Michael Chapman, O.W.L., Singleman Affair Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., Oct. 4, 9 p.m. 2012

Lately audiences have been rediscovering the matter-of-fact brilliance of British guitarist Michael Chapman in a big way. In 2011 Light in the Attic reissued his second album, Fully Qualified Survivor, and this year it did the same for his 1969 debut, Rainmaker—a heady mix of hard-hitting folk-rock, dazzling fingerstyle technique, and solo folk-blues, all of which Chapman spikes with an improvisational rigor developed during his early immersion in jazz. Subsequent recordings have proved that there's even more to his game (syncopated ragtime, prodigious post-Fahey slide work), and the recent compilation Oh Michael, Look What You've Done: Friends Play Michael Chapman (Tompkins Square) says something about his open-mindedess with the wide variety of folks who've found something to inspire them in his music—contributors include fellow travelers from the 60s such as Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp, younger admirers such as Meg Baird and William Tyler, and unlikely fans Lucinda Williams and Thurston Moore. Chapman introduced yet another facet of his music last year on The Resurrection and Revenge of the Clayton Peacock (originally an Ecstatic Peace! vinyl release, now also a Blast First Petite CD), which consists of two side-long electroacoustic pieces that combine improvisation and overdubbing; they're suffused with feedback and guitar effects and focus on sound and texture. For this show, the latest installment of the Secret History of Chicago Music series, Chapman will perform a solo acoustic set; some of the tunes he'll accompany with his gruff voice, and others will be the sort of instrumentals featured on last year's Trainsong: Guitar Compositions 1967-2010 (Tompkins Square). Also performing are O.W.L. and the Singleman Affair. —Peter Margasak

Price: $10

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