|Beth Nielsen Chapman — UnCovered (2014)|
Beth Nielsen Chapman — UnCovered
♣ Natočeno ve Skotsku, Walesu, Severním Irsku, a v jejím vlastním "Tree House" studiu v Nashvillu.
♣ A collection of Beth’s songs that have been hits by other artists, with dozens of guests that include Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Pam Tillis.
Born: September 14, 1958, Harlingen, Texas, United States
Location: Nashville, TN
Album release: January 28, 2014
Record Label: BNC Records / Proper Records
01 Simple Things 3:30
02 Here We Are 4:45
03 Sweet Love Shine 4:10
04 Pray 3:56
05 Maybe That's All It Takes 3:48
06 This Kiss 3:29
07 Nothin' I Can Do About It Now 3:37
08 Strong Enough to Bend 2:59
09 Meet Me Halfway 4:23
10 One in a Million 3:52
11 Five Minutes 4:01
12 Almost Home 4:11
Jonathan Aird; Tuesday, 07 January 2014
♣ This one's mine, this one's mine, and this one's mine too.
♣ For any songwriter it must be more than pleasant to have a box of songs that they've never recorded, but that have been big hits already for others. That's the situation that Beth Nielsen Chapman found herself in, and has gone someway with this album to reclaiming what was hers. It's an album that has been recorded in pieces — across the British Isles and in Nashville with a rotating cast of distinguished musical collaborators. As the album unfolds it's clear that Chapman has had fingers in a wide range of successful pies — including the mainstream pop charts — skilfully producing songs ideal for a target artist.
♣ UnCovered is a slick album in many places — pop-country songs such as Faith Hill's big hit 'This Kiss' are astutely airplay ready and sit happily alongside the drum pattern driven Simple Things and One in a million (made famous by the late Mindy McCready). ♣ These are not, however, going to be the highlight for the listener in search of something more rootsy. Not that there's a problem with finding that — Willie Nelson's big hit 'Nothin' I can do about it Now' is also here, and so obviously was crafted for Willie's voice and persona. With trickling pedal steel Chapman sings an outlaw philosophy ("I could cry for the time I've wasted / but that's a waste of time and tears / and I know just what I'd change if I went back in time somehow / But there's nothin' I can do about it now").
♣ Teamed with the next song — the banjo laden love song 'Strong Enough to Bend', it provides some real heart to the album, a full step back from the chart sounds of, say, 'Five Minutes' which is a big Nashville ballad — the kind of thing you'd associate with Tammy Wynette (it was actually a hit for Lorrie Morgan, who, with Pam Tillis, adds some vocals on this recording). A song of love, miracles and a five minute ultimatum to "kindle the flame" or she’s out of here and out of your life.
♣ UnCovered shows that Beth Nielsen Chapman is an accomplished crafter of songs with an astute ear for the popular. Her ability to write in a diverse range of styles and produce a perfect song for artists as different as Faith Hill and Willie Nelson is noteworthy. That she also has a truly great voice is undeniable. Talent shines through at all levels. The slicker songs are likely to be less to the taste of those who inhabit these parts, fine as they are they linger more for their hooks than for their emotion, but there are still enough rougher diamonds — Nothing' I can do about it now is the must have track — to make for an overall satisfying listen. Fortaken: http://www.americana-uk.com/
Nick Smithson; Score: 7
♣ Chapman's husband, Ernest Chapman, died of cancer in 1994. In 2000 she experienced her own battle with breast cancer. The song "Sand and Water" was written after Ernest's death; Elton John performed this song during his 1997 world tour. The song was featured on the episode "Sand and Water" in Season 7 of ER (2000), as well as in the Season 1 episode "Dead Man Dating" of the TV series Charmed in October 1998.
♣ She has one son, Ernest (born 1981), who is also a musician and has performed with her. As of 2008, she is engaged to be married and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. ♣ This engagement was the inspiration for her album Back to Love.
US Heat / US Christian / US Indie
♣ 1980 Hearing It First
♣ 1990 Beth Nielsen Chapman #19
♣ 1993 You Hold the Key #16
♣ 1997 Sand and Water #30
♣ 1999 Greatest Hits
♣ 2002 Deeper Still
♣ 2004 Hymns #21 / #29 / #29
♣ 2005 Look
♣ 2007 Prism
♣ 2010 Back to Love #15
♣ 2012 The Mighty Sky
♣ 2014 Uncovered
♣ Uncovered is probably the album that many of Beth Nielsen Chapman’s numerous fans have been dreaming of. Gathering together 12 of her best known songs, many of them US Top Ten hits, with seven that have reached the coveted number one slot, none of which she has actually recorded and released herself before. In making the album, she’s recruited an amazing guest list and also turned it into her own Transatlantic Session, recording with the help of some exceptional musicians in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and her own Nashville studio. The production team includes long term collaborator Annie Roboff, with Vince Gill, Darrell Brown and Phil Cunningham and Beth herself, who have done an incredible job of bringing together a collection of songs that defines an exceptional songwriting career.
