Roger Chapman - Life In The Pond | RECORD STORE DAY

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A studio album by Roger Chapman is always an event. Since '66, when the British singer-songwriter emerged as the voice of his generation with the seminal Family band, through every twist of his four-decade solo career, Chappo's output has defied music industry protocol, challenged genre, and held up a mirror to the times. "I've never stopped writing," he reflects, "and with Life In The Pond, I felt the need to hear what I'd put down in music." Released in 2021 on Ruf Records and Chappo Music, Life In The Pond draws a line under a period in which the 79-year-old had been absent from the studio but privately prolific. Twelve years since 2009's acclaimed rarities collection Hide Go Seek, "A true lionheart still roars," enthused The Mirror, Life In The Pond reconnects the veteran with faces from his past - including ex-Family multi-instrumentalist John 'Poli' Palmer as co-writer and producer - while taking the pulse of modern life. "Mostly it's anger at politicians that's kept me fired up," says Chapman of the lyrics. "But I'm also influenced by daily happenings, world news, people, acquaintances. It's all in the lyrics." As for the music, Life In The Pond joins the dots between Chapman's founding influences. "It's about nostalgia for the different musical styles that influenced my life. American rock from the '50s to now. British R'n'B from the '60s, like Georgie Fame, The Stones, Zoot Money. Folk, blues, Motown, Stax, Blue Note jazz, Classical, Americana, and Country. A whole mess of influences..." That eclectic roll call won't surprise anyone who has followed Chappo through his fascinating career. Born in the Midlands city of Leicester, he told the Rock Legacy site that "I wasn't interested in the English version of rock 'n' roll. All my heroes were American, like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, and Gene Vincent - that was the real stuff."