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Beth Nielsen Chapman at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook, CT, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Beth Nielsen Chapman - The Katherine Hepburn Center - Old Saybrook, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
We had the extreme pleasure of seeing Beth Nielsen Chapman perform at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center affectionately known as "The Kate" in Old Saybrook, Connecticut on Saturday, March 11, 2023. The intimate 285-seat cultural arts center named for Old Saybrook's beloved actor and resident, Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003), was the perfect venue to experience the music of Beth Nielsen Chapman (BNC) on tour to promote her 15th album entitled, CrazyTown, released in September 2022.

 

Beth Nielsen Chapman - photo by Luxury Experience
Beth Nielsen Chapman

The Kate has a rich diversity of cultural programs of music concerts, comedy nights, Met in HD programs, classic films including those featuring Katharine Hepburn, stage performances, and much more, and has a small museum dedicated to her life in and her extensive film career (Little Women, 1933, Bringing Up Baby, 1938, The Philadelphia Story, 1940, Woman of the Year, 1942, Adam's Rib, 1949, The African Queen, 1951, Pat and Mike, 1952, On Golden Pond, 1981) to name but a few of her memorable films. Her costumes, photographs, snippets of films, interviews, and home movies, make the museum a treasure for film lovers, and we arrived early so that we could spend time and enjoy the museum before the concert. 

For those unfamiliar with Beth Nielsen Chapman (BNC) and her volume of impactful music, she was born in Texas, grew up as one of five children in a military family and spent her youth moving across the US and Germany for her father's career before returning home to the US. Her life has been a rollercoaster of life's ups and downs, from the high of releasing her first album in 1980, to her heartbreak of having her first husband Ernest Chapman whom she married in 1979 succumb to cancer in 1994, to her own major health issues of being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, followed by a brain tumor in 2009, to the recent death of her second husband Bob Sherman whom she married in 2011 and whom died in December 2022 from leukemia. For many, these daunting life experiences would be crushing and devastating, yet Beth Nielsen Chapman is a survivor that has come through those trying challenges with renewed strength and uses her intricately woven tapestry of experiences as a rich pool from which to base her heartfelt lyrics that firmly resonate with her listeners. 

Throughout the years, this multi-talented singer songwriter has crafted pop and country songs for top talent including Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Elton John, Waylon Jennings, Amy Grant and many more, as well as for herself, and her music has been featured in many films and in television shows. She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016 and is a two-time Grammy Award and ACM Award Nominee. Her song, This Kiss, written for and performed by Faith Hill won the 1999 ASCAP's Song of the Year award. 

Mia Morris - photo by Luxury Experience
Mia Morris

The concert opened with the multi-talented 18-year-old Mia Morris, whom many might know from her appearance on the television show, America's Got Talent, who performed a few of her songs including Don't Do Sorry and No One Cares joined by Kellie Lin Knott who provided backing vocals and great harmonies with Mia on electric guitar and piano. 

Kellie Lin Knott - photo by Luxury Experience
Kellie Lin Knott

After a short intermission, Beth Nielsen Chapman took to the stage and there was a viable energy buzz from her fans as she opened with the first cut off her CrazyTown album entitled All Around the World, with Beth on acoustic guitar, Mia on electric bass, and Kellie providing backing vocals. Next on the set list was Put a Woman in Charge, also off the new album, which she wrote with Keb Mo'. She told the audience how she had just returned from a UK tour and had laryngitis when Keb Mo' called her and asked if they could get together to write a song. She whispered, yes, and Put a Women in Charge was the result. She followed that with 4leafclover, a song she described as that falling head over heels, blistering in love feeling, and It was another stunner off the new album. 

Taking a step back to her 1997 album, Sand and Water, she described the next song by stating that as a survivor, she is grateful that her songs have gone to the top of the charts, but she also loves her "heart box" songs that heal. After her husband Ernest died in 1994 of cancer, she wrote the lyrics to Sand and Water in 20 minutes, whose lyrics begin with "All alone I sat and cried...", which Elton John went on to perform it in place of Candle in the Wind. She told the audience that her second husband Bob Sherman died in December 2022 after a 5-year bout with leukemia and was sending the song out to all who had experienced loss. 

