started playing as a teenager and went on to study
privately with professional players Colin Oxley and the
He turned professional in 1990 and now juggles
a busy schedule of performing and teaching.
Greatly admiring the playing of such early
acoustic jazz guitarists as Dick McDonough and George Van
Eps, he decided to
specialise in solo plectrum guitar. His repertoire has now
broadened to include his own compositions and arrangements
various other styles.
He is experienced in playing for restaurants
and weddings, and has also given a solo recital at Chelmsford
I hear Mike at a folk club or session I mentally put my fingers
down my throat and burn my guitar; likewise when I hear his
mellow influence in dance bands. He’s just too good!
After hearing his latest CD I am actually considering putting my fingers down
my throat and .... .....
The 14 superb tracks jolt one back to remembering that the guitar does not
have to be electric and loud it’s smootchy smooth, sexy, calming, rhythmic
and exciting yet peaceful. With favourites such as Honeysuckle Rose it is like
sitting in the sun slow down ~ soak it up!
An assortment of tunes: jazz from Ike Isaacs and Johnny Smith; traditional
by O'Carolan and Pat Shaw and even Jerome Kern and, would you believe, Mike
If you like guitar, or wish something pleasing and relaxing then phone Mike
and buy a copy Mike is not just a local Essex lad ~ much loved at folk clubs
etc., but is one of those unsung heroes behind many a big name: Dave Swarbrick,
Eddie walker, Duck Baker, Chris Newman, and Fiddlin’ Around. ~ To be
given a CD such is this for review this, is the only perk of the job. I am
keeping it; and I will keep playing it. "
efn magazine March 2004
Chapman comes from a long line of distinguished plectrum
guitar players dating back to the '20s like Eddie Lang, Dick
McDonough and Carl Kress, who with consummate skill played
a mix of solo lines and chordal melodies to great effect,
using the guitar in a pianistic way. The range of artistry
and music styles presented here is broadly romantic, comprising
very English sounding original chord melodies, bluegrass
ragtime influences, Ike lsaacs numbers, Spanish inflections,
swing, O'Carolan and a Bamey Kessell Latin tune. Honeysuckle
Rose is a highlight as are the originals, This Ones for You
and Careful on the Crossing, and throughout the album the
notes played on a large bodied acoustic guitar resonate clearly,
balance well and sustain beautifully."
Kathy Dyson - Musician magazine June 2004.
Mike is an acoustic guitarist
(from Essex) who has a very inspired sound. Smoochy, jazzy,
bluesy smooth but always calmly relaxed. He's the kind of
for our singarounds - takes the heat out of
Notes on the insert are highly musical and good for the technically
minded. There is a tender and touching version
of O'Carolans 'Sheebeg Sheemore' - all arranged in a minor
key. 'Nan's Waltz' written by Pat Shaw is just divine - very
Tunes range from self-composed to Ike Isaacs,
Johnny Smith and Barney Kessel. Understandably, Mike is in
high demand as a session backing guitarist. A superb listening
- at the finish we remarked That went quick'
and promptly played it again.
Around Kent Folk June/July 2005.