Marshall Chapman comes home to Spartanburg

Marshall Chapman, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter/author who was born and raised in Spartanburg, returns home in June to perform and to be inducted into the Spartanburg Music Trail, the town’s open-air hall of fame. The music trail induction takes place Wednesday, June 5 at 2 p.m., and Chapman performs at the Chapman Cultural Center on Friday, June 7. The concert will be a release celebration of her latest album, Blaze of Glory, and a fundraiser. Concert proceeds will go to the Chapman Cultural Center to promote arts education.The show starts at 7 p.m.

This will be Chapman’s second solo concert at the David W. Reid Theatre. Her first in 2010 was a rollicking sold-out affair that people still talk about. Chapman promises more of the same on June 7.

“I’ll be singing songs from the new album, plus some of the older stuff. I really don’t plan that much anymore. I just walk out on stage, sniff the air, and let ‘er rip. Each audience is different, but a hometown audience… well, that’s extra special. Plus, I’ll be performing in a building that bears the name of my family, so that’ll be beyond special,” she recently said. “Spartanburg has an incredible musical heritage. I mean, where else can you hear, as I did growing up, Jan Peerce of the Metropolitan Opera at Twitchell Auditorium one night and Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs at the National Guard Armory the next?”

Marshall Chapman, Blaze of GloryBlaze of Glory is Chapman’s 13th album. Many of the songs written by the 64-year-old rocker are about unrequited love and facing mortality without fear. It is being hailed by critics as her masterpiece. Singer/songwriter Tom Russell says it’s “her best yet,” and Grammy Award-winning musician Rodney Crowell concurs, calling it “the most satisfying record yet from the Goddess of Tall.” Of the 11 songs, Chapman wrote all but two.

Chapman attributes time spent in Mexico as the inspiration for many of the songs. “I had myself convinced my muse lived down there,” she said. “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.”

For the past 40 years, she’s mostly lived in Nashville. To date she has released 13 critically acclaimed albums, and Emmylou Harris, Joe Cocker, Irma Thomas and Jimmy Buffett are just a few who’ve recorded her songs. Over the years, she’s toured extensively on her own and opened for everybody from Buffett to John Prine to the Ramones. Chapman is a contributing editor to Garden & Gun and Nashville Arts Magazine. She has also written for The Oxford American, Southern Living, W, Performing Songwriter and The Bob Edwards Show. But “music,” she says, “is my first and last love.”

Tickets to the fundraiser concert are $25 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets that include a signed copy of Chapman’s new CD are $45 for adults and $30 for students.

Buy tickets online at or by calling (864) 542-2787. The box office (at 200 East Saint John Street in Spartanburg) is open Monday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; and Friday, noon to 4 p.m. It is open noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday if a ticketed show is being promoted, and two hours prior to a show’s start.

The Chapman Cultural Center is a nonprofit cultural arts venue and home to eight local “partner” organizations that specialize in visual art, local art, folk art, music, song, dance, theatre, science and local history.

Via: Chapman Cultural Center