I’ve always felt that Marshall Chapman is a brilliant writer, and I’ve been following her career since her debut album, Me, I’m Feeling Free came out on Epic Records back in the mid-1970's.
I love her lyrics, her voice, guitar, and all around style. She’s an original. Before Chrissie Hynde, before Susan Tedeschi, Marshall was slingin’ a mean telecaster.
My all time favorite Chapman penned tune has got to be “Goodbye Little Rock and Roller” (also the title of her highly recommended by GRITZ memoir) but with the release of Mellowicious, I now have a close running second favorite in “Call The Lamas.” There are great songs and then there are those songs that are simply magic. Tunes channeled down from the heavens - main lined into the musical vein by a muse. This is one of those.
“Call the lamas/ I saw little Buddha in the checkout line in the grocery store today
Call the lamas/ He was sitting like a prince in the grocery cart with a perfect smile on his face. "
The whole album is filled with equally brilliant songs, including the tongue in cheek “I'm Just Pitiful That Way” and lyrically excellent songs” Have A Little Faith” and “Trouble With A Capital T,” not to mention the wonderfully uplifting sentiments of “I Love Everybody (I Love Everything).”
Marshall has been known to record other writers material, folks like the great Johnny Cash, but on Mellowicious, it’s all Marshall, every song written or co-written by the self labeled “Tall Girl.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that in this writer’s humble opinion, Mellowicious is Marshall Chapman’s finest work yet. Phone the neighbors. Wake the kids. Call the lamas. Between this and the new Kris Kristofferson epic, I can’t stop l listening long enough to review other CD’s. Says something about the quality of Marshall’s work.
-Michael Buffalo Smith