Saturday, September 27, 2008

KATE CAMPBELL --The Star Keeps Rising

I guess it was back in the late '90s when I first met Kate Campbell when I met her a New Jersey hotel for an interview. Her CD "Visions of Plenty" had just come out and it just blew me away. After viewing the cover of the CD I admit to trepidation because of all the tattoos on her hands---which she explained were just Red Henna.

We talked, then, of her southern roots and all the wonderful songs she had been composing about southern history and also how she had taught that for a time as well---at a college. Up to this point, if my count is correct, she has released 10 albums. She now gives us the 11th. It is another brilliant piece of work with some of the "greats" in this genre joining her. Among them---Nanci Griffith, John Prine,Pierce Pettis, Tom Kimmel and more.

Let's talk of this CD in a moment. A reminiscence, if you will, of her earlier work. From the recordings of Visions of Plenty, Moonpie Dreams, Monuments, and more her work has always changed---I won't say evolved. It is not better it is always excellent and different. Unlike, say, some novelists who write, basically, the same story she always offers us new insights and totally different thoughts and words. She knows how to paint word pictures ever so well--from things like Bus 109 and Funeral Food (Visions of Plenty) to a moving tale of a man who purchased Joe Louis' Furniture (Monuments). From religiosity in "For The Living of These Days" and "Wandering Strange" to the joyful "Twang on A Wire" (my own opinion---her composition was the best on that disc)

The latest CD--Save The Day--is a piece of work to be savored for every individual track on it along with the insights and stories they offer. The booklet gives some insights into what her inspirations were for the songs she has composed; and I am still amazed at the volume of songs she has composed since the time I met her and before. Volumes of songs and not just quantity---quality.

From her opening track on this CD--Save the Day to the very last one Sorrowfree there is not a moment that one is not hooked on each piece and the story it tells. How many people knew of Henry Ford's strange vision of a city in South America to supply rubber for his cars--Fordlandia-- explains it all. The duet with John Prine--Looking For Jesus--is written (co-written w/ Walt Aldridge) is a true winner right up the alley of John Prine fans--of which I am one. Whereas, he writes simple lines that make a subtle point Kate writes longer lines that paint a great word picture. On the order of looking at a Matisse or a Monet and always seeing something new in there.

I will surely be featuring her newest work the next time I get to haunt you on TRADITIONS (10/5) but in the meantime you might want to visit her website and see about getting this recording---you really do need a Kate Campbell collection to go with the collections you may already have. Think about this---different genres of music have different stellar artists. In the classics one has to always think of Bernstein---or Lenny. Well, in this genre---let's call her Kate.

The website for Kate: . Pretty original--right?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Topical Topics Continued---along with an ANNOUNCEMENT

We will let the announcement go for the end.

In the previous post you noted a link to a video on Sarah Palin on The Almost Daily Rooster. The video is from YouTube.

On You Tube one is able to make comments about the videos being presented---and some are truly awful ones submitted by people with, I assume, either a lot of time on their hands or really huge egos. Yet, there are some great ones---entertainers, programs, and all kinds of interesting material from the past and the present. Sorry--the future is not there yet--who knows maybe they can do that as well soon.

Sadly, there is a bit of censorship going on. I don't mean about obscene material because that is properly banned---though there is one piece labeled "Sarah Palin" that did get through--shamefully. The censorship comes from a video of her acceptance speech at the RNC. Many comments---all favorable. Any comment that would be negative (I tried) does not get posted. This is exactly what the Chinese Government does with Internet access. Albeit this is on a smaller scale. Another video is one submitted by CBS featuring Matt Damon---complimentary comments on Mr. Damon are posted. All others are not and the note on top says that the site is not accepting comments. Matt Damon, by the way, was negative about The Huntress. So who it is that denies negative comments I cannot say. What I can say, however, is that the ultimate responsibility lies with the purveyors of YouTube---and, yes, they are a part of Google as is this site.

If you have been waiting for the announcement---I sure know how to make the headline the sub-text---here it is:

XM RADIO--on October 28 I have been invited to air a 2 hour version of TRADITIONS on their Channel 15 (The Village Liberation). I believe it will air at 12 Noon Eastern Time. Best check on the web if you have access to XM and if you are interested. If you are not interested I fault you not---we'll still be compatriots in this area of niche interests.

Topical Topic

Always intrigued when people can write great parodies and even more impressed when they address some topical issues.

Click on the right side for The Almost Daily Rooster and see one of these brilliant pieces.

Nice and brief today---as Shakespeare once told us "brevity is the soul of wit"--strangely it was said by the one character who never kept his mouth shut. Anyone recall (without Google) who that might be?

OH--kids just don't dress that nicely anymore!