Friday, July 28, 2006

Bill Champlin Update

OK, Bill just emailed Jerry apprising him of his new website, which I am linking in here straight away. Bill already has had the webmaster put links on his new site to Jerry's site and to this blog, so we simply must reciprocate ASAP.

For those of you who have been hiding in a cave for the past 40 years, and don't know who Bill Champlin is, well HE IS SIMPLY THE MAN! I've been following his stuff ever since I lived in San Francisco in the 60's. Bands I played in covered Sons of Champlin tunes (in fact, I'm workin' up a semi-acoustic arrangement of the Sons tune "Rooftop" right now). I have all of the old Sons LPs. This cat is a national treasure. Most pop music fans know him as the soulful razor-voiced lead singer on many Chicago hits, but he goes WAY, way beyond that. Spend some time on his site, and buy his work. Bill, lovin' the new website, my man.

The Sons of Champlin are back, with a new CD, "Hip Li'l Dreams." A must-have (click the link, there are mp3 samples available online).

And, uh, oh yeah: Bill's 1996 "MayDay" CD. Who played on this one? Check it out, LOL! Yeah! Now, I haven't heard this one yet, but my life-long bud and former bandmate JoJo over in Monterey, CA just did, and said it's fine, fine, fine. Gotta get a copy.

Bill Champlin: Vocals, Hammond B-3, Guitar
Greg Mathieson: Keyboards
Jerry Lopez: Guitar, Vocals
Rochon Westmoreland: Bass, Vocals
Eddie Garcia: Drums
Tamara Champlin: Vocals
Tom Saviano: Saxophone, Keyboards

And, oh yeah, the fruit don't fall far from the tree:

Wow. Check out the tune "All My Might" in particular. In fact, there're 4 cuts on his MySpace site, all them them way cool. Here's the link to his (Flash8 enabled) website. "Papa Can Play," and so can his boy. And, then, last but most certainly not least, there's MOM!

Unreal, the talent.


Jerry just got this email from Bill (he'd asked Bill for a blurb for the Santa Fe band website "Raves" page):

"...Here goes something for the big band.
'The Santa Fe big band is a project that needs to happen. A horn thang with some real focus on singers, songs and just great soloing. The arrangements are what we like to call "STOOPID". The players are scary and the singers are, well you all know what I think of the Lopez family and all the mofos that work with them. "They be completely Baaaaaad." I'm hoping to come in on one of our off nights or after one of our shows and hear some of my songs the way they're supposed to sound. To sing in front of this squad has got to be intimidating, I can't wait. (Guys, whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks.) See ya' all in October. Check out this band. It's what all the "Horn Bands" should be but rarely are. See ya' there. Bill Champlin.'
That oughta' get you thrown off the internet. See ya' soon, Bill.

Thanks again for just bein' you, B.


Chris Thilk said...

Hey Bobby,
I agree, Champlin is most definitely the man. He's brought such depth to Chicago and his solo/Sons stuff is just amazing. I probably listen to Hip Lil Dreams once a week.

To judge by how he looks in concert, making music is so easy and natural to him it's like breathing. He just rattles off those organ fills like it's nothing. But you know he's thinking three beats ahead and knows exactly where he's going. He's a blast to watch. Just gotta wait for the Sons to come to Chicago once.

Perplexio said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I've been a Champlin fan since I became a Chicago fan at the ripe young age of 11 or 12 back in 1988. It was Bill's vocal chemistry with Peter Cetera that hooked me. Their voices just blended together so perfectly, when Peter left it wasn't so much him that I missed but knowing that I'd probably never hear he and Bill sharing lead vocals again. Their vocals were the perfect complement to one another! At any rate I've since picked up all of Bill's solo albums, most of his SOC material, and even his wife Tamara's CD over the years and I've never been disappointed! There are some of his albums and songs I enjoy more than others but I can't say there are any that I out and out don't like.

I've also done a blog post full of gushing praise for THE MAN HERE. Check it out.

I've bookmarked your blog and will be back! :-)

Anonymous said...

Just got my copy of the Bill Champlin Live CD - smokin!

Jerry's guitar solo on "In the Heat of the Night" is just blistering! Made me put my strat back in its case .....

How can you go wrong with a rhythm section of Jerry, Rochon, and ass-kickin Eddie Garcia?

Pick up this disk -

Joey T