A Review of the CD
by Kate Campbell

by Kate Campbell

Copyright 1999 - 4276 2
Compass Records
117 30th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
ph: (800)757-2277

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 11/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Kate Campbell has a special gift--the ability to inbue her songs with a gracious, gentle richness and texture. So much so, that while her listeners retain a geniune feeling of having experienced a series of short musical stories replete with characters and cultural references found in the South, her glimpses into the life of these everyday people evoke universal applicability and sentiment.

Nowhere is this more evident than in "Rosa's Coronas" in which a proud Cuban cigar maker ponders why her daughter fled to the United States, with its seemingly rampant violent crime. Her daughter could have followed in her footsteps but instead chose an unsure future --however, one that offers the prospects of greater personal freedom. With an at-odds mixture of nationalistic pride, spirituality and just a touch of personal envy, she prays for her daughter and her daughter's baby's safety while making plans to skip work and thus fail to meet her daily cigar quota on the day Pope John Paul is scheduled to visit Cuba.

The theme continues with the poignant "Fade To Blue," depicting a man still hopelessly and deeply in love and in a relationship with his departed wife. Campbell sings:

"Who Will Pray For Junior" achingly portrays a mother wondering who will care for her developmentally disabled son when she passes on? Her husband has already died and she knows she doesn't have long to live. She is eternally grateful that "Jesus sent him to us late, an angel to brighten up our day" but still plaintively asks, "O Lord could you keep him in the shadow of your wings?"

Turning more personal, Campbell delicately sings of endearing memories and familial ties in "In My Mother's House." She closes the song with:

"Heart Of Hearts" tackles the complexities of faith, belief, hope and doubt. Campbell, in part, sings: The slow-paced "Look Away," with Campbell backing herself on piano, is an extremely intriguing and different take on Southern history and culture. She sings: She closes with the touching "Ave Maria Grotto:" Campbell's sweet, convincing voice and the instrumentation backing her, organ, piano, guitar, drums and percussion, produce a complementary musical enhancement--the blend of each makes the other more captivating. This is a very melodic and reflective offering, replete with sensitivity and insight. Campbell's talent for transporting listeners to the landscapes of her visions is remarkable
and thoroughly enjoyable.

Campbell on lead and background vocals and piano, is supported by Don Johnson on bass; Kenny Vaughan on acoustic and electric guitar; Fran Breen on drums and percussion; Mike Hanna on B-3 organ and piano; Walt Aldridge on background vocals, mandolin, bouzouki and acoustic guitar; and Spooner Oldham on wurlitzer and piano.

Track List:

All songs by Kate Campbell.

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