Singer songwriter JimChaps operates from a niche in music that brings life to historical poetry. Jim’s fourth album “UNHINGED” is nearly complete and should introduce JimChaps to many more people. It features modernized and remastered songs from the first three albums. Jim is also one-third of the group PeaceFoals (with band mates Cory Cocco and Brandon Zachary). A PeaceFoals Holiday EP of four traditional Christmas songs has been a steady-streaming, global success since it’s release in late 2012.
Jim’s album Triple Treat (2013) is a collection of original lyrics and some public domain words by obscure, historic poets. Jim scored new music for the words and presents them in stripped, coffeehouse-fashion. Among the songs are The Sea, an 1800’s-era poem learned by Jamaican school children and World Laughs With You, lyrics being the Ella Wheeler-Wilcox poem Solitude. The album showcases poetry and motion, Flow is a combination of Jim’s and Wheeler-Wilcox words, inspired by enjoyment of healthy living, yoga, sports and music. Jim plays acoustic guitars and guilele (pr. gui-LAY-lay) a hybrid guitar/ukulele throughout the album. Rippling Shore a soothing instrumental with Jim performing on guitar and Mayan ocean drum.
Sub-titled Folk Music Renaissance, the Second album (2007) contains original (music and lyrics) You Are Here and Love at Second Sight and cover songs like This Train (Woody Guthrie), Three Wooden Crosses (Recorded by Randy Travis, written by Doug Johnson and Kim Williams), Riding For A Fall (Chris LeDoux). New arrangements of traditional public domain songs: Acoustic National Anthem (Verse one of The Star-Spangled Banner by Key, music by Stafford-Smith), Old Kentucky Home (words and music by Stephen Foster) and Concord Hymn (words by Ralph Waldo Emerson; music traditional – ‘Old 100’ aka/melody of ‘Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow’). Jim’s live guitar and vocals of Acoustic National Anthem for a Grapefruit League game between the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds, in Sarasota in 2005, sparked Jim’s quest to present Star-Spangled Banner as a full, contemporary song. Acoustic National Anthem 4-verses (2012) serves as a gap-project, leading to Jim’s discovery in 2013 of the fifth verse by Oliver Wendell Holmes (to complete the 1814-written words of Key) during The Civil War.
Jim’s project/cd First (2004, subtitled Fresh Folk Music) includes 12 original songs and begins with spoken words “Hello, I’m Jim Chaps and this is a song called New York for Firemen.” Jim performed New York For Firemen at the dedication of “Sean S. Hanley Way” (a firefighter victim of 9/11) on Staten Island June 19, 2004. Jim’s best-selling iTunes song the flamenco guitar solo, Man With Blue Guitar appears also on First. (The Wallace Stevens poem The Man With The Blue Guitar inspired the poems-to-music aspect of Jim’s songwriting.)
JimChaps was born in Detroit and began writing and performing in the 1970s. At age 18 he performed at The Hinge, a college coffeehouse at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He has earned a masters degree and is patent holder. He is passionate about healthy living and cherishes the writings of great poets. Jim lives in southwest Florida finding inspiration and beauty in Florida’s forests and coastal surroundings.
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