Blaze Of Glory by Marshall Chapman

July 3, 2013

Marshall Chapman is now over 40 years into her stellar music career and she has become more prolific with the passage of time. During the past three years she has had a book published (They Came to Nashville), seen her musical Good Ol’ Girls open off Broadway, acted in a movie with Gwyneth Paltrow (Country Strong), and released the well-received album, Big Lonesome. She has now returned with the 13th studio album of her career, Blaze Of Glory.

It is a comfortable release that picks up where her last one left off. She provides the lead vocals and rhythm guitar, supported by lead guitarist Will Kimbrough, drummer Casey Wood, keyboardist Mike Utley, and bassist Jim Mayer.

She has always been able been able to fuse her Americana lyrics with a pop rock sound and Blaze of Glory is no exception. If there is one area in which she has consistently improved, it is as a songwriter. She wrote eight of the 11 tracks and co-wrote one more. She is able to put her thoughts and stories into words and wrap them in memorable melodies.

The album starts out strong with “Love in the Wind,” which has a 1950s rock and roll vibe. She shares the lead vocal with Todd Snider as they explore her inner feelings. She then transitions to the power pop of “I Don’t Want Nobody.” Songs such as “Dreams & Memories,” the title track, and “Not Afraid to Die” reflect the personal side of her songwriting and life as they explore her philosophy and life journey.

The two cover songs were chosen well. Hoagy Carmichael’s “The Nearness of You” is delivered in a laid back style, while the Delmore Brothers’ old country classic, “Blues Stay Away From Me,” is moved over from its bluegrass roots to Chapman’s Americana style.

Marshall Chapman is now in her mid-60s and has carved out an impressive career. Blaze of Glory will add to her legacy as it is an album of mature music by an artist who is confident in her skills.


Blaze of Glory by Marshall Chapman

June 28, 2013

Marshall Chapman is now over 40 years into her stellar music career and she has become more prolific with the passage of time. During the past three years she has had a book published (They Came to Nashville), seen her musical Good Ol’ Girls open off Broadway, acted in a movie with Gwyneth Paltrow (Country Strong), and released the well-received album, Big Lonesome. She has now returned with the 13th studio album of her career, Blaze Of Glory.

It is a comfortable release that picks up where her last one left off. She provides the lead vocals and rhythm guitar, supported by lead guitarist Will Kimbrough, drummer Casey Wood, keyboardist Mike Utley, and bassist Jim Mayer.

She has always been able been able to fuse her Americana lyrics with a pop rock sound and Blaze of Glory is no exception. If there is one area in which she has consistently improved, it is as a songwriter. She wrote eight of the 11 tracks and co-wrote one more. She is able to put her thoughts and stories into words and wrap them in memorable melodies.

The album starts out strong with “Love in the Wind,” which has a 1950s rock and roll vibe. She shares the lead vocal with Todd Snider as they explore her inner feelings. She then transitions to the power pop of “I Don’t Want Nobody.” Songs such as “Dreams & Memories,” the title track, and “Not Afraid to Die” reflect the personal side of her songwriting and life as they explore her philosophy and life journey.

The two cover songs were chosen well. Hoagy Carmichael’s “The Nearness of You” is delivered in a laid back style, while the Delmore Brothers’ old country classic, “Blues Stay Away From Me,” is moved over from its bluegrass roots to Chapman’s Americana style.

Marshall Chapman is now in her mid-60s and has carved out an impressive career. Blaze of Glory will add to her legacy as it is an album of mature music by an artist who is confident in her skills.


Big Lonesome by Marshall Chapman

October 1, 2010

Marshall Chapman is one of those artists who has released a number of critically acclaimed albums but has not had the break-out commercial success they and she deserved. Now over thirty years into her career; the singer, songwriter, and author will release a new studio album October 26th.

The project started as a duet album with long time friend Tim Krekel. Things don’t work out as planned sometimes and bad things happen to good people and so early into the planning of the album Tim Krekel died of cancer.

She carried on alone as the songwriting and recording process was a comforting and ultimately cathartic experience. The resulting Big Lonesome is a personal memorial for a lost friend.

She surrounds herself with a stellar group of musicians to back her vocals and rhythm guitar. Lead guitarist Will Kimbrough, drummer Casey Wood, bassist Jim Mayer, keyboardist Michael Utley, and steel guitarist and sax player Jim Hoke are all veterans and excellent sidemen who helped to make her musical visions come alive. Utley who produced albums for Jimmy Buffett and Roy Orbison shares that chore with Chapman.

Chapman wrote six of the eleven tracks herself and includes three more she composed with Tim Krekel before his death.

The other two tracks were cover songs which reflected the overall themes of loss and remembrance well. One of the gems of the album was her blusy cover of the old Cindy Walker country song “Going Away Party” which was originally recorded by Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys. She nails the loss and acceptance just right. She also covers the Hank Williams classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” with a throaty vocal.

The album presents mostly modern country music with some forays into a vocal blues and jazz sound. “Down In Mexico,” “I Can’t Stop Thinking about You,” “Riding With Willie,” and Sick Of Myself” are all exceptional.

Tim Krekel appears on two tracks including the title song. It is the final live track recorded May 30, 2009 that brings the album to a fitting conclusion as it is the last time the two performed together.

Big Lonesome is a fine addition to the Marshall Chapman catalogue and the memory of a lost friend.

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-marshall-chapman-big-lonesome/#ixzz118aoRQ3H