The Chapmans
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The Chapmans

Band Country Bluegrass


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The Chapmans encompass the best of the old and new, encompassing a healthy respect for tradition while relying on contemporary material. "Fire in the Canyon," for instance, sounds like a typical old story song about a fire that engulfs a number of households. The tragedy, however, is laced with a modern-day environmental message, stating, "Mother Nature gives us life/ But if we don't treat her right ... She can take back what she gave." "Jeanie and Tommy" tells the moralistic tale of a young couple in love who plan to marry. After dropping Jeanie off at home (where she dreams of their wedding day), he decides to have a few drinks with friends. He, of course, decides to drive home, with fatal results. By the end of the song, Jeanie's walking down the aisle, but it's for Tommy's funeral. These songs, while certainly laced with a moral, are presented as straightforward, down-home bluegrass, though, and never come off as preachy. The Chapmans -- guitarist/lead singer John, bassist Jason, banjoist Bill, and mandolinist Jeremy -- are supplemented by a number of stellar players including fiddler Stuart Duncan and dobroist Rob Ikes. John Chapman offers a fine lead, and the group excels at smooth, soaring harmony. The sum result is that Simple Man should find a welcoming audience on the contemporary bluegrass scene for its fine blend of the old and new. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide
- Spun

"I would say that they have wonderfully succeeded and have achieved their place in the national bluegrass spotlight. “Simple Man” is the album that will dispel any lingering doubts about their national prominence." - Joe Ross, Bluegrass Now

"Simple Man" is an album that shows why the International Bluegrass Music Association named The Chapmans "emerging artists of the year" in 2002. - Messenger-Inquirer

" absolutely superb album, loaded with quality tunes, all marvelously performed with John Chapman’s gutsy vocal style, supported by the tasty harmonies and great instrumentation from the family and their lineup of special guests." - Country Music News

“I feel like I’ve just discovered a new flavor of ice cream! An original creation all their own. Great listening!” - Rhonda Vincent

“From the first note to the last you’ll hear more than just a good CD. What you’ll find is the love for Bluegrass music and a quality of recording to enjoy it. These guys pull off some really tight harmonies and instrumentation. It’s the project that will take The Chapmans to the next level. This is not just a must buy, it will be a favorite of yours and mine.” - Marty Raybon, formerly of Shenandoah

“…Simple Man makes clear, The Chapmans transcend the “family bluegrass band” label with a solidly rooted style and an abundance of major league talent.”
- Nashville Scene

“The expressive, crystal clear harmonies, the accomplished, thoughtful soloing, and most importantly, and effortless sense of groove make The Chapmans required listening for anyone exploring the wonderful and complex world of bluegrass.”
- Chris Thile / Nickel Creek

“…The Chapmans have arrived. They deserve to be mentioned from now on with all the ‘first tier’ bands in bluegrass, if they aren’t already.”
-Tim Stafford / Blue Highway
- Tim Stafford of Blue Highway

“The Chapmans are one of the greatest bands in the Bluegrass Industry. With superb vocals and a strong sense of timing and melody, they know the meaning of true bluegrass. These guys are my favorite band around.”
- Sammy Shelor of The Lonesome River Band


Notes From Home (1999)
Follow Me (2001)
Simple Man (2005)



Brothers Jeremy, Jason and John, together with their father Bill, have taken their efforts in the studio to new heights of emotion, storytelling and musicianship with "Simple Man," their third album for Pinecastle Records. "Simple Man" fulfills the promise of 1999's "Notes From Home" and 2001's "Follow Me," which established the Chapmans as rising stars in the genre and earned them the Emerging Artist of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Not ones to sit on their hard-won success, the Chapmans set out to prove they're worthy of the praise the bluegrass community has given them with "Simple Man." To aid in their cause, the Chapmans enlisted some of that community's elite players to back them up.

"One of the most exciting things about our career is all the support we've received from other artists, from our heroes," Jeremy says.

Producer Darrin Vincent, brother of fellow Missourian Rhonda Vincent, raised the bar for quality and musical craftsmanship during the recording process without compromising the Chapmans artistic vision. Union Station guitarist Ron Block, whom John describes as "my personal guitar hero," plays backing guitar on three songs. The album was mixed by recording engineer Gary Paczosa, who has worked on six Grammy-winning projects, including Nickel Creek's "This Side," the Dixie Chicks' "Home" and Dolly Parton's "The Grass is Blue."

The result is an album of stellar musicianship, haunting melody, tight family harmonies and, most important, great songs. Choosing the songs was no easy task. The Chapmans whittled some 3,200 song choices down to 12 for the album. "Ode to The Simple Man" was originally written as a modern country song, but the tale of hard-working, everyday people becomes a powerful piece of Americana in the hands of the Chapmans. "Runaway Kind" exhibits the band's ability to capture the rootsy, lonesome essence of bluegrass. "The Photograph," a ballad about lost love, is nothing short of haunting.

Since then, "Notes From Home" and "Follow Me" were both nominated by SPBGMA for Album of the Year. John has been recognized three times as SPBGMA's Guitar Performer of the Year, and the band has won endorsements from several well-known sponsors including Gibson Instruments and GHS Strings. Yet the Chapmans feel their best work is still ahead of them, as "Simple Man" demonstrates.

International band champions- 1998
IBMA emerging artist of the year- 2002
SPBGMA Guitar player of the year- 2000, 02, 03
SPBGMA: Song of the year, Album of the year, Vocal group of the year, Mandolin player of the year
Notes From Home- top 5 BU radio chart
Album Follow Me reached #3
Singles: Losing Again & Follow Me reached #5 & #19 on the Bluegrass Unlimited charts
Simple Man debuted at #4 on Billboard chart
Featured on the cover of Bluegrass Unlimited
Featured article in Bluegrass Now for both Jeremy & Jason
Featured on the cover of Bluegrass Now cover for John

To book The Chapmans:
Sound Kitchen Productions
817 781-3576