One of the beneficial side-effects of the current folk boom is the attention it's brought to Sixties pioneer spirits, with reissues of such as Roy Harper and Michael Chapman, whose debut, Rainmaker, was one of the first batch of releases on EMI's hippie label Harvest in 1969.
It's aged remarkably well, thanks to the dextrous diversity of Chapman's technique. An instinctive improviser, he remains perhaps the closest English equivalent to John Fahey, drawing on blues, jazz, ragtime and Indian raga tonalities besides the core folk stylings: the instrumental "Thank You PK 1944" is a dizzying whirl of styles. He only started to sing shortly before its recording, but Chapman's voice on "You Say" and "It Didn't Work Out" has a gnarled presence that speaks to the ages.
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