Back To Love, the latest studio album from renowned singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, will be released on May 25th on her own independent label, BNC Records, distributed by Thirty Tigers/RED. In conjunction with its release, she’ll launch a North American tour, which will keep her on the road through the fall. Dates are being finalized now, but the first confirmed shows are listed below.
Nielsen Chapman returns to her trademark soaring melodies, bell-clear vocals and soul-penetrating lyrics on Back To Love. A joy permeates the album from its very first notes: “Hallelujah,” a collaboration with singer/songwriter/Americana stalwart Darrell Scott, rocks headlong into love’s central dilemmas while “I Can See Me Loving You” is a freewheeling romp with Nielsen Chapman playing bouzouki and Scott, who co-wrote the song with her, contributing harmonies and guitars. Of the 11 remarkable tracks, she penned six alone, including the evocative “How We Love” and album centerpiece “Happiness,” which she began writing in 2000, while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.
The sublime torch ballad “I’ll Give My Heart” was written with Benmont Tench, keyboardist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and she also collaborated with Michael McDonald and Danny Flowers. “Even As It All Goes By” – which closed out 2009 as BBC Radio 2’s “Record of the Week” and was the only new single added to the “A List” of BBC Radio 2’s playlist at the top of the year – is a track that she and best friend/longtime co-writer Annie Roboff had been working on for years.
Roboff, who co-wrote “This Kiss” with Nielsen Chapman, a song Faith Hill took to No. 1 in 1999, was the first to suggest that perhaps Beth was experiencing more than writer’s block as she struggled with lyrics for some of Back To Love’s key songs. Doctors discovered that a fast growing but benign brain tumor was pressing into Beth’s left frontal lobe, the language center of the brain.
“I woke up in the recovery room after my surgery and even before the waves of anesthesia subsided, I thought of one of the lines I’d been trying to write for weeks!” recalls Nielsen Chapman. “It’s no coincidence that many of these songs are about awakening the heart and letting love in, embracing every moment as it comes flying through the hourglass.”
In addition to her own hits (including “All I Have,” “In the Time it Takes,” “Shake My Soul”), Nielsen Chapman’s songs have been performed by numerous artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. One song that will always have a special place in her heart is the title track from her 1997 album, Sand and Water. Written after the death of her husband from cancer, the song is a moving meditation on life, death and survival that has brought hope to countless people struggling with grief. It was performed by Elton John on his 1997 U.S. tour and continues to provide a steady flow of emails and letters from those who’ve written to tell Beth how the song helped them to heal.
As an artist Beth has released nine albums filled with songs that have unfolded along with her amazing life, including two releases; the classic Hymns which is a collection of Latin hymns, and Prism: The Human Family Songbook, a culturally rich, double CD sung in nine languages that earned praise not only from the critics but from Archbishop Desmond Tutu as well. She has had incredible success in the UK, as a favorite of BBC Radio 2, her album “Deeper Still” voted “Album of the Year” by the legendary Terry Wogan, and more recently Nielsen Chapman was invited by Robert Plant to perform with him and the London Oriana Choir at Abbey Road Studios for a fundraiser which raised a quarter of a million pounds for Cancer Research.
Back To Love reflects the return to her passion – songwriting – which, as ever, is a reflection of the many twists and turns her life has taken since the release of her debut album. Buoyed by hope and healed by the music she’s continued to create, Beth Nielsen Chapman is happier (and healthier!) than ever and, as Back To Love vividly attests, doing the best work of her life.
The track listing for Back To Love is as follows:
2. I Can See Me Loving You
3. Even As It All Goes By
4. How We Love
5. I Need You Love
6. More Than Love
8. I’ll Give My Heart
11. The Path Of Love
Beth Nielsen Chapman – 2010 North American Tour Dates
5/23 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
5/24 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
6/17 New York, NY Joe’s Pub
6/25 Jackson, Mississippi ADT “Dances Of Faith” International Ballet Competition
8/8 Edmonton, AB Edmonton Folk Music Festival