♣ You could of course say that there’s something delightfully perverse about Beth Nielsen Chapman. She’s unquestionably the extremely talented songwriter, who can claim all of those Top 10 hits, albeit recorded by other people. Furthermore, other songs have famously been covered by Elton John, Neil Diamond and stellar names far too numerous to list. Yet if you look at her recording career over the last decade, it includes an album, Hymns, sung in Latin, another double CD, Prism, which looks at the world’s religions and features Beth singing in nine different languages, a DVD shot in St Paul’s Cathedral, with the London Oriana Choir that includes Prayers Of An Atheist and a CD, described as being, “For children of all ages,” about the universe and the science of astronomy, co written in part by Rocky Alvey, the director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory and called The Mighty Sky.
♣ From writing hits for other artists to recording her own, twice Grammy-nominated Beth Nielsen Chapman, Nashville based singer-songwriter has truly embraced musical diversity. A breast cancer survivor, environmental activist, teacher of workshops and lecturer on the magic of creativity, she’s penned numerous hits and written songs for many top artists including Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Michael McDonald, Amy Grant, Keb Mo’, Roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, Faith Hill, Willie Nelson, Bette Lavette and many more. ♣ Her music has been heard on ER, Dawson’s Creek, Providence, Felicity and in movie soundtracks, including The Prince of Egypt, Message In A Bottle, The Rookie, Where The Heart Is and Practical Magic. Mega-hit “This Kiss,” sung by Faith Hill , was ASCAP’S 1999 Song Of The Year, garnered a Grammy nomination and Nashville NAMMY’S 1999 Songwriter of the Year.
♣ Among Beth’s own recordings, the groundbreaking “Sand & Water,” released following the death of her husband from cancer in 1994, was performed by Elton John on his 1997 U.S. tour in place of “Candle In The Wind” to honor the memory of Princess Diana. Deeper Still was voted “Album Of The Year” by BBC2's Terry Wogan. ♣ Beth also released Look, co-produced with the legendary Peter Collins, featuring “I Find Your Love” written for the movie Calendar Girls with Patrick Doyle.
♣ Back To Love, released in 2010, spawned two hits on BBC Radio 2, and in 2012 Beth debuted, The Mighty Sky, a romping collection of songs about the wonders of astronomy that earned a 2014 Grammy nomination for “Best Children’s Album.”
♣ On Beth’s new release, 2014’s Uncovered, she rolls out a batch of songs that have been covered by other artists, but she has never recorded herself. Most were Top 10 hits, seven of which topped the charts at #1. Recorded in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and her own “Tree House” studio in Nashville, Uncovered opens with a crystalline piano that gives way to an infectious groove on “Simple Things,” with backing vocals by Kim Carnes (of “Bette Davis Eyes” fame). Other guest artists lending their talent to the project include legendary guitarist Duane Eddy on “Shine On Me,” a song Beth wrote with Waylon Jennings that also features backing vocals by Jessie Colter-Jennings; Vince Gill duets on “Here We Are,” a #1 hit she and Vince wrote for Alabama; Darrell Scott sings and plays on “Maybe That’s All It Takes,” a stunning ballad that was a hit for Don Williams; Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan sing on “Five Minutes,” Lorrie’s first #1 hit; Amy Grant, Ruth Trimble and Eilidh Patterson lend their vocals to the stand-out track “Pray,” written with and featuring guitar instrumentalist extraordinaire Muriel Andersen; “Almost Home” — written with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Annie Roboff — features the “Wine Women & Song” artists Gretchen Peters, Suzy Bogguss and Matraca Berg on rollicking background vocals, alongside Bekka Bramlett, who also sings and plays tambourine alongside George Marinelli’s electric guitar on “Meet Me Halfway,” the bluesy track written by Beth, Bonnie Raitt and Annie Roboff for Raitt’s Fundamental release. The Scottish sessions coproduced with Phil Cunningham, feature top grade musicians including Duncan Chisholm, John McCusker, James Mackintosh, Euan Burton, and Matheu Watson. Additional recording was done at Squiggle Studios in Harlech, Wales, where legendary bassist and longtime sideman on Beth’s UK tours, former Fairport Convention member Martin Allcock plays on several tracks.
♣ Chapman’s prowess at writing in a wide range of styles shines through on this collection. From the infectious pop sensibilities of “This Kiss” (Faith Hill) and “Simple Things” (Jim Brickman) to the strains of bluegrass and country in “Strong Enough To Bend (#1 for Tanya Tucker) and “Nothin’ I Can Do About It Now” (#1 for Willie Nelson), the true thread that runs through it all is a her great passion for the well written song. It is also clear that she has a whole lot of fun performing these songs, and has no trouble bringing them home and making them her own once again.
Agent: UK Booking Agent: Paul Fenn, ASGARD 125 Parkway London NW1 7PS UK, email:
|Beth Nielsen Chapman — UnCovered (2014)|