Don Chapman
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Don Chapman

Leesburg, Virginia, United States | SELF

Leesburg, Virginia, United States | SELF
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"Don Chapman To Serenade Leesburg's Town Green Saturday 2012"


Acoustic on the Green crowds are in for a treat Saturday as singer, songwriter and activist Don Chapman returns to the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11.

When we last spoke with Chapman, he was busy at work on a new record with Grammy Award-winner Micki Free. The duo has a lot in common—both are renowned for their musical talent as well as their commitment to the Native American community. In 2011, Free and Chapman joined forces to host the first ever Native American pavilion at the National Association of Music Merchants event in Anaheim, CA, just another way Chapman shows love to his personal heritage and source of musical inspiration.

Of course, Chapman also finds his synapses firing when listening to some of the folks he cites as influential in his evolution as an artist: Eric Clapton, the Eagles, Crosby, Stills and Nash, America, The Byrds, The Beatles and many others.

Saturday, audiences should expect crafty covers of some of those artists’ famous tunes, as well as a number of Chapman originals.

As always, admission is free and open to the public, and guests are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs and alcohol-free picnics to enjoy during the show.

For details on this season’s last two remaining concerts, visit www.acousticonthegreen.com.
- Leesburg Today


"Acoustic on the Green Welcomes Back Don Chapman Aug 3, 2013"


Singer/songwriter Don Chapman returns once again to Leesburg’s Town Green Saturday, this time with a couple of his musical cohorts in tow.

Having recently completed his latest record, “Tattoo Burn,” with famed Native American guitarist and singer Micki Free, Chapman is enjoying spending some time outside the studio and shopping his latest act to area venues. About six months ago, Chapman met Lisa Lim, who he describes as a “very accomplished guitarist and singer in the blues tradition.” A skilled guitar technician in his own right, Chapman immediately recognized Lim’s talent and dedication, and these days is enjoying having a wingman who can carry just as much musical water as he. “She can sing lead, harmony—we both play lead and rhythm [guitar], so we can trade off and do more bluesy material, so that’s a lot of fun,” Chapman said.

Saturday, both Lim and occasional musical partner Larry Burnett will join Chapman on stage, adding some “diversity” to the set. “It should be a fun show for me musically—it’ll be something different,” Chapman said.

“We’ll do some new material, but we still plan to do some of the stuff that people shout out for—my America medley and stuff like that. I’d say it’ll be two-thirds new material and one-third stuff I’m known for, so it should be a lot of fun.”

Earlier this year, Chapman was appointed to Leesburg’s Economic Development Commission, where he serves as a voice for the arts. It’s a position he takes seriously, and one he approaches as someone who has witnessed first hand the positive effect high-quality arts programming has had on the town. Chapman said “taking off the musician hat and putting on the Town of Leesburg hat” has been an enlightening experience, both for him and other members of that advisory body. “We’ve been able to see effect of [events like] Acoustic on the Green, which has become a major stalwart in Leesburg culture,” Chapman said.

“You look at the First Fridays, Bluemont [Concert Series], which are ongoing events, and things like the wine events at Morven Park—these things bring people [to Leesburg] every weekend. They give people a reason to come. [Improvements have been made to the] Tally Ho, making that into a music venue…Acoustic on the Green keeps expanding due to the efforts of Stilson [Greene] and all the sponsors’ support…all these things are being done on that pathway. It’s really satisfying to see Leesburg turn into the destination we hoped it would be.”

Chapman’s lived in Leesburg for the past nine years, and has played at Acoustic on the Green almost as many times. The series holds great appeal for the well-traveled performer—“It is, except for playing the Birchmere, my favorite concert to do,” Chapman said. Acoustic on the Green’s attentive, laid-back crowd—plus its ability to reliably draw hundreds of folks to the downtown—are particularly noteworthy for Chapman. “It’s a listening crowd, and a wonderful crowd,” he said.

