TEXAN singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is in Pocklington tonight on night number three of her 17-date tour promoting her February album Hearts Of Glass.

Mostly written by Beth alone, the sparsely recorded songs "dig deep into the place within us where vulnerability meets strength", as can be heard at Pock Arts Centre, a venue that she loves playing.

"We came to Pocklington in 2014 on the Red Sky July tour and it was a great night. To me, the feeling of a place is more important than the size," she says, speaking from the back garden of BBC Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris's home studio, where she was recording one of his Under The Apple Tree Sessions.

"This time I have Robert Vincent touring with me, who I've known for a couple of years; he's opening the shows and then playing guitar and singing amazing harmonies for me. I'll have some of that!

"He's just won the UK Americana Music Association Emerging Artist Award and I love watching an artist blossom. His album's a beautiful thing. I'm jealous!"

Beth will be joined too by Robbie Taylor, on mandolin, fiddle and banjo, and Ruth Trimble, on keyboards and percussion, to play a set of a "bunch of favourites and new material". As ever, 59-year-old Beth will talk about those songs as well as play them.

"When you come to one of my shows, you're going to hear about what's happened in my life. It's part of the tapestry of the evening. There are stories on that record you couldn't make up," she says.

York Press:

"When you come to one of my shows, you're going to hear about what's happened in my life," says Beth Nielsen Chapman

"One song spanned 18 years in terms of figuring out what it was trying to be. I kept going back to the song, thinking 'what does that line mean?'."

One highlight, Epitaph For Love, charts the relationship of Beth and her husband. "It's about when he decided to leave me, after we'd had counselling, but actually we're doing great now – and I got a great song out of it!" she says. "When I play it, there are people who tell me they have struggled and parted and others who say they have stayed together."

Hearts Of Glass features such beautiful new compositions as You're Still My Valentine ("that took five or six years to write," says Beth); Enough For Me, co-written with producer Sam Ashworth, and Come To Mine, composed with 10cc's Graham Gouldman and Kevin Montgomery at Squeeze co-founder Chris Difford’s songwriting retreat in Somerset.

Beth also revisits Rage On Rage from 1991'sYou Hold The Key. "I love the original version with the London Chamber Orchestra – a beautiful string arrangement – but I now wanted to do it with a guitar, where it's more intimate and has a different feel to it," she says.

The "less is more" philosophy has been applied to Life Holds On too. "Now it's just guitar and my voice. The original version in 1990 was almost bombastic, with a string arrangement in the style of that time," she says.

Beth decided to "tame her inner control freak" by placing the responsibility for producing Hearts Of Glass in the hands of producer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Ashworth. "I made the decision to get out of the way and let Sam do his magic," she says. "He's the son of a famous producer, Charlie Peacock, who did The Civil Wars' album, and Charlie and I met because I really wanted the vibe of that record on this project, but then he got a call to do a big project for a college, and said, 'Why don't you use my son, Sam?', and Sam did a great job.

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"I always say I know a song is finished when I play it live and feel it in my gut," says Beth

"It taught me about letting go and I'm so happy about the result. Sam chose the musicians and some of the songs too. When I did the songs, singing and playing or just playing, he'd tell me what to do next. I was like putty in his hands!

"It was great not to have to think about engineering or producing, and I'm so proud of the work because I wanted to have the spirit of collaboration of working with someone new, and I'd totally work with Sam again."

Ashworth's contribution is not the only new element to Hearts Of Glass. Come To Mine was the result of working with Graham Gouldman and Kevin Montgomery for the first time. "I went to Chris Difford's songwriting retreat for the third year in a row and they pick three people to work together. It's the luck of the draw and I drew Graham and Kevin, and we did that song in an afternoon," Beth recalls.

She revels in such gatherings, "but a lot of songwriters come and they're a little nervous at first, thinking they're going to be judged, but it's such a music love fest, and with all the food and the camaraderie, it's heaven!" she says.

Beth's songwriting skills are such that she will be teaching at a couple of songwriting critiques, one in Milton Keynes, the other at Sage, Gateshead, while in Britain.

"Many songs can always be improved on," she says. "But I always say I know a song is finished when I play it live and feel it in my gut."

Beth Nielsen Chapman plays Pocklington Arts Centre tonight , 8pm, and Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, March 27, 7.30pm. Box office: Pocklington, 01759 301547 or at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk; Leeds, 0113 243 0808 or cityvarieties.co.uk.