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Blues and Lamentations
Artist: Kate Campbell
Label: Large River Music
Length: 13 tracks
“It’s pans of biscuits. Bowls of gravy. Pans of biscuits. We shall have.”
Kate Campbell has served up a heaping helping of comfort music for the soul on her latest album entitled _Blues and Lamentations_. The words above are from the second track on the album called "Pans of Biscuits." It’s a traditional track brought back to life by Kate and her back up crew who play everything from acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin, cello, fiddle, accordion, banjo, piano and assorted percussion. On two of the tracks there’s even a very New Orleans sounding jazz brass trio playing clarinet, trombone and trumpet.
This album finds Kate Campbell exploring the blues, but not necessarily the blues of slide guitars and Robert Johnson at the crossroads at midnight. Instead, Kate is exploring a more sorrowful strain of country music. Call it blue country, but it’s not necessarily depressing. It does, however, certainly creates a mood. On the first track entitled "Miles of Blues" she makes it plain that everywhere there’s blues. Everyone’s got the blues. No one is immune.
“Chicago to St. Louis. Down to New Orleans. Trouble has no trouble finding everywhere between.”
This sets the theme for the whole album. Everything is formed and melded out of the blues. Nothing is left untouched. But it doesn’t have to be depressing. It's better to think of it more as helpful. It’s just a way of dealing with life and what it hands us. Take these lines from the song "Fade To Blue" about a man grieving for the woman he loves:
“Every night it’s the same routine. He has some hurting he’s got to do. Sets up a shrine to her memory so he can fade to blue.”
There’s also a very spiritual aspect to this brand of blue country Kate Campbell is singing. In "Genesis Blues," Kate sings:
“Jesus is lord of Picayune and Mississippi welcomes you. Just remember when you’re passing thru, everything started with the blues.”
But, again from "Miles of Blues," Kate finishes with:
“The good news is there’s
music to ease your worried mind. When you got blues...miles and miles of
blues. And there’s nothing like a guitar crying in the night when
Wherever you go, there’s blues and this music will get you thru the night....
Chris Barlow 12/18/2005