Unsung hero of acoustic guitar. . .

Michael Chapman's Fully Qualified Survivor album.
Michael Chapman's Fully Qualified Survivor album.

MUSICIANS always seem to know who the real stars are and, by that token, Michael Chapman, who plays Frazer Theatre tonight, Friday, is one of British folk and blues’ great unsung heroes of the last 40 years.

His profile is nearly as high now as it was back in 1970 when John Peel hailed his Fully Qualified Survivor, which featured Davey Johnstone on guitar, as best album of the year.

It’s particularly so in the US where he had been touring regularly with Jack Rose until his death in late 2009 and building musical friends among the Americana set of Lambchop and Bill Callahan, frormerly of Smog.

Although famed for his skills on the acoustic guitar, ironically, but for a simple twist of fate, he may have made it in the pop world.

Talking to Mojo magazine last month, the talented Yorkshireman reveals how he tipped Elton John off about Davey Johnstone when the legend was putting his classic 70s band together and looking for a lead guitarist.

It seems the ultra modest Chapman didn’t realise it was actually himself Elton was after.

And thus turn the pages of rock history . .

Don’t be the one who misses out when Michael plays the Frazer tonight.

Info and tickets at www.kula-productions.com

TALKING of Kula shows, last week’s gig with ex-Bad Company’s Mick Ralphs at Frazer Theatre was a rip-roaring sellout.

Word is, even though Ralph and his excellent bad didn’t play any Bad Company or Free hits, they did perform expert versions of 60s British blues classics going down an absolute storrm.

STICKING on the theme of acoustic music, which this area is particularly strong at (that and blues), Ripon’s very nice Great Northern Wine venue presents another quality live act this Sunday in the shape of the atmospheric combination of KC McKenzie (vocals) and her musical partner Joe “Budi” Budinsky (bass/banjo).

The Berlin-based Americana/folk singer writes her own material, conjuring up shades of the English folk of the 60s and 70s and more modern American acoustic sounds.

Featuring pitch-dry humour, rootsy rhythms and sparse atmosphere, you can get advance tickets from 01765 606767 or www.greatnorthernwine.co.uk

JIMI Hendrix fans have flocked to Harrogate’s RedHouse Originals art gallery for an exhibition of classic photographs of the 60s rock legend in such large numbers that gallery owners Richard McTague and Jon Kendall were forced to extendthe show by a week.

Your final chance to catch these brilliant shots by famed rock photographer Gered Mankowitz is tomorrow, Saturday at this modern gallery on Cheltenham Mount.

Don’t miss next week’s Gig Scene when we will feature a competition to win an exclusive Hendrix goodie bag courtesy of RedHouse.

PROG rock fans turned Knaresborough’s Frazer Theatre into a temple of flared, long-haired 1970s genius last weekend when the ProgYes Festival took place.

Featuring singer-songwriter Tim Hunter and blues band Just Messin’, pride of place went to headliners SayYes who paid tribute to their namesakes with versions of Your’s Is No Disgrace, Wondrous Stories and many more classic tracks from The Yes Album, Going for The One, Fragile. . .

The next edition of Tim Hunter’s monthly Progyes radio show takes place on Phoenix 96.7 FM on Monday, September 26 or visit www.phoenixfm.co.uk

GIG Scene missed the latest acoustic jam night at Nidderdale Fine Wines at Pateley Bridge last week but it should be back on the first Thursday of October.

GOOD news about ex-Harrogate singer-songwriter Karl Culley. After a stunning album called The Owl earlier in the year, he’s already preparing for his next one.

It’s all thanks to the Crowdfunder system whereby artists appeal to fans to finance the recording of new tracks and then receive special goodies from the act in return.

Culley’s third album proper will be recorded in Krakow and released next spring.

IT was disappointing at the otherwise highly enjoyable Leeds Festival over the weekend to see both rappers Odd Future and rockers Jane’s Addiction pull out at the last minute.

The former had a good excuse, one of its members was receiving MTV’s Best New Artist award in the USA, while the latter cited an illness to Perry Farrell. Mind you, the lead singer looked pretty ‘ill’ when he last played Leeds Festival around 10 years ago. . .