A Review of the CD
by Kate Campbell
Copyright 1999 - 4276 2
by Kate Campbell
117 30th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
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
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:
"Every night it's the same routine.
"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
He has some hurting to do.
Sets up a shrine to her memory so he can fade to blue.
He takes her picture from its hiding place.
Tells it he loves her a time or two.
Carefully touches her unchanging face.
Watches her fade to blue...
Every morning he wakes from the dream.
Puts on a mask no one else sees through.
Goes through the motion of being free..."
Turning more personal, Campbell delicately sings of endearing memories
and familial ties in "In My Mother's House." She closes the song with:
"...I spend my days with music and words
"Heart Of Hearts" tackles the complexities of faith, belief, hope and doubt.
Campbell, in part, sings:
Playing these songs from town to town
And everyone sees what they want to see
But I'm just the girl who used to sing in my mother's house
I am a prodigal daughter but in my wandering
I have found there is a wideness in mercy
and there'll always be a place for me in my mother's house"
"...Some just believe
The slow-paced "Look Away," with Campbell backing herself on piano, is
an extremely intriguing and different take on Southern history and culture.
Some only doubt and some proclaim they've got it all figured out
Some keep their thoughts to themselves afraid to come out of their
In my heart of hearts I want to believe that love never fails and peace
will prevail and hope lives on if I can get to the deepest part inside
my heart of hearts..."
"I can still recall the night lightning burned the mansion down.
She closes with the touching "Ave Maria Grotto:"
We all stood in our pajamas on that hallowed southern ground.
When the flames had turned to ashes only blackened bricks remained
and sixteen stately doric columns there beneath a veil of gray.
And it's a long and slow surrender retreating from the past.
It's important to remember to fly the flag half mast and look away.
I was taught by elders wiser love your neighbor, love your God.
Never saw a cross on fire; never saw an angry mob.
I saw sweet magnolia blossoms.
I chased lightning bugs at night.
Never dreaming others saw our way of life in black and white.
Part of me hears voices crying.
Part of me can feel their weight.
Part of me believes that mansion stood for something more than hate..."
"Brother Joseph was a simple man
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
Collected rubbish for his building plans.
Alabama clay, shells from the sea, broken china plates and rosary beads.
Ave Maria, Ave Maria.
Well he never saw the wonders of the world but he built them all in
People talk about the places they've been but Joseph found peace within.
And when times erodes all things man-made true devotion will still
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.
All songs by Kate Campbell.
- Rosaryville (4:28)
- Porcelain Blue (3:42)
- Rosa's Coronas (4:49)
- In My Mother's House (3:35)
- Heart Of Hearts (3:49)
- Fade To Blue (3:02)
- Who Will Pray For Junior (3:56)
- Rosemary (2:53)
- Look Away (5:27)
- Ave Maria Grotto (5:02)
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