“I probably know 40 percent of the people in the audience, so it’s like a little hometown reunion. What could be better than playing in front of Town Hall in your own little town? Everybody has a great expectation of [Acoustic on the Green]…every single act is an awesome act, and that quality brings everyone out. There’s also a residual effect in town—the community feel, economic benefits as people hit some shops, have dinner, have a drink…all that after effect and add on from what Stilson is doing. Most importantly it brings the community together for a quality event that is absolutely free.”

Head downtown a bit early Aug. 3 to soak in some of the charming atmosphere to which Chapman refers, then pick a comfy spot on the Town Green to set up blankets or lawn chairs from home. Chapman’s set begins at 7 p.m.—guests are welcome to bring alcohol-free picnics to enjoy during the show, but are asked to leave dogs and smoking materials behind. After Saturday’s show, only three more Acoustic on the Green performances remain in the season. For details on those upcoming shows, go to www.acousticonthegreen.com.
- Leesburg Today


"Tally Ho Turns 80 With Big Celebration - Don Chapman"

Leesburg's iconic Tally Ho Theatre celebrates its 80th birthday this weekend, and proprietors Dave Wright, Dave Sly and Steve Heaton have big plans to honor their beloved movie house and performance space.

The depression-era theater first opened to the public Sept. 21, 1931, and has been operational ever since, save for a two-year closure in 2000 and some small hiccups for renovations in years since.

It's been through several operator/managers, including Leesburg Vice Mayor Kevin Wright, who managed the space for about five years in the early 1990s. When this reporter moved to Loudoun County in late 2005, Judy Wilson was in the midst of her tenure as Tally Ho operator, largely showcasing children's movies and the occasional rom-com.

That was the state of affairs, also, when in late 2007 Dave Wright overheard two servers at the Leesburg Restaurant discussing the theater's imminent closure with Wilson. "I perked up, walked over and met [Wilson]," he said.

"She said she needed out and was ready to move on...she gave me [owner] Don Devine's name, I called and pitched my ideas. Sometimes when something is right it just happens. We met around the second week of November, and by end of December, I had keys."

Since taking over in January 2008, Dave Wright and his brigade have made modest physical improvements to the space, but where they've left the most indelible mark is in the theater's entertainment offerings. Now, visitors to the Tally Ho can expect to see first-run films for all ages, fun midnight showings, cult classics, promotional series and live performances from area comedians, improv artists and musicians. "It's always been my dream to have an all-purpose performance space. A place where people could see a variety of entertainment options...that's how the Friday Night Live program was born," Dave Wright said, referring to the theater's latest weekly entertainment offering.

Friday Night Live kicked off last weekend, and will continue Friday nights with different and varied performers. "My hope is to be able to incorporate other types of performance art like live theater, dance shows, children's theater, etc. down the road and, in addition to playing movies, eventually become the go-to spot in Loudoun County for live entertainment," he added.

For this weekend's special birthday celebration, singer/songwriter Taylor Berrett, music legends Don Chapman and Larry Burnett and the hilarious men of Last Ham Standing flesh out Friday Night Live's roster. Berrett is no stranger to the Tally Ho—he held his CD debut concert there in July and said at the time, "I love performing at the Tally Ho, so I'm sure I'll be back." Followers of live music in the area, especially the popular Acoustic on the Green summer concert series, should be familiar with musical powerhouses Chapman and Burnett. Of course the Last Ham guys, the theater's resident improv troupe, will be solid for Friday's birthday party. After taking the reins in 2008, Dave Wright opened the theater with a Last Ham performance, explaining, "It's kind of my baby. I developed [Last Ham Standing] even before having the theatre and [my business partners and I] decided to have that be our launching point."

Always a fan of music, movies and theater, Dave Wright said being around for the Tally Ho's 80th birthday is nothing short of "awesome."

