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Marshall Chapman

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Marshall Chapman was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. To date she has released eleven critically acclaimed albums, and her songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Wynonna, Joe Cocker, Irma Thomas, Jimmy Buffett and Jessi Colter, just to name a few. She has toured extensively on her own and opened shows for everybody from John Prine and Jimmy Buffett to Jerry Lee Lewis and The Ramones.

Of her three rockin’ albums for Epic, the Al Kooper-produced Jaded Virgin was voted Record of the Year (1978) by Stereo Review. Following 1982’s Take It On Home (Rounder), Marshall released two albums on her own Tall Girl label: 1987’s Dirty Linen and 1991’s Inside Job (voted Album of the Month in April 1992 Stereo Review).

It’s About Time ... recorded live at the Tennessee State Prison for Women (Margaritaville/Island, 1995) drew rave reviews from Time, USA Today and the Village Voice. After its release, Marshall and her band (The Love Slaves) toured with Jimmy Buffett, playing for over a million people. The following year, they went in the studio and recorded Love Slave. According to Marshall, being a love slave is a way of life. “We’re all slaves to something,” she says, “... might as well be love!”

In 1998, Marshall began exploring new outlets for her creativity. One was theater. She and songwriting pal Matraca Berg contributed fourteen songs to Good Ol’ Girls, a country musical based on the stories of Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle. The New York Times called it a “feminist literary country music review.” Good Ol’ Girls continues to play theaters throughout the Southeast. On February 14, 2010, Good Ol’ Girls opened off-Broadway for a limited two-month engagement.

Marshall’s first book, Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller (St. Martin’s Press), was published in September 2003. Simultaneously, a companion CD was released. The book was a 2004 SIBA Book Award finalist, and one of three finalists for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. A soft cover edition was released in September 2004.

From 2004 to 2007, Marshall developed a one-woman show called “The Triumph of Rock and Roll over Good Breeding” wrote commentary for The Bob Edwards Show (XM), and released Mellowicious!, her first studio album in nine years. She’s currently a contributing editor for Garden & Gun, Nashville Arts Magazine, and Vanderbilt Magazine.

Marshall Chapman has been making records for longer than most of today’s Indie rockers have been alive. Blaze of Glory (2013) is her thirteenth release, her seventh on Tallgirl Records. At age 64, Chapman is, as author Peter Guralnick put it, “a force of nature.” Some might argue she’s even picking up steam. In the last two and a half years, she’s had a book published (They Came To Nashville), seen her musical Good Ol’ Girls (adapted from the fiction of Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle, featuring songs by Chapman and Matraca Berg) open off-Broadway, acted in a movie (playing Gwyneth Paltrow’s road manager in Country Strong), and recorded two albums - Big Lonesome (named “Best Country/Roots Album of 2010” by the Philadelphia Inquirer), and Blaze of Glory.

“I felt, at the time, like Big Lonesome was my best,” Chapman says. “So it was a no-brainer bringing in the same crew - Mike Utley, Will Kimbrough, Jim Mayer and Casey Wood - for Blaze of Glory.” The album kicks off with “Love in the Wind,” a duet with Todd Snider, a longtime friend for whom Chapman opened many shows while promoting her previous album. Marshall attributes time spent in Mexico as the inspiration for many of the songs. “I had myself convinced my muse lived down there,” she says. “To dig deep, you have to live deep. That’s great for songwriting, but it can be hell on a marriage. I had to pull back, which was painful. For a while, all I could see was my own mortality staring me in the face.”

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