Michael Chapman, Steve Gunn, Bridget St. John

Michael Chapman

The guitar and voice of Michael Chapman first became known on the British Folk Circuit in 1967. Playing a blend of atmospheric and autobiographical material, he established a reputation for intensity and innovation. Signed to EMI's Harvest label he recorded a quartet of classic albums. LPs like Rainmaker and Wrecked Again defined the melancholic observer role Michael was to make his own, mixing intricate guitar instrumentals with a full band sound.

The influential album Fully Qualified Survivor, featuring the lead guitar of Mick Ronson (of David Bowie fame) and Rick (Steeleye Span) Kemp's bass, was John Peel's favorite album of 1970. Survivor featured the Chapman 'hit', "Postcards of Scarborough", a characteristically tenderly sour song recounting the feelings of nostalgia and regret.
Chapman's 1970 Fully Qualified Survivor should be filed between Roy Harper's Flat Baroque and Berserk, John Martyn's Inside Out, and Bert Jansch's Jack Orion.

In 2010, Tompkins Square released Chapman's Trainsong : Guitar Compositions 1967-2010, a 2CD collection of 26 solo guitar versions of tunes spanning his entire career. It is a fascinating look at one of the most prolific and profound guitarists of our time. Since then, Michael has toured with Kurt Vile, Bill Callahan and Bonnie "Prince" Billy in the US.

His new album, Fish, is released worldwide on Tompkins Square September 25th.

Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning nearly fifteen years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings. His albums with GHQ and longtime collaborating drummer John Truscinski represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. A voracious schedule of international performances has cultivated a fervent fanbase for Gunn's music throughout the world.
Mining the catalogs of Basho, Bull, Chapman, and Sharrock, among other titans of stringed-things and record-session royalty, Steve has steadily processed these inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Friendships and collaborations with Jack Rose, Tom Carter, Meg Baird, and Michael Chapman colored the disciplined evolution of the discursive, deconstructed blues sound, at once transcendent and methodical, that is now Gunn's signature. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions.
Gunn's 2009 solo masterpiece, Boerum Palace, demonstrated a fully realized power for songcraft. Steve started to sing more and developed a commanding vocal style equal to his guitar practice. His acclaimed instrumental duo recordings with Truscinski, Sand City (2010) and Ocean Parkway (2012), cemented his place among the top of his peers, both present and past. These documents display Gunn's compositional penchant for charting musical travelogues that ramble through city and wilderness alike. Dispatches home are not merely descriptive but corporeal; the evocative, rhythmic power of his writing and phrasing carries the listener along bodily. Steve builds songs as exploratory vessels, opens them up for mechanical tinkering, and lives in them through ceaseless improvisatory permutations.
Paradise of Bachelors is thrilled to release Time Off (2013), his first album as leader of a trio including longtime friends John Truscinski on drums and Justin Tripp on bass, and a record on which Steve's compelling singing features more prominently than ever before. The album features his oblique character sketches and story-songs about friends, acquaintances, and denizens of his Brooklyn neighborhood, using the trio band format to launch his compositions into new, luminous strata. This is Gunn at the top of his game, writing his most memorable tunes and lyrics, utterly unique but steeped in traditions both vernacular and avant-garde.

Bridget St. John

Bridget St John (born Bridget Hobbs, 4 October 1946, South London) is a British singer and songwriter, best known for the three albums she recorded between 1969 and 1972 for John Peel's Dandelion label. Peel produced her debut album Ask Me No Questions. She also recorded a large number of BBC Radio and Peel sessions and toured regularly on the UK college and festival circuit. Her popularity peaked in 1974 when she was voted fifth most popular female singer in that year's Melody Maker readers poll.
An accomplished guitar player, she credits John Martyn as her guitar mentor.
The second album Songs for the Gentle Man, was produced by Ron Geesin. St. John then recorded another album, Jumble Queen, for Chrysalis Records in 1974. She emigrated to Greenwich Village in 1976 and virtually disappeared from the public eye for over 20 years. She appeared at a Nick Drake tribute concert in New York in 1999, performing "Northern Sky" and "One of These Things First". She toured Japan in 2006 with the minimalist French musician Colleen.
Aside from work under her own name, Bridget St John has also recorded with Mike Oldfield (on Amarok), Kevin Ayers and Robin Frederick. In 2007 she reunited with Kevin Ayers to record on his album The Unfairground in New York. They duetted on the song "Baby Come Home".
She was described by John Peel as "the best lady singer-songwriter in the country".

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