News / Arts & Entertainment

Marshall Chapman Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

Marshall Chapman
Marshall Chapman
Katherine Cole
Marshall Chapman turned 64 earlier this year, but the South Carolina-born rocker shows no sign of slowing down. She’s just released her 13th album, “Blaze of Glory” and reviewers are calling it one of the finest of her more-than-40-year career.

“Blaze of Glory” isn’t just the title track to Chapman’s latest CD, it’s a premonition she once had. Living the hard life of a rock-and-roller, Chapman never figured she’d live past 40. But at 39, after years of a stereotypical rock-and-roll lifestyle, she checked herself into rehab.  And now, at an age when many performers start thinking about slowing down, Chapman is doing just the opposite.

Marshall Chapman Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
Marshall Chapman Shows No Signs of Slowing Downi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Since graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1971, she he has supported herself not only as a performer, but as a songwriter. Many other acts have recorded her songs, including John Hiatt, Wynonna Judd, Jimmy Buffett and the band Sawyer Brown…yet she’s never had a huge hit of her own.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Chapman’s not successful. In the past few years, the 1.8-meter-tall Nashville resident has released two albums to glowing reviews from critics around the world, while also acting and writing prose. You may have seen her playing Gwyneth Paltrow’s road manager in the hit movie “Country Strong.” Or on the current TV show “Nashville.” Chapman co-wrote the songs for an off-Broadway musical called “Good Ol’ Girls” and has published two books, including an autobiography. In it, she tells how she grew up in a wealthy family in Spartanburg, South Carolina and then defied her family’s expectations by becoming a rock-and-roll musician.

Chapman dates the roots of her rebellion to 1956, when the family maid took her downtown to see Elvis Presley perform.

“My parents were out of town and we just took the city bus down there. They had matinee shows back then. He was on a Country package tour with The Louvin Brothers and The Carter Sisters and Justin Tubb," she said. "I think when that deal was signed, he wasn’t quite 'Elvis' yet, but by the time he got to Spartanburg he was Elvis and he was definitely closing the show. This was, of course, during segregation and I was in the balcony with the blacks. This little tow-headed [blonde] seven-year-old child. So that started it. They measure time BC and AD. I measure time BE and AE.”

x
The opening track on "Blaze of Glory" harkens back to those early days of rock. “Love In The Wind” is a duet with Todd Snider that almost didn’t happen.

Chapman’s original vision for “Love In The Wind” had alternative-Country singer-songwriter Todd Snider singing harmony with her. But that idea blew up the minute Snider walked into the studio.

“Todd walks in and the first thing he says is ‘I don’t sing harmony.’ So, I had to rethink this and get loose," Chapman said. "And we went on the ‘Todd plan.’ It sort of became more of a call and response, which actually is probably better than what I had in mind. And that often happens in the studio.  And now it sounds really cool the way it is, because you don’t know when he’s coming in. And I love it.”

When we spoke, Chapman was on her way back to Nashville after a show at Spartanburg’s Chapman Cultural Center, named for her arts-supporting family. The show was a fundraiser for arts education and took place just a few days after the singer was inducted into the Spartanburg Music Trail - an open-air hall of fame for musicians in her hometown.
 
There are nine original songs on “Blaze of Glory” along with two interesting covers: Hoagy Carmichael’s standard “The Nearness of You,” and this jazzy update of the Delmore Brothers’ Country classic “Blues Stay Away From Me.”

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Graham Nash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once for his work with The Hollies and once as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash. The legendary folk-rocker joins "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his latest project, “CSN 2012,” which captured on video recent live performances by Crosby, Stills & Nash.