[9 December 2010]
Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman planned to record Big Lonesome with friend and fellow musician Tim Krekel. Sadly, Krekel unexpectedly got sick with cancer and died three months after being diagnosed. Chapman dedicates this album to Krekel, wrote a song in tribute to the man (“Tim Revisited”), and the duo appears on two of the three tracks they co-wrote together. Krekel’s son sings duet on one other one, the mutual admiration tune, “Sick of Myself”, in which the two friends express their desire to change places for a day. Chapman penned all of the other tunes by herself, except for the two country covers, Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and Cindy Walker’s “Going Away Party”. If you think this makes for a sad album, you would not be wrong. Although there are a few upbeat songs, Chapman’s grief is palpable. Big Lonesome carries the weight as a rich, melancholy vibe. If Aristotle was right about the cathartic nature of art, then Chapman’s release will benefit us a whole, because we cannot help but share in her feelings while listening.