A Review of the CD
"Fool's Paradise"
by Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald

"Fool's Paradise"
by Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald

Copyright 2003
Freewheel Records
P.O. Box 181
Nevada City, CA 95959

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 2/03
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald must have been winemakers in previous respective incarnations. No, this isn't an attempt to fill the void left by the departure of the infamous psychic Miss Cleo. It's because the music of this duo unfolds at a gentle, almost timeless pace, with nothing rushed or pushed past the ears of the listener. Like the spirits of the gods, it is presented and served as it was meant to be.

Their music also takes on the form of delicate secular spirituals, in content if not in what is commonly thought of as typical spiritual song style.

A number of the songs carry the imprint of 9/11 and our current headlines.

The second verse of "josephine" goes:

"...Like a shot heard around the world
like the only piece of news
It choked any other thing that might have spoken true
Just rally 'round the flag, boys, and demonize the foe
and turn those human faces into something that won't show
Be careful what you say here
In the land of the free
'Cause the walls are closing in
In this cage of certainty..."
Whether military grunt (or possibly even Jesus himself?), "rebel son," should give pause to all who lay their body down, whatever the cause:
"...Rebel son, your name they call
To bid farewell to one and all
To fight and die and never know
The simple life you left at home
While the flags of convenience unfurl
And right and wrong have all but gone from this world
Rebel son, your name they call..."
Woody Guthrie's pointed questioning in "i've got know" is performed a cappella by Kamm and MacDonald, with additional verses penned by Kamm and Utah Phillips.

Kamm and MacDonald's harmonies, on display throught the release, are most affective on the comforting and touching "lay down."

Reflecting on a past relationship in "the spires of lincoln hill," both sing:

"...Anna lee
Your touch was a thousand words
An ancient tongue
A language seldom heard
I guess only love..."
Kamm is joined periodically by MacDonald on the the title cut, "fool's paradise." Singing of lost dreams and the stardust chase, they close with:
"...We could kill the hapless dreamer
I've done it time after time
But who would it be then, living in this fool's paradise?
Who would we have then, living in our fool's paradise?"
Kamm on vocals and guitar and MacDonald on vocals, are assisted by Peter Grant on pedal steel guitar and dobro; Rob Bonner on bass; Tom MacDonald on guitar; Rich Stanmyre on bass; Nina Gerber on guitar; Gary Campus on congas and brushes; Mikail Graham on bass, fretless bass, guitar; electric sitar, EBow and atmosherics; Keith Allen on guitar and dobro; Tony Ungar on guitar and Stephen Holland on guitar.

Track List:

All songs by Paul Kamm, unless otherwise noted.

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