Marshall Chapman, "Blaze of Glory." With “Blaze of Glory,” Marshall Chapman has crafted another gem that deserves the Americana label with its blend of rock ‘n’ roll, country, blues and pop.
Opening by riding a Bo Diddley beat with Todd Snider singing along on “Love in the Wind,” Chapman and her fine band perfectly negotiate the snaky blues rock of “I Don’t Want Nobody,” the chugging “Let’s Make Waves,” the dark, Marianne Faithfull-like “Dreams & Memories” and the quietly lustful “Waiting for the Music.”
Chapman’s written a couple books, magazine articles and songs that have been recorded by the likes of Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Dion and Erma Thomas. So you know her songs are going to be smart and catchy -- none more so than the tropically tinged “Call the Lamas” with the lyric “I saw a little Buddha in the checkout line at the grocery store today.”
But the two covers here are gems as well -- Hoagy Carmichael’s “Nearness of You” and The Delmore Brothers’ “Blues Stay Away From Me,” which gets a vintage c&w swing.
The disc wraps up with a pair of autobiographical songs from the 64-year-old Chapman -- the plunking Nashville outlaw country with chorus “Not Afraid to Die” ("I’d did everything I could to die young/and leave behind a beautiful memory”) and the cool vibes-filled title cut that goes from seeing Elvis sing in 1956 through “playing rock ‘n’ roll music with my hair on fire” to watching the sun rise each day. Grade: A