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"A song don't have much meaning--when it don't have nothing to say."
- Harry Chapin
New! Mr. Tanner - A children's picture book to be released in May 2017
Other Harry Chapin Sites
Any Old Kind of Day
Chapin Appreciation Society of the UK
Colin's Harry Chapin Pages
Harry, It Sucks!
A Letter to Harry
Remembering Harry Chapin
Remember When the Music
Short Stories: A Harry Chapin Web Site
There Only Was One Choice
World Hunger Year Remembers Harry Chapin
Harry Chapin-Related Musicians
Steve Chapin Band - Brother / Band Member
Tom Chapin - Brother
Howard Fields - Drummer, 1975-81
Ron Palmer - Band Member
Chapin Anti-Hunger Groups
Run Against Hunger
The Harry Chapin Foodbank of S.W. Florida
Long Island Cares
Non-Chapin Music You Might Be Interested In
Richard Shindell is as close to a modern-day Harry Chapin as anyone I have seen. "The Courier," a live collection of Shindell's best story songs (in the Chapin tradition), is up there with Harry Chapin's Greatest*Stories*Live. Highly recommended.
Matt Nathanson is probably for a younger crowd. Some of his banter will probably drive away older audiences. Nonetheless, he has some good, aggressive, folk-rock songs like "Pretty the World," "First Time," and "Lucky Boy." Worth a look.
I remember watching Chris perform in an amazing spot in the Berkshire hills where I went to summer camp. Chris had it then,
and he has it now. Chris is just starting out. I don't know if Chris will be heard on the radio a lot in the future, as his music is genuine.
No bubblegum. If you're someone who Remembers When The Music
was the best of what we dreamed of, you may wish to check out Chris's music. I especially like his track "The Swimmer,"
available on his website.
Sean Kelly, the lead singer of The Samples, is a songwriter from another era. Former fellow bandmates
Jeep MacNichol, Al Loughlin, and Andy Sheldon
created a unique, bubble-like reggae folk sound in the early 90s. With the exception of Sean Kelly, the original members
have departed. The band now revolves around Kelly's modern folk ballads, and remains something special, although in a
different way than originally. Songs like "Weight of the World" (a tribute to Kurt Cobain), "Flying" (imagining the experience
aboard Pan Am Flight 103), and "Who Am I" (a searching song about being very small in a very big universe) make Sean Kelly's
work with The Samples reminiscent of what Harry Chapin would call "music that matters."
Sadly, Dispatch has not toured in quite some time, although plans are in the works for a final show. Dispatch was three
extraordinarily strong musicians from a small, New England liberal arts school. Each could (and now does) carry his own
band. Put together, the three made for an amazing sound and repetoire. The Band began as three dueling acoustic guitars
with tracks such as "Mayday," with solid harmonies crying out, and evolved into diverse styles led at different times by
each of the three frontmen. Songs like "The General" are reminiscent of the social conscience of a Harry Chapin song, with
a more contemporary funk, reggae feel. But then "Spades" represents almost a complete re-birth musically and
lyrically of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" for this generation. The original members have now gone their
separate ways: State Radio,
Pete Francis, and
Braddigan. While each is interesting on his own, this was a band
where the sum was truly greater than each of its parts.
Special thanks to John Molinaro for the following write-up of State Radio:
State Radio is an alternative rock band from Boston, Massachussetts, consisting of former Dispatch member Chad Urmston (lead vocals, guitar), Chuck Fay (bass) and Mike Najarian (drums). State Radio's songs range from a mixture of roots reggae and rock to punk and more somber, low-key numbers. "Keepsake," for example, has a very acoustic feel in delivering a song about love for others. The group's work also features more hard rock, politically-oriented songs like "Guantanamo," addressing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. State Radio veers into reggae with songs like "Right Me Up"--a song written about Chad's mentally handicapped friend Manny from Rhode Island. Off stage, State Radio is very active in promoting several causes, having recently started a new organization--Callingallcrows.org--that promotes human rights. Before their shows in 2008, State Radio would coordinate a pre-show community service project. Learn more at stateradio.com.
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"Oh, if a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world?" -- Harry Chapin, 1942-1981.
The Latest Release
Sniper & Other Love Songs
In 1972, Harry released
Sniper & Other Love Songs.
Thirty years would pass before the album would ever reach the CD format. Sniper was finally re-released in June, 2002.
Originally given a working title of Sweet City Suite, the album tells the story of various characters one might run into in
a city. The album features the original studio versions of Chapin classics "A Better Place to Be" and "Circle." But
perhaps more importantly (as those songs are already well-distributed on compilation CDs), the album features seemingly
lost Chapin stories, including "And the Baby Never Cries," "Burning Herself," "Barefoot Boy," and "Woman Child."
Sniper is for the seasoned Chapin fan. New fans would do better to check out
Live. But for Chapin fans who have reached the level of the
Dance Band on the Titanic album, this is the next step. Slightly over-produced and having a little of the "forced"
feel that some of Harry's studio albums possess, this album does not capture the powerfully live Harry Chapin. Nonetheless,
it captures Harry's great iconoclastic songwriting--Harry takes the story song to new heights here. But the album works best
for those ready for it; don't buy it until you are ready to appreciate it!