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KATE CAMPBELL —TWO NIGHTS IN TEXAS (Large River Music)

 

www.largerivermusic.com

www.katecampbell.com

 

 

Singer-songwriter Kate Campbell has long been one of those whose work I have championed. Her studious songs are of the kind that edge their way to one’s heart, opposed to knocking you sideways or hitting you front on with some hooky  lyric or infectious melody. Although she can do this too! Strong and unbending in voice and, lyrically Kate Campbell has an inbuilt ability to transfer the listener deep into the heart of America’s South in double quick time. Supported on the two nights playing live in Texas by dobro ace Sally Van Meter (background vocals) and the versatile Scott Ainslie (guitar, banjo, tambourine, background vocals) plus Don Porterfield on bass and harmony vocals the guitar and piano playing Campbell sings of cotton fields, poor black women struggling against the tide of hatred and segregation. Of when they called in the Nation Guard in Alabama during a time when there was a coloured line for black people and people were hankering for a change of how they were treated when thy stood up for their rights. Kate saw all this and more better than most white girls through her father. Who as a preacher met all kinds and viewed them all the same and on top of this there were days when as a child the family rode took trips in a Galaxie 500; talking of trips ‘Jesus And Tomatoes’ is a humorous piece that was inspired by a sign spotted at a roadside fruit and vegetable stall in west Carolina (she doesn't say whether it was, north or south). Another that speaks of the lure of the road is ‘See Rock City’. That rattles along at a nifty lick as she speaks in romantic terms of feeling the wind through her hair and through her weaving together spare stark southern textures that take in folk, blues, gospel and country. A good example of her work is the vibrant, Dobro prompted ‘Genesis Blues’ that has her claim ‘it all started with the blues’ and if you were from the deep South it is a logical assumption.     

During the course of the shows Campbell speaks of ‘Tupelo’s Too Far’ (1996) being her breakthrough song even though she had been writing since she was a child ‘it felt like I was getting somewhere with this and ended it up the way I wanted it’. Meanwhile ‘Rosa’s Coronas / Lanterns of the Levee’ takes the listener on a trip, by boat from Havana to the United States as she speaks of the art of rolling them prior to her edging along the levee and of how lanterns will shine.   

 

                                                Maurice Hope                  

 

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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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