Music is clearly the family business in folksinger Tom Chapin’s clan: The Rockland County native is the younger brother of famed folkie Harry Chapin and jazz drummer Jim Chapin, and his daughters Lily and Abigail make up acoustic duo the Chapin Sisters. Although he got his start on the early 1960s Greenwich Village scene, since 1979 Tom has been carving out his own niche as a Grammy-winning singer and composer of children’s music. Recently, to commemorate his 70th birthday, he released the aptly titled 70 (Independent), which doubles as a meditation on his 50 years as a performer and features Tom’s version of the Pete Seeger tune “Quite Early Morning.”
70 features Chapin’s long-time band mates Jon Cobert and Michael Mark on various instruments, as well as guest spots by the Chapin Sisters and bluesman Guy Davis. When he’s not making music, Chapin serves as a board member of WhyHunger, which seeks innovative community-based solutions to hunger and poverty; remains active in a variety of environmental causes; and works to keep music and the arts in public schools.
Here, in 2008 with Cobert and Mark, he performs the instant classic “Go Away, Sara Palin”: 70 is out now and is available via www.tomchapin.com.
Where Zena Road meets Route 212 just outside the town of Woodstock, there’s a magnificent 22-acre open field with a sweeping view of Overlook Mountain. And on Saturday, April 1st, it’s the ideal spot to bring the kids and fly a kite.