover of Bill Monroe's "I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky." Jeremy C. more than adequately fills the mandolin chair. His chops provide a major driving force within every track. I especially enjoyed his work in "Follow Me to Tennessee" and "No Reason to Stay."

Jason C's bass line is always dependable. His strong 4/4 sends the band into overdrive in a swinging new look at George Morgan's "Candy Kisses." The Chapmans know how to play their instruments and how to capture an indescribable sense of timing and togetherness most family groups have. Harmonies are always tight and engaging but are extraordinary in "You Send Me."

A bonus is the fine fiddle work of Stuart Duncan and incredible resophonic guitar of Randy Kohrs. This is the second strong release from the Chapmans. They are a multi talented group and they are on the move.

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