2015 Washington Area Music Award Winner for "Debut Recording" and "Roots Rock Recording"

Dave Chappell And Friends CD - Available Now on CDBaby!

Dave Chappell And Friends CD - Available Now on CDBaby!

Words from Bill Holland:

It’s a delight to present the first “leader” offering of one of the Washington area’s premier guitarists, Dave Chappell. Previously acclaimed as a superlative sideman, here he steps forward, surrounded by some talented veterans known for their wide range, but also their affection for what’s called roots rock, that amalgam of southern rhythm and blues, classic rockabilly, country and greasy swamp-funk. 

I knew Dave had won his share of Washington Area Music Assn. (WAMA) awards, but what I didn’t know is that he won either Musician of the Year or best Roots Rock Instrumentalist (or both) for an astounding nine years in a row – 2005 to 2009.

On this album there are a few classics, all inspired, but most of the songs are original, written or co-written by Dave and Tommy Lepson. What I always get from Chappell’s playing is a certain wry impishness and a decided joie de vivre, qualities that for example the legendary jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli had in abundance. (Dave told me that these sessions were “always great fun, with a great deal of ‘Hey. let’s try this and see what happens’” interchanges.)

Stuff happened all right!  For example, on the tune ‘Just Peachy,’ Dave said, “it all started as a simple riff we started tossing back and forth and evolved into an Allman-style extended jam -- and it was such a thrill to play with an Allman Brothers alumnus, Johnny Neel.”

Like his elders, Chappell learned to play a variety of styles and he appreciates a wide range of of music, anything and everything, from Mom and Pop standards to country classics to rhythm and blues. For the purpose of this first “leader” album, however, he has focused on the roots rock oeuvre. Smart move. I can’t wait for the next Chappell-chapter!

- Bill Holland is a long-time Washington area singer-songwriter and piano player. He was also Billboard Magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief.