CD Review: Marshall Chapman – Blaze of Glory (Tall Girl, 2013)
Superb collection of rock, soul, blues and country
Marshall Chapman’s been thrilling a devoted set of fans since she debuted in the mid-70s. Her songs have graced albums by Conway Twitty, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt and Jimmy Buffet (whose band she’s also toured with, and whose Margaritaville label she’s recorded for), and her solo albums have shown a renewed sense of vigor after a decade-long layoff in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Her latest, released independently on her own Tallgirl label, is a perfect example of her talent for making good on eclectic taste. Her originals span primordial Bo Diddley beats, impassioned rock ‘n’ soul, rolling country blues, pensive folk-pop and moody ballads. When she reaches for covers, she adds a hint of doo-wop to Hoagy Carmichael’s standard “Nearness of You” and takes the Delmore Brothers “Blues Stay Away from Me” out for a slinky, late-night spin. Her originals are preoccupied with longing to love and be loved, to be her one and only’s one and only, and to feel rather than think. The album is written with much grace, especially the Waylon-esque “Not Afraid to Die,” and the band, highlighted by Will Kimbrough’s lead guitar, is superb. Chapman has recorded many fine albums over the past forty-plus years, and shows no signs of slowing down.