After 28 years with Chicago, singer-songwriter-keyboardist Bill Champlin is parting ways with the classic jazz/rock band to focus once again on his solo career. The announcement comes on the heels of the August 4th release of No Place Left to Fall, Champlin's first solo album in more than 10 years. The two-time GRAMMY® award winner will launch a West Coast tour on November 6th at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA. (See below for itinerary.)
"This music is callin' me," said Champlin, who first came to prominence with Sons of Champlin, a seminal late-60's San Francisco band whose soul stylings and complex song structures set it apart from other groups of the psychedelic scene, and a series of critically acclaimed solo albums.
From the funky "Total Control" and soulful "Lookin' For You" to the exquisite "Never Been Afraid" and the kick-ass come-on "Angelina," No Place Left to Fall is a career-defining record for Champlin. Released by the East Coast indie label DreamMakers, the CD is accompanied by a 70-minute bonus DVD that includes a documentary on the making of the album directed by news anchor and longtime fan Rod Simons, live footage of Champlin performing recently with the Sons of Champlin and much more. Champlin has already begun readying material for a follow-up album and fans can look forward to more music from Sons of Champlin as well.
Champlin - who handled lead vocals on the #1 hit "Look Away," traded vocals with Peter Cetera on "Hard Habit to Break" and wrote and sang lead on "Hearts in Trouble" for the soundtrack for the blockbuster movie "Days of Thunder" soundtrack during his tenure with Chicago -relishes the opportunity to return to his roots on the upcoming "BICHIN" tour. "A few years ago, I was signing a stack of press photos and going through them at such a clip, I was using only two letters from each name - and I realized that I was signing 'BICH,'" he recalls. "I'm really looking forward to playing more intimate venues and hearing what fans think of the new music. I can't wait to spend some one-on-one time with my old and new fans!" Backing him on the tour will be the rhythm section from Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, who backed Bill on his live solo album "Mayday," and Champlin's wife, singer-songwriter Tamara Champlin, on vocals.
Initial dates for Bill Champlin's "BICHIN" tour:
11/6 San Juan Capistrano, CA Coach House
11/7 San Diego, CA Anthology
11/10 Santa Cruz, CA Moe's Alley
11/11 Mill Valley, CA 142 Throckmorton Theatre
11/12 Tuolumne, CA Black Oak Casino
11/13 Lodi, CA Hutchins Street Square
11/14 Santa Rosa, CA Last Day Saloon
11/15 Newcastle, CA Constable Jacks
11/19 Portland, OR Jimmy Maks
11/20 Langley, WA Mukilteo Coffee Roaster
11/21 Langley, WA Mukilteo Coffee Roaster
11/22 Seattle, WA Triple Door
Additional dates to be announced.