Unsurprisingly, the always surprising Gary Chapman has released a new studio album, his first since 2002’s CIRCLES AND SEASONS. And it should come as no surprise that the new album, THE TRUTH, showcases Chapman at his best.
Never an artist to be content with the sweet and syrupy, Chapman’s latest project doesn’t shy away from some of the grittier aspects of life. In “Twenty Bucks Away” (co-written with wife Cassie) Chapman sings of meeting a homeless guy who’s way down on his luck, so he reaches in and hands him twenty bucks: “It didn’t take a lot to make him smile / One Andrew Jackson would keep him for a while / And just today, he was twenty bucks away.”
Chapman’s wry sense of humor has not deserted him. He is still fondly remembered by fans of TNN’s ‘Prime Time Country,’ a talk show that he hosted for several years in the 90s and was a success mainly due to Chapman’s dry wit and laid-back attitude. That unique quirk is evident in THE TRUTH, with lines such as, “These days I look to Washington for nothing / And that’s exactly what I get,” from the song, “Ain’t Got a Prayer (Without Jesus).”
In addition to writing or co-writing most of the tracks, Chapman also knows how to pull in songs from other writers, and here we find cuts that fit seamlessly with the theme of THE TUTH. Case in point: “If God Had a Front Porch,” written by Jason Cox and Michael Boggs and featuring the wistful voice of Alison Krauss.
THE TRUTH’s sixteenth track (yeah, you get your money’s worth with this album) wraps up the project with “The Rough Crowd” featuring Tanya Tucker and John Rich. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Remember, this is Gary Chapman.
If there’s any justice, THE TRUTH will find its way onto the list of nominees for the GMA Dove Awards. And lets hope we don’t wait another ten years for a new album from Gary Chapman.