Marshall Chapman - The Tall Girl Skinny


Home at last!

Well, after a year spent mostly on the road, Chris and I are home for a while.

But there was no rest for the weary, as both the Americana Music Festival and Southern Festival of Books were gearing up upon our return.

First up: my AMA showcase at the Station Inn, where Will Kimbrough, who accompanied me on guitar, and I kicked things off on a bill that included the Wronglers (led by Jimmie Dale Gilmore) and Peter Rowan. Next night: the AMA Awards Show, where I presented the “Artist of the Year” award to Buddy Miller. Then Saturday was my 12th Annual Literary In-the-Round at the Bluebird. Clyde Edgerton, Matraca Berg, Mark Childress, and I played until well after midnight before an appreciative crowd that included Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. Some nights are diamonds.

Big Lonesome (my current CD) is on the preliminary ballot (twice!) for a Grammy!! Once for “Americana Album of the Year” and the other for “Americana Producer of the Year” (Michael Utley). Are you a member of NARAS? If so, please consider Big Lonesome when you go pulling that lever! It’s my finest work to date; The Philadelphia Inquirer named it “Best Country/Roots Album of 2010″; and Paste Magazine has called it my “masterpiece.” (Big Lonesome may be ordered by clicking here.)

Since the last Skinny, I’ve played Landhaven outside Philly (where I ran into childhood friends Springs Steele and Saralee Ray Mollo); the Plantation Club in Savannah; and a benefit at the Charleston Library Society for the Nature Conservancy of South Carolina and the Library, organized by my friend–since–childhood Monte Parsons Gaillard. It’s not every day you can look out into an audience and see the flower girl from your parents’ wedding (Arrington Walker) sitting alongside a former SEC football coach! (Bobby Johnson with wife Catherine) Earlier that day, Chris and I got to spend a few hours on the beach at Sullivan’s Island. For lunch we headed over to the Isle of Palms, where we had the best fried shrimp po’ boys and pimento–cheese grits either of us had ever tasted! (The shrimp were fresh–caught from the creek that morning.)

After Charleston, we headed back south to Sea Island for a book–signing party hosted by my college friend, Ruthanna Bost. The next night, I performed at the Cloister Club Room. (It’s not every day you have a greenroom where the eight leaders of the Free World once met for a summit conference!) After Sea Island, we again crossed the Georgia–South Carolina line (third time in four days) for a concert at the Cannery on Dataw Island. In the audience was my twin brother–in–law, Tommy Webster, and his wife, Ann. Note: While I was performing inside, Chris was outside being beseiged by raccoons at my merch table on the porch. I am not making this up. He turned to see a raccoon stealthily moving along the merch table with one of my CDs clutched in his little bandit–claws!

And on that note …

I wish you all a Happy Halloween!


P.S. Gaile Owens update: On September 28 (the anniversary of what would have been her execution date), Gaile Owens received the remaining three votes needed for parole. Nine days later, she walked out of prison for the first time in over 26 years. To those of you who signed petitions, this is your story, too. Click below for news accounts.
Tennessean video
Channel 5 video
AP story


Presenting "Artist of the Year" award to Buddy Miller (photo: Erika Goldring)

Cloister Club

Performing in the Cloister Club Room at Sea Island (photo: Eliot VonOtteren/Sea Island Acquisitions LLC)

For more pictures from the road, click here.

What happens when you just shower and show up?

Beyond WordsClick here to find out.

Marshall recommends …

the following playlist:

  1. Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield)
  2. I Want to Hold Your Hand (T.V. Carpio)
  3. Simple Twist of Fate (Jerry Garcia Band)
  4. Ain’t Hurtin’ Nobody (John Prine)
  5. Okolona, Tennessee (Kenny Vaughan)



Halloween, 1952, Marshall with sister Mary in Enoree, South Carolina

Pearl Drop

Pearl Drop

Hummingbird Hall of Fame

Marshall Chapman - Hummingbird Hall of FameCurrent inductees (friends who shared the September newsletter) are:

Thad Allen, Laura Hogan Bailey, Bill Barker, David Bennett, David Booker, Mark Brown, Tom Corcoran, Ralph Day, Joseph DesChamps, Tere Eaglen, Connie Greenwell, Sue Havlish, Beverly Hill, Jim Hoehn, Linda Jackson, Ann Kelly, Lisa Knight, Leesa Martin, Jan Ingar Pedersen, John Jack Price, Anne Rast, Diana Revell, Kelson Slayman, Debby Solomon, Sloane Spencer, Laurie Spezzano, Whitworth Stokes and Lloyd Welke.

To join this esteemed and beloved community, please share this newsletter.

Subscribe to The Tall Girl Skinny