Beth Nielsen Chapman, Kellie Lin Knott, Mia Morris - Photo by Luxury Experience
Kellie Lin Knott, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mia Morris

For the next song, With Time, which she wrote with her best friend Annie Roboff, also off the CrazyTown album, Beth moved to piano on this heartrending song whose lyrics begin with "Time is a river, it goes by so fast, You can't catch the future, Or get back to the past..." and indeed it does. Beth continued with the love song, All I Have, written for the characters "Jennifer" and "Jack" on the television soap opera, Days of Our Lives, which she dedicated to "all the people who have stayed married out there, its's an art form, y'all." 

Next came more new music from the CrazyTown album with the songs, Pocket of My Past, followed by Dancin' in the Past, and The Universe. When she asked the audience for a request, they called out the Willie Nelson song, Nothing I Can About it Now, which Beth had written for him, and had a bit of fun performing that one. 

Beth described the next song, Every December Sky, off her 2002 Deeper Still album, as a song which she had written two years earlier and did not know it at the time, but she wrote the song for herself. In 2000 she had breast cancer and after 1.5 years of chemo and radiation, her hair was falling out in winter like the leaves on the trees and coming back in spring. For this emotionally evocative song it was just Beth on piano, and it was an intensely intimate moment of connection between the artist and her audience. 

Joined by Mia and Kellie on stage, they launched into Hey Girl (We Can Deal with It) off the CrazyTown album, followed by The Kiss, which she joked as having paid for her son's college tuition, and Everywhere We Go, before closing the memorable evening of exceptional music, with the last song off the new release entitled, Walk You to Heaven. A veteran performer, singer songwriter, musician, Beth Nielsen Chapman knows how to engage her audience with her captivating lyrics and amazing vocals. While this was our first introduction to Beth, we hope that it will not be our last. 

If you can catch a live performance during her CrazyTown tour, do so, but in the meantime, pick up a copy of the CrazyTown album, for the music as well as the lyrics in the booklet inside, which provide an intriguing glimpse into the amazing talent of BNC. 

Until next time, keep enjoying the music! 

A Sampling of Beth Nielsen Chapman CrazyTown Tour Dates

 

The Kate, Old Saybrook, CT
March 11, 2023
Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
March 12, 2023
Wisconsin Singer Songwriter Series, Mequon, WI
March 24, 2023
Monroe Arts Center, Monroe, WI
March 25, 2023
The Venue, Aurora, IL
March 30, 2023
The Acorn, Three Oaks, MI
March 31, 2023
The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI
April 1, 2023
Club Café, Pittsburgh, PA
May 13, 2023
Natalie's Music Hall, Columbus, OH
May 14, 2023
Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival, Richardson, TX
May 20, 2023
Underneath the Stars Music & Arts Festival, Cinderhill Farm, UK Tour
August 4-6, 2023
It Starts with a Song, Nashville, TN
August 21-24, 2023

For a complete tour calendar, please visit the website: www.BethNielsenChapman.com 

Beth Nielsen Chapman social media 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bethnielsenchapman
Instagram: www.instagram.com/beth_nielsen_chapman
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/Bcarolthwa 

A Sampling of Upcoming Programs at The Kate
 

Haley Reinhart
Concert
March 22, 2023
Todd Barry
Comic
March 25, 2023
Beau Bolero
Concert
March 31, 2023
Spyro Gyra
Concert
April 5, 2023
Kaki King
Concert
April 6, 2023
Marc Broussard
Concert
April 11, 2023
Der Rosenkavalier
Met in HD
April 15, 2023
Suzanne Vega
Concert
April 18, 2023
Tom Rush & Matt Nakoa
Concert
April 22, 2023
Melissa Manchester
Concert
April 26, 2023
Judy Collins
Concert
May 2-3, 2023
Don Giovanni
Met in HD
May 20, 2023
Scythian
Concert
May 28, 2023
Curtis Salgado
Concert
June 8, 2023
Eliot Lewis
Concert
June 23, 2023

For a complete listing of upcoming programs, please visit their website: www.KatharineHepburnTheater.org 

The Kate Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, as well as one-hour before each event, and is closed major holidays. 

The Katharine Hepburn - Cultural Arts Center - Old Saybrook, CT 

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center ("The Kate")
300 Main Street
Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475
United States
Telephone: +1-860-510-0473
Tickets: +1-860-510-0453
Website: www.KatharineHepburnTheater.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thekate
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thekate_ct 

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© March 2023. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

 
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