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Beth Nielsen Chapman


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Folk pop

Status:

Most recent release, Liv On (with Olivia Newton-John and Amy Sky, 2016); most recent solo release, Uncovered (2014)

See also:

Beth Nielsen Chapman's site

Wikipedia's entry for Beth Nielsen Chapman

Comparisons:

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kate Campbell, Sarah McLachlan

Covers/own material:

Own and co-written, occasional covers

General comments:

Beth has a lovely voice, but her music is too mainstream for my taste. Very nice, but nothing stands out from what I've heard. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Comments about live performance:

I went to see her in Ann Arbor in May. She has a stage presence that makes you feel that she's just playing to a room full of friends, rather than doing a paid concert. (1/2003, cdavis@tir.com)

Recommended first album:

Sand and Water

Recordings:

  • Beth Nielsen Chapman (1990)
  • You Hold the Key (1993)
  • Sand and Water (1997)
  • Greatest Hits (compilation, 1999)
  • Deeper Still (2002)
  • Hymns (2004)
  • Look (2005)
  • Prism (2007)
  • EP Exclusive (compilation, 2009)
  • Back to Love (2010)
  • The Mighty Sky (children's, 2012)
  • Uncovered (2014)
  • Liv On (with Olivia Newton-John and Amy Sky, 2016)

Sand and Water

Release info:

1997—Reprise Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Beth Nielsen Chapman—organ, guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, dulcimer, whistle (instrument), vocals, background vocals

Guest artists:

Thomas McAninch—French horn
Dominic Miller—gut string guitar
Michael Omartian—conductor, string arrangements
Dave Pomeroy—bass
Michael Rhodes—bass
Kevin Savigar—piano
Kirby Shelstad—percussion, hand drums
Tommy Simms—bass
Steuart Smith—electric guitar
Bobby G. Taylor—oboe
Mike Utley—Hammond organ
Barry Walsh—piano
Jonathan Yudkin—mandolin
Annie Roboff—bandoneon
Tim Lauer—accordion
Jim Keltner—drums
Brian Barnett—drums, hand drums
Pat Buchanan—electric guitar
Larry Chaney—electric guitar
Mike Haynes—trumpet
Jelly Roll Johnson—harmonica
Paul Leim—percussion, drums
Sam Bush—mandolin
Bill Lloyd—background vocals
Michael McDonald—vocals
Bonnie Raitt—dobro, vocals, slide guitar
Matt Rollings—piano

Produced by:

Jim Ed Norman, executive producer; Annie Roboff, associate producer

Comments:

This album is the first Beth Nielsen Chapman album I've bought, but I'm fairly impressed. Written after the death of her husband from cancer, the album focuses mainly on that event, and what it has meant to her both during his illness and afterwards. However, the album is not as depressing as it may sound, as Beth's lyrics affirm her wonder at the cycle of life and show her appreciation of beauty in all things, including death. (jjhanson@att.net)

Deeper Still

Release info:

2002—Artemis Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Beth Nielsen Chapman—acoustic piano; acoustic guitar; "telephone books"; highstring "angel guitars"; keyboards & keyboard bass; Tibetan bowl; sounds of India recorded by with minidisc on rickshaw at dawn in Taj Mahal and Banares, India in November, 1999; vocals; background vocals

Guest artists:

Kenny Malone—drums (1, 4), percussion (1, 3)
Bill Lloyd—bass, guitar (1)
John Hyatt—guitar, background vocals (1)
Andy Bey—background vocals (1)
Tommy Sims—background vocals (1); guitar, e-bow, bass, drum programming (2)
Danny Duncan—drum programming (2)
Dan Needham, Darrell Tibbs—additional hand drums and percussion (2)
Paul Reisler—Hammered & e-bowed dulcimer
John Hobbs—ghost synth pad (3), synth pads & intro interlude arrangement (11)
John Prine—background vocal (3)
Dave Polmeroy—bass (4)
Johnathan Yutkin—mandolin (4)
Mike Noble—guitar (4)
Scott Sanders—Steele (4)
Barry Marshall—synth (4)
Annie Roboff—acoustic piano (4), keyboards (5, 6), background vocals (4, 5)
Bonnie Raitt—background vocals (4, 5)
Chris Bruce—bass & electric guitars (5, 6)
Jamie Muhoberac—keyboards (5, 6)
Earl Harvin—drums, percussion (5, 6)
Dr. Dre Loop—drums (7)
John Ragusa—bass flute (8, 9), penny whistle (8), conch shell (9)
Vince Gill—background vocal (8)
Connie Ellisor—string arrangements (8, 11)
Victor Krauss—bass (9)
Eric Darken—percussion (9)
Bill Miller—Native American flute (9)
John Catchings—cello (10)
Emmylou Harris, Kimmie Rhodes—background vocals (11)
Pamela Sixfin, Carl Gorodetzky, David Davidson, Mary K. Vanosdale, David Angell, Alan Umstead, Lee Larrison, Kristin Wilkinson, Gary Vanosdale, Robert F. Mason, Anthony Lamarchina, Mike Casteel—strings

