Beth Nielsen Chapman – UnCovered
On Beth Nielsen Chapman’s new release, ‘UnCovered’ she rolls out a batch of premium songs she’s written but never recorded that have already been hits or covers by other artists. Most were top ten hits, seven of which topped the charts at #1.
This record could have been called ‘Recovered’ except that the idea for this collection sprung out of her digging up songs for her pending boxed set called “Box of Songs”. The title, ‘UnCovered’ was suggested by none other than Bob Harris. “Once I heard that name I knew exactly what this record needed to be.” It’s been a crazy few months pulling it together but the universe seems to have been cooperating beautifully.
Recorded in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and her own ‘Tree House’ studio in Nashville, the new album bursts open with a crystalline piano, which gives way into an infectious groove on ‘Simple Things’, a song about the stuff that really matters in life, with backing vocals by Kim Carnes (She’s Got Betty Davis Eyes).
In fact, ‘UnCovered’ features a number of amazing guest artists including legendary guitarist Duane Eddy on ‘Shine On Me’, a song Beth wrote with Waylon Jennings, which also features backing vocals by Waylon’s widow, artist Jessie Colter-Jennings; Vince Gill duets with Beth 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 about how to make love last, which was a hit for Don Williams; Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan sing on ‘Five Minutes’, Lorrie’s first #1 hit; Amy Grant along with Ruth Trimble & Eilidh Patterson sing on the stand out track ‘Pray’ written with, and featuring guitar instrumentalist extraordinaire Muriel Andersen; ‘Almost Home’, a Mary Chapin Carpenter single from her greatest hits package ‘Party Doll’, was written by Chapin, Beth and longtime collaborator Annie Roboff who also co-produces several tracks on this collection.
‘Almost Home’ features the rollicking background vocals of ‘Wine Women & Song’ artists Gretchen Peters, Suzy Bogguss and Matraca Berg, alongside Bekka Bramlett who also appears playing blistering tambourine and backing vocals with George Marinelli’s electric guitar on ‘Meet Me Halfway’, the bluesy deeply groovy track written by Beth, Bonnie Raitt and Annie Roboff for Bonnie’s ‘Fundamental’ release.
The Scottish sessions co-produced 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, legendary bassist and longtime sideman on Beth’s UK tours, former Fairport Convention member Maartin 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.
Label: BNC Records
Catalogue Number: BNCCD005
Release Date: 20th January 2014