"It's exciting. People are always impressed we're still around—they love the idea of a small downtown theater, its history, etc. I'm proud to be here for this kind of special occasion, and I'm really excited to see where it'll go from here," he said.

And although the Tally Ho certainly isn't the same animal as the newly constructed Cobb Theatres in the Village at Leesburg development, with its two-dozen screens, 3-D technology and expansive concession area, it does have character in spades. Vice Mayor Wright said it's exactly that attribute that has allowed the Tally Ho to thrive over the years and become an endearing part of the downtown fabric for local residents.

"It's always been a great benefit and helped add to the character of Leesburg, especially downtown Leesburg, that we always had that sort of central hub of entertainment," he said. "It's not just a ‘oh let's go somewhere and see a movie'....a nameless place. It's a destination unto itself."

Dave Wright points to his dedicated staff as the icing on the Tally Ho's proverbial birthday cake. "I would put us up against any of the other theaters. We have a great bunch of kids working for us, and they've stayed with us. I am big on customer service—our staff really has that over other places," he said.

As far as future plans, Dave Wright and his partners have signed a new lease with Devine and plan to keep expanding their entertainment offerings as long as the situation allows. "It's a rough economy anyway, but for movie businesses everything's going to big multiplexes, 3-D, digital—things that aren't as compatible with a small movie - Leesburg Today September 21, 2011


"Acoustic On The Green Welcomes Don Chapman"

Leesburg's Acoustic on the Green concert series continues July 30 with veteran performer Don Chapman.

When we last visited Chapman's many-faceted career, the singer, songwriter and Native American activist had just finished recording Guitars and Vocals with friend and fellow musician Larry Burnett. These days he's busy working on more rock-heavy material with another storied musician, Micki Free. Leesburg Today caught up with Chapman to get a better idea of what's movin' and shakin' in his world.

You and Larry Burnett released Guitars and Vocals in 2009-what inspired the record?

I was always a huge fan of [Burnett's former band] Firefall and was very fortunate to meet Larry in 2008. He was looking for someone to work with and sent me some tracks to listen to. I added some lead guitar and harmony parts to it sent it back to him to see what he thought. We started rehearsing immediately and worked up more than 20 songs. So, we got up with Les Thompson at Cabin Studios here in Leesburg and came out with the CD.

Do you have anything new in development?

Yes! I'm working with my Native American buddy Micki Free (Grammy Award winner) on some new material that we're looking to record at Blackbird Studio in Nashville this year. Micki is more of a rocker, so this will be a more powerful and full band. I also have a wonderful singer/bassist in Dave White, who will be performing with me at most of my shows. He'll also be at AOTG with me this year.

You're very active in the Native American community in the business world-do you work with Native Americans in a musical capacity as well?

Absolutely! In my official government capacity at the U.S. Department of Commerce I sponsored the first-ever Native American pavilion at the 2011 National Association of Music Merchants in Anaheim, CA this year. We brought more than 20 Native instrument builders to NAMM for the first time to present their products, network with other instrument manufacturers, meet with international distributors, attend seminars and greatly expand their knowledge of the musical products marketplace. Several of us, including Micki Free and me, performed and demonstrated instruments. It was a tremendous success! I also performed at 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market and numerous other Native events around the U.S.

You work with many musicians in the area-tell me about one of your favorite experiences as a "sideman."

Well, I'd have to say playing sideman to Larry is the best. We play some of the old great Firefall material I love dearly. Larry and I performed with America at the Birchmere in April 2010, which was a dream come true for me. I was playing with and alongside my heroes. That's as good as it gets.

Describe your sound/influences.

Wow-I have way too many! [Eric] Clapton, Eagles, Poco, Crosby, Stills and Nash/ Stephen Stills, America, The Byrds, The Beatles, Firefall, J.D. Souther and Glen Phillips.

What's your connection to Loudoun/the area?

