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.