Today is a banner day in the professional life of singer-songwriter Kate Campbell: Three new albums will hit stores.
The Portable Kate Campbell, Sing Me Out and Songs From the Levee are the latest works from the Nashville-based musician. The latter is a re-issue of her 1995 debut album, whereas the first two contain new recordings of songs from her second, third and fourth albums.
The new recordings were produced by Will Kimbrough, who has worked with artists like Rodney Crowell, Steve Forbert and Amy Rigby. Campbell and Kimbrough also partnered on Campbell's 2003 tribute album to her favorite female musicians, Twang on a Wire.
The Portable Kate Campbell offers 17 tracks featuring guest appearances by Rodney Crowell, Nanci Griffith and others. Included on this album are fan favorites like "Visions of Plenty," "Rosaryville" and "See Rock City."
Sing Me Out is an all-acoustic album billed as "a 13-cut back-porch companion." Most of the cuts hover around the theme of death and dying, though the album is far from a morbid collection. Songs like "Funeral Food" keep the mood light, and "Signs Following"—about snake handling—puts a chill down the spine. The album also includes a new song, "Would You Be a Parson."
All three albums are being released by the artist-friendly Compadre Records, based in Houston, Texas.
"I think it's a really good thing," Campbell said of the new albums in a press release. "Hopefully, it'll bring the music for the first time to some of the people who never heard the older records. And, on the other hand, because I enjoyed making it so much, I think the older fans will pick up on that, and I think they're gonna see some growth in my interpretations of many of these songs."
Campbell, who holds a master's in history from Auburn University, has written music garnering acclaim far and wide.
When her second album, Moonpie Dreams, was released in 1997, the Boston Globe noted: "Her literate songs artfully skirt the border between country and rock with a few blues twists ... a major talent ... simplicity, sincerity, and sophistication run rampant here."
Music Row Magazine, USA Today and a host of other publications have also sung her praises.
Campbell's father is Jim Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. She is currently on tour in New England.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.
Click here to learn more about Kate Campbell or to buy any of her albums.
Songwriting as Storytelling: An Interview with Kate Campbell