My wife Holly and I moved our family here back in 2007. We bought a beautiful home in a great Leesburg neighborhood. Our sons go to Harper Park Middle and Heritage High. They also play baseball, basketball and football on both local and select travel teams. We love the town, culture, wineries, restaurants and all the wonderful friends we've made.

What's the last live show you saw?

Let's see... I just saw Arvel Bird at a Native event is Oklahoma City about a month ago. Amazing flutist/violinist/storyteller-check him out! However, it's tough to catch shows with all my travel, gigs, and sons' sporting events to attend.

Chapman makes a hole in his busy life at 7 p.m. Saturday to entertain at Leesburg's Town Green. Admission to the show is free to all-guests are welcome to bring along a blanket, lawn chairs and an alcohol-free picnic to enjoy during the show.

For more information on the remainder of the AOTG season, visit www.acousticonthegreen.com.
- Leesburg Today July 29, 2011


"Acoustic On The Green Welcomes Don Chapman"

Leesburg's Acoustic on the Green concert series continues July 30 with veteran performer Don Chapman.

When we last visited Chapman's many-faceted career, the singer, songwriter and Native American activist had just finished recording Guitars and Vocals with friend and fellow musician Larry Burnett. These days he's busy working on more rock-heavy material with another storied musician, Micki Free. Leesburg Today caught up with Chapman to get a better idea of what's movin' and shakin' in his world.

You and Larry Burnett released Guitars and Vocals in 2009-what inspired the record?

I was always a huge fan of [Burnett's former band] Firefall and was very fortunate to meet Larry in 2008. He was looking for someone to work with and sent me some tracks to listen to. I added some lead guitar and harmony parts to it sent it back to him to see what he thought. We started rehearsing immediately and worked up more than 20 songs. So, we got up with Les Thompson at Cabin Studios here in Leesburg and came out with the CD.

Do you have anything new in development?

Yes! I'm working with my Native American buddy Micki Free (Grammy Award winner) on some new material that we're looking to record at Blackbird Studio in Nashville this year. Micki is more of a rocker, so this will be a more powerful and full band. I also have a wonderful singer/bassist in Dave White, who will be performing with me at most of my shows. He'll also be at AOTG with me this year.

You're very active in the Native American community in the business world-do you work with Native Americans in a musical capacity as well?

Absolutely! In my official government capacity at the U.S. Department of Commerce I sponsored the first-ever Native American pavilion at the 2011 National Association of Music Merchants in Anaheim, CA this year. We brought more than 20 Native instrument builders to NAMM for the first time to present their products, network with other instrument manufacturers, meet with international distributors, attend seminars and greatly expand their knowledge of the musical products marketplace. Several of us, including Micki Free and me, performed and demonstrated instruments. It was a tremendous success! I also performed at 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market and numerous other Native events around the U.S.

You work with many musicians in the area-tell me about one of your favorite experiences as a "sideman."

Well, I'd have to say playing sideman to Larry is the best. We play some of the old great Firefall material I love dearly. Larry and I performed with America at the Birchmere in April 2010, which was a dream come true for me. I was playing with and alongside my heroes. That's as good as it gets.

Describe your sound/influences.

Wow-I have way too many! [Eric] Clapton, Eagles, Poco, Crosby, Stills and Nash/ Stephen Stills, America, The Byrds, The Beatles, Firefall, J.D. Souther and Glen Phillips.

What's your connection to Loudoun/the area?

My wife Holly and I moved our family here back in 2007. We bought a beautiful home in a great Leesburg neighborhood. Our sons go to Harper Park Middle and Heritage High. They also play baseball, basketball and football on both local and select travel teams. We love the town, culture, wineries, restaurants and all the wonderful friends we've made.

What's the last live show you saw?

Let's see... I just saw Arvel Bird at a Native event is Oklahoma City about a month ago. Amazing flutist/violinist/storyteller-check him out! However, it's tough to catch shows with all my travel, gigs, and sons' sporting events to attend.

