Review: Jeff Chapman – Big Jeff’s Blues -Vol 1

Posted on: Friday, Jan 15, 2010


JEFF CHAPMAN – Big Jeff’s Blues -Vol 1
no label

This is a raw dose of bar-room foot stamping blues featuring ZZ Top lookalike Jeff Chapman whom I presume might hail from Greenville Illinois as the credits indicate that the cd was recorded and mixed there.

The opener, I’m a Bluesman is a basic raw blues with sax and keyboards backing his gritty vocals and straightforward guitar whilst Train Left the Station is a rockier track with harp backing and sharing the lead duties with Jeff’s excellent guitar. A great track .

Everything Will Be Alright has a country rock feel to it and again features some lovely guitar licks with a nice keyboard backing. The next track Where’d My Baby Go is slightly funkier with a soulful brass backing.

It’s back to basics on Treat Your Girl Right, another foot tapping blues with harp featuring again whilst Get Away From My Woman is a rocker with piano backing.

The tempo drops in Get Out While There’s Time in a nice slow blues a little reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Need Your Love So Bad – a nice track though with some nice controlled guitar work.

Food, Money or Love up tempos again in a great rock’n’roller whilst (Always Gonna Be) A Workin’ Man slows down in another nice blues with very sensitive guitar.

The final cut is My Baby Left Me Last Night and completes a very creditable release. The production is a little raw in places and there are one or two glitches but I’m sure he’s the sort of guy who would go down very well in a blues bar anywhere in the world. A very enjoyable recording.


After completing the review I found “I’m A Bluesman” on You Tube

which backs up the feeling created by the cd.

I also picked up this information from Ben the Harpman on
Big Jeff Chapman is one of those typical regional musicians that everyone knows and loves for their unpretentious style and blue collar sensibility. Chapman has been a fixture in South Central Illinois for almost thirty years. Blues hasn’t always been his meal ticket but since 2004, he’s been honing his chops in his own blues projects. He earned a lot of street cred down at Beale on Broadway in St. Louis, MO for 2 ½ years as the front man for the house band down there. Now, out on his own, Chapman brings his breed of blues-rock and blue collar rock to stages all around the tri-state area. This is Chapman’s first release in four years.

[Note from Ken]

Big Jeff was the friendly guy sitting behind us at the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, the CD came as a complimentary download from the business card that he handed out



January 15th, 2010 at 10:56
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Nice one Pete . . . but what we really need to know is how many ‘blistering solos! . . . lol!!


Pete Evans

January 15th, 2010 at 14:10
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Firstly, I realise, now that you mention it Ken, who Jeff is… I thought he was familiar but I just couldn’t put a finger on it – apologies Jeff if you get to read this
Secondly Grahame… I’ll bring “lashings of guitar work” into a future review and catch you unawares!
Does the bass player remind you of a certain Wrexham football fanatic if he had a beard!!



January 15th, 2010 at 16:21
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Ha, ha . . . sure does, but not as much as David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, guesting with Booker T at Cambridge . .