Folk singer to perform here, get tour of border to boot

2013-01-17T00:00:00Z Folk singer to perform here, get tour of border to bootGerald M. Gay Ggay@azstarnet.com Arizona Daily Star
January 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Grammy-winning folk singer Tom Chapin is getting an education during his latest visit to Southern Arizona.

Chapin has a gig scheduled for the Javarita Coffeehouse at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita Friday.

But he'll precede that with a trip to several border towns, courtesy of his host venue.

The Good Shepherd offers tours along the border to all of its visiting artists, in an effort to spread awareness about immigration issues.

Chapin agreed to the visit on a recommendation from his pal, roots singer Guy Davis, who took the trip out in 2011.

"He told me that it was amazing," said Chapin in a phone interview from Precott earlier this week. "As a New Yorker, you only hear sound bites about Arizona and the border. It will be interesting to get in the middle of that and learn some stuff."

While he might have a thing or two to say about immigration at his show, the 67-year-old said he will rely primarily on his massive repertoire of original songs to entertain, as well as material from his late brother, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin.

Tom got his start singing with Harry and his other brother, Steve Chapin, during the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s, eventually striking out on his own to take on acting and a solo career.

In recent years, he has divided his talents between creating songs for adults and writing music for children.

"There is this whole tradition in the folk world, with people like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton singing for both adults and children," Chapin said."When you become a parent, it changes your world."

Friday night's event might feature a track or two from Chapin's upcoming kids album, "The Incredible Flexible You," but Chapin plans on sticking primarily to adult fare.

"The folk world is not about getting a hit record," Chapin said. "It is about writing songs about real people and the things they are going through."

If you go

• What: Tom Chapin in concert.

• When: 7 p.m. Friday,

• Where: Javarita Coffeehouse in The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 17750 S. La Cañada Drive.

• Cost: $20 at the door.

• Information: 625-1375.

• Bonus: Chapin also will perform as part of the Good Shepherd's Border Issues Fair on Saturday. The event will feature several speakers and representatives from humanitarian and advocacy groups. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is $10

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