Chapman makes a hole in his busy life at 7 p.m. Saturday to entertain at Leesburg's Town Green. Admission to the show is free to all-guests are welcome to bring along a blanket, lawn chairs and an alcohol-free picnic to enjoy during the show.

For more information on the remainder of the AOTG season, visit www.acousticonthegreen.com.
- Leesburg Today July 29, 2011


"Music News Nashville - "Guitars & Vocals" by Larry Burnett w/ Don Chapman"

The folk rock band Firefall made their mark on the American music scene back in the ‘70s, along with contemporaries Crosby, Stills and Nash, Poco and The Eagles. In many ways, those were simpler times; coming out of the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal, our angry political voices gave way to the re-discovery of romance. Firefall had the big love song hits, “You Are the Woman” and “Just Remember I Love You”, and a near mean-spirited one, “Strange Way”. Founding member Larry Burnett wrote their edgier hit “Cinderella”, with its trademark harmonies, AM radio-banned expletive and distinctive melodic hooks; three decades later, he’s still tunesmithing his way through life, still with a lean towards cool vibes. His latest offering is an impressive collaboration with guitarist extraordinaire Don Chapman, aptly titled “Guitars & Vocals”. All twelve tracks are self-penned by Burnett, and produced by Chapman in a stripped-down acoustic fashion, but fooling us with a big 12-string-paradise soundscape. The warm guitar showmanship becomes a lush carpet of grass for Burnett’s vocal barefoot stroll through the album. On “Holdin’ On For Dear Life”, the drop-D tuning is penetrating and the rolling melody is hopeful, while Burnett gives us a glimpse at recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, as well as broken relationships, with his intimate and unpretentious vocal performance and lyrics: “Well, I’ve been snow bound/Under the weather/And I’ve been thrown down/Never felt worse/But that’s all behind me/And I’m getting better/Whatever it was, it just was/Call it a curse”. There’s dreamy, throwback guitar work on “Love Isn’t All”, a contemporary mellow groove on “I Don’t Believe”, and blues baby blues on “Danger Ahead”, where the singer presents his argument to a friend to come over to his side for love. Burnett tells of the struggle to keep a relationship going in the quietly stunning “Romeo”: “This is way too much trouble/I’m working too hard/At this, I’m outside my bubble/I played my best card/I’m just a pile of loose rubble/Broken and scarred/I’m just trying to get this right/I ain’t your Romeo/You ain’t no one’s Juliet/What’s with all this stop and go/I guess you don’t love me yet”. Opening track “No Money” is cleverly written and has an irresistible groove, but for my money, I prefer his songs with lyrics from the heart, keeping it real, almost to a fault; most times than not, Burnett’s risk of laying it out there pays off big time.
- author: Janet Goodman


"Chapman Plays AOTG Saturday"

Don Chapman is a man of many interests. As a singer and guitarist, Chapman has made a name for himself regionally working for more than 25 years as a solo artist, back up musician and producer. As a member of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, Chapman also manages to find time to work in federal business development for tribally-owned and individually-owned Native American businesses. At heart, it's all part and parcel of the same root passion; a deep and abiding love for humanity, history and art.

At Acoustic on the Green's June 27 concert Chapman highlights his love of music, singing a repertoire of tunes hailing from The Beatles to Toad the Wet Sprocket. In the case of the latter, Chapman takes on a bit of the vocal tics of Sprocket lead man Glen Phillips, holding his tones just under the soft palate with an almost boyish but passionate croon. When reaching into his upper registers, Chapman is reminiscent of a young Arlo Guthrie, an allusion that is especially apparent in his cover of "Here Comes the Sun."

No matter the song, Chapman's guitar playing is masterful. Every second of his quarter-century of experience with that stringed muse is apparent at Chapman's first strum. His chords are full and resonant, his finger picking light and full of energy.

