So Nice to Come Home

Tom Chapin & friends
Sundance Music

WVA Occasional, 7/94

"So Nice To Come Home" (Sundance Music)

"So Nice To Come Home", the long-awaited, much anticipated new album by Tom Chapin, is filled with music that touches and connects. Tom Chapin has long been one of our finest singer-songwriters. "So Nice To Come- Home" showcases his strengths: great songs, easy powerful singing, strong arrangements and a blending of styles that Tom makes uniquely his own.

All twelve original songs relate in some way to Chapin's thoughts of home. Among the many highlights are four songs written with the celebrated songwriter and activist Si Kahn. The album opens with the hypnotic rhythms of "The Singing Man", a poetic journey connecting the power of song and the human spirit, and closes with "Pass The Music On" a stunning folk anthem that honors the songs and musicians who first kindled Tom's interest in this kind of music. The other two Chapin/Kahn songs are intensely personal: "Coming & Going," a song Tom sings to his wife as they deal with the conflicts of home and the road; and "Always Gone," a song sung to his father that begins where Tom's late brother Harry's classic "Cat's In The Cradle" ends.

On the lighter side is the bizarre saga of "The Battle Beast & Barbie," for which Michael Mark contributes his wild imagination and sense of the absurd in this love song about two highly unlikely partners. This song has become a "cult hit" at Tom's live performances.

A beautifully produced recording that represents the finest of modern folk music, "So Nice To Come Home" is available in cassette and CD formats. Sundance Music, P.O. Box 1663, New York, NY 10011

The Blade

"So Nice To Come Home" Tom Chapin (Sundance)

It has been eight years since Chapin released a disc of adult-oriented songs, preferring to be a pioneer in children’s music. The youngsters who have been listening to his splendid talent are truly fortunate.

In addition to thoughtful lyrics, intricate guitar lines, poignant melodies, and Chapin’s warm delivery, there is a special type of humor, subtle in the instrumental interplay or obvious in a well-turned phrase. The entire album belongs in a class apart. sit back and give it the attention it deserves.

Face Magazine, August 17-30, 1994

You may remember him from the Emmy Award-winning children’s show Make A Wish. He’s been a busy guy since then, earning awards for his many children’s albums. This, his fourth solo album for adults, features 12 originals that’ll put a smile on your face and make you think.

The Washington Post, August 5, 1994

Chapin’s ‘Home’ For All in Family

Singer-songwriter Tom Chapin’s new album, "So Nice to come Home," is very much a family affair, and not just because "Always Gone," "Coming and Going" and the title cut concern the bonds that tie families together and the commitments that sometimes keep them apart. Nor is it because other songs, including "The Battle Best and Barbie," in which the action figure and doll are romantically linked, seem designed to produce chuckles and harmonies on long summer vacation drives.

While homespun and humorous, those songs are overshadowed by more substantial lyrics that deal with familial themes in both personal and universal terms. "Hunger and Thirst," for example, refers to the late Harry Chapin’s early crusade against world hunger and addresses the past, present and future in a single verse: "My brother the dreamer set out to defend/the powerless poor and to bring to an end/the horror of hunger that shackles us still/now he’ll never see it, but maybe we will." Similarly, "Pass the Music On," co-written by Tom Chapin and Si Kahn, celebrates the bloodlines that run through generations of folk musicians, and on "Ellis Island" Chapin quietly recalls the way so many seeds of family like were sown in America. The result is a lot more than just music for the entire family, it’s music about the entire family.

Dirty Linen, Dec 94/Jan 95

Tom Chapin
So Nice To Come Home
Sundance Music S-100 (1994)

Each of the dozen songs here explores an aspect of home and family: coming home, leaving home, immigration to the New World, cheatin’ on your honey down at the bar, or sorting out the emotions leading to a long term commitment with one’s lover. His sense of family ranges from two lovers beginning their life together to Christmas reunions back home to the global Family of Man. For those of us forced to slog through endless toy stores with the kids, "The Battle Beast and Barbie" proves to be an absurd delight.

Chapin shares songwriting credits on four songs with Si Kahn, including "Always Gone," which continues the story begun in his brother Harry’s "Cat’s in the Cradle." The album closes with "Pass the Music On," a tribute to the generations of musicians that have influenced him.. delivered in his easy, folksy style, Chapin draws the listener into caring for the characters in his tales. He can come into my home to share his stories anytime.

In the Walnut Valley Festival list of artists: