Hearts of Glass, a new album by Beth Nielsen Chapman, will be released in the United States on April 27. The celebrated songwriter issued the project in the United Kingdom in February prior to a four-week tour there.
Produced by Sam Ashworth, Hearts of Glass includes a couple of early songs recorded by Waylon Jennings (“Old Church Hymns & Nursery Rhymes”) and Willie Nelson (“If My World Didn’t Have You”). Rodney Crowell provides background vocals on “If I Didn’t Have You,” and Ruby Amanfu sings on five of the album’s 11 tracks. Hearts of Glass is Chapman’s 13th studio album and her first release since her 2016 induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Hearts of Glass marks the first time in a long time she has not been at least a co-producer. Inspired to create an album with clarity and space, in the same vein of the Civil Wars, Chapman contacted Charlie Peacock, their producer. Peacock embraced her vision. However, when their schedules did not align, Peacock set up an introductory meeting with his son and fellow producer, Sam Ashworth. After initial conversations with Ashworth, Chapman felt confident that this partnership would work and turned production completely over to him.
For Hearts of Glass, Chapman refreshed five songs that have appeared on her past albums: “Rage on Rage,” “All for the Love,” “Child Again,” “Life Holds On” and “Dancer to the Drum.” Ashworth approached the new recordings with minimal touches of production, occasionally moving the accompaniment from piano to acoustic guitar.
“Creatively this was an interesting new dynamic for me,” Chapman says. “Handing over so many of the decisions and trusting the process, while trying to quiet my inner control freak. By doing so, I ended up, not only with something I loved, but I learned a lot about myself and the places you can go when you let someone else drive.”
Chapman’s songwriting catalog includes “Down on My Knees” (Trisha Yearwood), “Five Minutes” (Lorrie Morgan), “Happy Girl” (Martina McBride), “Here We Are” (Alabama), “Nothing I Can Do About It Now” (Willie Nelson), “Strong Enough to Bend” (Tanya Tucker), and “This Kiss” (Faith Hill).
Other country artists who have recorded her songs include Suzy Bogguss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Terri Clark, Holly Dunn, Sara Evans, the Forester Sisters, Lee Greenwood, Andy Griggs, Emmylou Harris, Ty Herndon, Highway 101, Barbara Mandrell, Kathy Mattea, Jamie O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Pam Tillis, and Don Williams.
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