CD Review – Marshall Chapman “Blaze Of Glory”
Blaze of Glory starts out with one, in the form of a uber-cool Todd Snider duet. The playfully sung Love In The Wind sounds like two friends having a bit of fun with the help of a solid band playing a little throwback rock, and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a great start to a fine album.
Marshall Chapman’s 13th record is a stroke of luck for laid back listeners. It’s perfect for the pool deck, patio, or porch swing while sipping a cold beer as the spring turns into summer. The nine original songs on Blaze of Glory were largely inspired down in Mexico, and this writer recommends that they be paired with a Modelo Especial or possibly a Dos Equis. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some Jimmy Buffett album, even though it is co-produced by Mike Utley and has some of his signature keyboard work. Speaking of Buffett, the record features one of his favorite songwriter/guitar players on lead guitar, in the person of Will Kimbrough. I suppose Mr. Kimbrough is just about everybody’s favorite, now that I think about it. Casey Wood plays drums, vibes and percussion, Jim Mayer plays bass, and Ms. Chapman adds some rhythm guitar.
I’m particularly fond of the cover of Blues Stay Away From Me – Ms. Chapman sings it like she means it. That’s song number seven on the record, and after that the last four, all her songs, are a strong, strong finish to a solid album. First there’s Waiting For The Music, a beautiful tune of unrealized love compared to a song yet written. Then there’s Call The Lamas. Here’s a Music Fog video of that song, about discovering Buddha in a check out line:
The record closes with two songs that speak of mortality. Not Afraid To Die lets us know that dying is the least of her worries. “I’ve already lived way past my prime.” While I doubt she’s afraid of anything, death included, she’s always in her prime, taking on songwriting, singing, guitar playing, and writing with the same talent, solid determination, and sense of humor. But we’ll forgive a little false humility from our otherwise honest-to-a-fault heroine. Then there’s the title cut. “I never intended to make it this far. Never had a fallback plan. I always thought I’d go in a blaze of glory.” To paraphrase Travis McGee, Ms. Chapman, you’re just taking your blazes in installments. Which is fine with us.
Blaze of Glory releases May 28. You can pre-order at http://www.tallgirl.com/
Mando Lines listens to music a lot and writes about it a little. A lot of the little he writes is on Twitter @mando_lines.