Welcome to my overview of women in country music, with reviews ranging from folk and bluegrass to honkytonk, rockabilly and Nashville pop. This is the second page covering the letter "C."
Kasey Chambers - see artist discography
Carol Channing & Webb Pierce "C&W" (Plantation, 1977)
Get it? C&W... like "Carol & Webb"? Clever, eh? Anyway, this is a really, really weird collaboration, and it's no coincidence that one of these tracks made it onto a volume of Rhino Records' Golden Throats compilations (which collect horrific vocal performances...) Channing sounds like a psychotic understudy for Eartha Kitt's Catwoman role on the Batman TV series. She really sounds bizarre, in typical Channing fashion. What inspired this collaboration may remain a mystery for generations to come, but this LP will doubtless keep its novelty status for an equally long period. Doesn't hold up musically, but it is an interesting footnote to Webb's legacy.
Carol Channing "...And Her Country Friends" (Plantation, 1978)
With Hank Locklin, Jimmy C. Newman, Rita Remington, Gordon Terry and Rufus Thibodeaux...
The Chapin Sisters "A Date With The Everly Brothers" (Lake Bottom, 2013)
Cee Cee Chapman "Twist Of Fate" (Curb, 1989)
Cee Cee Chapman "Cee Cee Chapman" (Curb/Capitol, 1990)
Marshall Chapman - see artist discography
Charlee "Standing In Your Shoes" (Amerama, 1978) (LP)
(Produced by Henry Strzelecki)
Although this pop/countrypolitan oriented album didn't really make much of a dent chartwise, it is noteworthy as a change of pace for bassist Henry Strzelecki, one of the most ubiquitous session players of the era. Here, Strzelecki steps into the producer's booth and also contributes several songs for the fledgling artist to perform: "Hand Me My Guitar (So Long Song)," "I Hate Me (For Hurting You)" and the title track, "Standing In Your Shoes." Much of the album's sound is shaped by arranger Bill Pursell, who adds strings and whatnot into the mix...
Carol Chase "Sexy Songs" (Casablanca, 1980) (LP)
Carol Chase "Blue Highway" (2005)
Kristin Chenoweth "Some Lessons Learned" (Sony Masterworks, 2011)
(Produced by Bob Ezrin)
Not counting appearances on Broadway cast recordings, this is actress Kristin Chenoweth's fourth studio album -- previous records showed her dabbling in jazz-standards, adult-contemporary and Christmas music -- but now it's time for a little twang. Cynics could be forgiven for suggesting that Chenoweth is slumming on this Top-40 styled country album, but ya know what? It kind of works. She aims for a modern Nashville vibe, with tinny, bombastic arrangements and plenty of formulaic schmaltz: self-empowerment songs, a weeper about daughters and daddies, one about God, a few raunchy/sassy songs and a fun novelty song about Dolly Parton ("What Would Dolly Do?," an album highlight...) Chenoweth starts out throwing her high-pitched voice into a kind of teenager-ish register, zeroing in on the Taylor Swift wannabee territory, but after she mentions Ms. Parton, she eases into a more natural-sounding Dolly vibe, and it's these songs that have the most resonance. Several songs are recycled from other artist's catalogs (Carrie Underwood, et. al.) but she puts her own stamp on them -- indeed, if she didn't have the baggage of her Hollywood career to distract potential fans, Chenoweth could probably make a serious stab at a Top Country career. And who knows? She just might. Definitely worth checking out if you're into mainstream Nashville stuff.
Cherlene "Songs From Archer" (2014)
Odd choice on the album graphics: both the front and back covers feature mildly porn-ish cartoons of a nubile, barely clad midsection bursting out of the teeniest-tiniest cutoffs imaginable, and this sleazy, redneck iconography leads you to expect a crass, unsubtle set of yee-haw, white-trash stereotypes which really doesn't match up with the soft-edged, melodic material on this album. Cherlene -- aka Jessy Lynn Martens -- is the musical voice of the Archer TV series, and she mixes twang and contemporary folk, even sounding like Amy Rigby on several songs. There are tunes where she tries on some Gretchen Wilson-esque tough-gal 'tude, and though this doesn't really ring true, it also doesn't really get in the way of enjoying this album. I've never seen Archer, so I don't get any of the inside jokes, but the music itself is fine... There's not a lot of heft to Ms. Martens voice, or the backing band, but they hit an understated groove that has a fairly unique feel in today's musical landscape, and thankfully doesn't echo any of the lavish overproduction or phony bluster of contemproary Nashville, while avoiding similar cliches from the pop and folk spectrum. Worth a spin.
Brandy Clark "12 Stories" (Slate Creek, 2013)
Terri Clark - see artist discography
Patsy Cline - see artist discography
Hillbilly Fillies - More Letter "C"
Hick Music Index
Sisters Who Swung: Women In Jazz & Blues