Audiences are in for a treat if Chapman elects to play his tribute to what must be one his favorite instruments, the Larrivee D09E acoustic guitar. Chapman's "My Larrivee" is a delightful romp with the instrument that easily and clearly conveys his love affair with its decidedly large and varied sound.

AOTG begins at 7 p.m. on Leesburg's Town Green and is free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets and alcohol-free picnics to enjoy while marveling at Chapman's considerable talent.

For a complete performance roster and further details on AOTG's upcoming shows, visit www.acousticonthegreen.com. - Leesburg Today June 2009


"Don Chapman returns to Acoustic On The Green"

Acoustic on the Green, Leesburg’s favorite summer concert series, welcomes Don Chapman for a 7 p.m. concert Saturday, Aug. 14.

Chapman has a lot going on. As a solo artist, he is known for scary-good guitar skills and a clean, clear vocal tone. In his musical trio, joined by bassist Johnny Abrahams and percussionist Tobin Craig, Chapman is a charismatic leader, guiding the group through an interestingly varied song list. As a member of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, he works in federal business development to help promote tribally-owned and individually-owned Native American businesses. Chapman even engages in musical collaborations, offering himself as a “sideman” to other singer/songwriters interested in joining forces. It seems Chapman is always reaching out, for more knowledge, more music, more connections with his audience.

This is a proclivity that has changed little in the 25 years Chapman has been traversing the mid-Atlantic music scene. He’s always eager to play a gig, from local wineries to more high-profile venues like the Birchmere, where Chapman recently played with renowned 70s icons America. It would not be surprising to see Chapman work some of America’s hits into his repertoire, as he does with other great bands including The Beatles, the Who and Neil Young. His acoustic shows don’t just stick to the era of classic rock and folk, however. Chapman often tosses in some Gin Blossoms, John Mayer and even Toad the Wet Sprocket into his set lists.

Some of Chapman’s most delightful work is in his straight guitar pieces. It’s wonderful to hear this man’s ability with the instrument totally unadulterated by vocals or other instruments.

Conversely, tracks like Chapman’s “Trail of Tears” is a capella, featuring just Chapman’s strong yet plaintive voice evoking images of his Native American heritage.

“Just Ask” welcomes the delightfully gravelly, track-worn vocals of Larry Burnett as Chapman dazzles with his guitar playing and ads lovely vocal harmonies. Together, the two sound like scruffy troubadours accustomed to singing the blues out the back of an open railcar.

Still, Saturday Chapman will feature solo, hopefully giving audiences a nice taste of everything of which he is capable. - Leesburg Today, August 2010


Discography

2010 CD "Guitars & Vocals" with Larry Burnett of Firefall available on iTunes:

http://itunes.apple.com/nz/artist/larry-burnett-don-chapman/id339468739

and CD Baby:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/larryburnettdonchapman

Photos

Bio

Don Chapman is one of the premiere and exciting acoustic acts on the scene performing in the DC region today. With a song list of originals and covers spanning from Beatles, Byrds, Eagles, America, Gin Blossoms/Toad the Wet Sprocket, to Duncan Sheik, John Mayer, David Gray, Glen Phillips, Alice Peacock and other new popular performers, the audience is always entertained, engaged, & pleased. Don is Native American and a member of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut.

As a veteran of the regional NVA/DC/MD music scene and living in Leesburg, VA, Don can be seen all over the region regularly at venues such as regional musical concert events such as the Birchmere, Rams Head, National Cherry Blossom Festival 2002-2009, A Taste of DC, Dewey Beach Music Festival, Frederick First Saturday Events, Tarara Vineyards, Bluemont Vineyards, Delaplane Cellars, Acoustic on the Green Concert Series in Leesburg, Hard Rock DC and Albuquerque, and other regional / national stages!

On April 30, 2010, Don and Larry Burnett of Firefall fame shared the stage with the hit group America at the infamous Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.

Band Members