Chapter In Verse
Boston Globe 5/1/98 caught around town
Chapter in Verse at the Paradise
It's rare that an unsigned band can nearly sell out the Paradise. Yet Chapter
in Verse did just that recently. The group is fronted by two dynamic women,
Rachel Clayton and Brenda White, whose zesty harmonies echo The Indigo Girls.
The songs ranged from "Inside You," which married alternative rock
and surf guitar, to the exhuberant love song, "Don't Go." Chapter
in Verse had a glam-tinged fashion sense, along with lots of instrumental colors,
from Rich Kramer's electric mandolin to an all-out percussion jam on "Sacrifice."
Some record company is going to be very glad to make this Chapter part of its
Sound Check (Boston) Chapter In Verse
Wow!! Are you in a local band? Do you aspire to be in a band and play your
music for the world to hear? Do you think people will be interested in your
music and what you have to say...? Well if you do, you might want to catch a
band called Chapter In Verse and take some notes.
I strolled onto Clarendon Street around 8:30pm only to find a line of 50 people
or so waiting to get into the Hard Rock. A line??? Whoever heard of such a thing?
The last time I ever remember a line to get into the Hard Rock to listen to
a band is when Aerosmith played there a couple of years ago. As I weaseled my
way in with my press pass I was bumped, shoved and had beer spilled all over
me as loyal fans jockeyed for position for a better view of the stage.
"Please welcome Chapter In Verse" was announced through the PA system
as a deafening roar escaped from the sea of crazed fans. Chapter In Verse is
an energetic sextuplet whose music reminds me of the Indigo Girls with charm.
Fronted by the sultry Rachel Clayton and vivacious Brenda White on both lead
vocals and guitars, you can't help but notice the perfect harmonies that generate
from their well trained voices. Although I had a tough time deciphering the
lyrics due to the lousy acoustics of the room, I could see people singing the
lyrics to almost every tune.
The rest of the lineup consists of a smooth, steady and cool bassist, a sharp
and savvy lead guitarist who also broke out a mandolin for a nice changeup,
a wild yet consistent drummer (was that purple hair?) producing the backbone
for this band and a unique (actually bizarre) enigma who was introduced only
as "Everyone knows the tambourine man".
With only a two song demo and a previously recorded cassette from a couple
of years ago available, I was shocked that Chapter In Verse has not put a full
project out on CD. I know the finances must be tough as a local band, but suck
it up and find a way to get one released. It's a must! From what I saw at the
Hard Rock, two or three more shows like that will pay for your whole project.
When all was said and done, the walls of the Hard Rock were sweating, the fans
were still singing on the way out and the waitstaff, hosts, cooks and management
were shellshocked that 500+ people were still partying and raging well after
11pm. And this was all for a not-so-little-known-band-anymore called Chapter
In Verse. - Hard Rock Cafe, Boston - 01/22/98 Volume 21
Chapter in Verse is a new girl group out of New England that will blow the
socks off of fans of straight-forward female rock bands. Dueling vocals and
acoustic guitars haven't been done this well since the early Indigo Girls, and
the additional band members skew the sound a bit towards Chrissie Hynde or early
Melissa Etheridge and the rougher feel of a Concrete Blonde. The beat is strong
and the vocals are inspired.
Lead members Brenda White and Rachel Clayton share duties as song writers and
lead singers. Their lyrics are drawn from the same well, and their musical styles
mesh fluidly. They seem to share the music equally, and the balance bodes well
for them. The chance of one "Garfunkeling" the other is slim. Their
harmonies and lyrical counterpoints fit seamlessly and owe a debt to the Indigo
Girls sound. Their meeting at an open mike explains a lot, and the touches of
mandolin and harmonica don't hurt the comparison either. Fortunately, the punchy
lyrics and electric guitar draw them away from being a Indigo Girls clone, and
make the comparison simply a reference point for the genre.
In grand indie tradition, the production is raw and untouched. It is a joy
to listen to because it is professionally done yet it encapsulates their energy.
The album has all the hallmarks of a live band that's just hitting its peak.
The overdubs are few and far between, and the music sounds exactly like it must
on the mixing board in the clubs. The liner notes support this theory. Each
shot is of the band members with instruments in hand -- grimacing at a note
or lost in the groove of the song.
Unfortunately, this sort of band seems to be falling out of vogue at the moment.
At its essence, Chapter in Verse is a rock band. You won't find any trendy Party
of Five songs on Wicked Smile or any VH-1 ready Jewel ballads. These are heartfelt,
straightforward songs without any frills or synthesizers. There's passion in
this album, and without a doubt, Chapter in Verse will continue to be a band
that builds a strong, solid following based on intense live performances. Here's
your chance to say you knew them when. - Jon Steltenpohl