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An Evening with Marshal Chapman

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Nashia Horne

Professor Arnoult


20 September 2011

An Evening with Marshall Chapman

You'd be hard pressed to meet someone such as Marshall Chapman. I attended her reading of her just released book, "They Came to Nashville". She also performed select songs from her CD titled, "Big Lonesome". I have to say prior to seeing performance, I was a bit skeptical of seeing a famous rock and roll/country singer-songwriter. I love rock and roll, don't get me wrong. It was the country part that had me doubtful. I got to the auditorium while Ms. Chapman was doing her sound check. I have to say I fell in love with her speaking voice. It's smoky with age with a tinge of humor laced into her southern accent. I think it was the accent that made me like her, and maybe a bit of self deprecating humor. I always appreciate it when an artist does not take their stage persona seriously. I was ready to hear stories and absorb her songs.

It was a bare performance. On the stage was Ms. Chapman, her guitar, a stand for her books and notes, and a carpet. After a great introduction by Lincoln Memorial University's writer-in residence, Darnell Arnoult, Ms. Chapman opened with a song that for some reason, escapes my memory. The song was pretty rocking and I found myself tapping my feet on the floor and clapping my hand against my thigh. I could see exactly how it would look if she had her band backing her on that small stage. If I knew the words to her songs, I know I'd be singing along with her.

I did enjoy her story of how the lyrics to "I'm Sick of Myself" came to life and the story for "Call the Llamas". "I'm Sick of Myself" came from an exchange of emails between Ms. Chapman and her best friend, Tim Krekel. She wanted to exchange lives with him for just a day or two because she was tired of being her. I have those days when you just want to be out of your own body and take a break from your self. "Call the Llamas" was a hilarious tale of standing in the line at the supermarket, a baby in the wagon in front of her and three girls racing around their harried mother. The visual I received from hearing the story was vivid. I could see this little baby sitting in the cart, a bit of drool on his lip and the three little girls in running after each other in a circle. I could see the girls stopping to stare at the baby and walk over to him and give him a kiss as he leaned over the seat in the cart.

I nearly cried when Ms. Chapman started to speak about her friendship with Tim Krekel. I agree that not many people are fortunate to have a good friend or good friends. It made me think of my own friends and how honest they are with me about everything, never sparing



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