A Review of the CD
"Visions Of Plenty"
by Kate Campbell

"Visions Of Plenty"
by Kate Campbell

Copyright 1998 - 7 4251 2
Compass Records
117 30th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
ph: (800)757-2277

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 6/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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From the opening strains of the title cut "Visions Of Plenty," where the bounty in the cotton fields is being overshadowed by the lure of easy lucre in the casinos, to the closing "Sing Me Out," a classic weeping, Gothic-like tale, Kate Campbell plows the history and culture of the South, vividly illuminating the past and present in her latest release.

Possessing a charming, homey drawl that authenticates her chronicles, Campbell doesn't stridently take sides on the litmus issues--integration, busing, race relations. Instead, she presents direct experiences and feelings that resonate stronger than the most vociferous rantings and ravings. Her ability to envelop the listener in the time and moment she is recounting is remarkable. She also tosses a bit of humor into the mix for leavening.

In the new South, a casino full of dreams has replaced the legendary cotton field of dreams in "Visions Of Plenty." Campbell sings:

After trying her luck and succumbing to the ploys in the casino, she adds: Covering the racial relations boiling pot of the 1960s, "Crazy In Alabama" is the most striking cut on this release. Campbell emotively sings: The chorus goes: Backed by tasteful flourishes of a recorder and awash in sublety, "This Side Of Heaven" provides immediate respite from the upheaval in "Crazy In Alabama." Encompassing the yin and yang of faith and doubt, Campbell offers: "Bus 109" is a fairly understated but still strong depiction of forced busing providing the genesis in changing a young white woman's perspective on life. A blooming friendship develops with a young black woman from the projects because of this coerced commingling, a bond that would not have been forged without the busing conduit.

The spiritual-like "A Perfect World," backed primarily by piano, is a delightfully winsome tune about the refuge love provides in dealing with the omnipresent realities of everyday life. Campbell sings:

The lamentation "Deep Tang" packs a quietly forceful environmental wallop. In its entirety: On a lighter note, Campbell artfully depicts the victual scene right after someone passes on in "Funeral Food"--the perfect bookend to Cheryl Wheeler's "Estate Sale." With tongue-in-cheek, she sings: Let Campbell take you on a tour of Dixie--her Southern hospitality makes her a most ingratiating host.

Track List:

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