Produced by:

Beth Nielsen Chapman, Tommy Sims (2), Annie Roboff (4–6), Carmen Rizzo (5, 6)

Comments:

The long awaited new album from BNC grabbed me with the first song "World of Hurt" and didn't let go. (cdavis@tir.com)

Back to Love

Release info:

2010—BNC Records—BNCBTL001

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Beth Nielsen Chapman— vocals; bouzouki, guitar, foot clomping, telephone books, piano, organ

Guest artists:

Eilidh Patterson—background vocals (1, 9, 11)
Darrell Scott—background vocals; acoustic, electric, slide & electric slide guitars; Bolivian charango; bouzouki; guitar; mandolin
Dave Polmeroy—bass
Craig Krampf—drums (1, 5, 6); percussion (1, 2, 5, 6, 9); lawn furniture (6)
Brian Pruitt—drums & percussion (2, 3, 7, 9)
Annie Roboff—Wurlitzer (Yamaha Motif)
Pat Buchanan—electric guitar
Nick Brofy—loop programming
Victor Caldwell—bass (3, 7)
John Ragusa—trumpets & piccolo
Joe Murphy—tuba, euphonium, trombone
Karen Winkelmann—violin (3-5, 7-11)
Wei Tsun Chang—violin (3, 9, 11)
Seanad Chang—viola (3, 9, 11)
Anthony LaMarchina—cello (3, 8, 9, 11)
Gary Malkin—piano (4)
Carrie Bailey—violin (4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
Carolyn Huebel, Erin Hall, Janet Darnall—violins (4, 5, 7, 10)
Monisa Angell—violas (4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
Chris Farrell—violas (4, 5, 7, 10)
Sari Reist, Felix Wang—cellos (4, 5, 7, 10)
Danny Flowers—guitar (5); slide & 12 string guitars (6); Telecaster (6, 9); 12 string slide guitar (9)
Benmont Tench—piano (8)
David Davidson, Zeneba Bowers, Pam Sixfin, David Angell—violins (8)
Jim Grosjean—viola (8)
John Catchings—cello (8)
Michael McDonald—piano (10)
Phil Cunningham—box & whistle (11)
Maartin Allcock—bass (11)
Carl Marsh—strings and horns arrangements and conducting

Produced by:

Beth Nielsen Chapman; track 3 co-produced by Annie Roboff

Comments:

Many lovely moments, but mostly this just fades into a pleasant background. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Beth Nielsen Chapman released the DVD If Love Could Say God's Name in 2007. Her songs appear on numerous compilations. Songs only available on compilations include:

  • "Stoney End" on Time and Love: The Music of Laura Nyro (1997)
  • "I Will Know Your Love" on the Message in a Bottle soundtrack (1999)
  • "Love Me Tender" on American Lullaby (2003)
  • "In the Eye Abides the Heart" on Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster (2004)
  • "Not So Close Not So Far" with Carlos Varela and Santiago Feliu on Bridge to Havana (2004)
  • "A Better Word for Love" with Graham Brown on Best of Country Gospel 2 (2005)
  • "If I Could Stay Asleep" with Patsy Cline on her Duets album (2005)
  • "Be Still My Soul" with Michael McGoldrick and Donald Shaw on Hands Across The Water: A Benefit for the Children of the Tsunami (2005)
  • "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" on Song of America (2007)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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