For the Living of These Days

For the Living of These Days

by Kate Campbell


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Kate Campbell and southern soul architect Spooner Oldham have crafted some memorable moments together in recent years, but in the gospel-oriented For the Living of These Days, they have reached a depth of feeling remarkable even for their collaborations. There's nothing fancy here: Campbell simply opens up her heart, digs into her soul, and feels to the core every message she imparts with such gentle urgency. Oldham supplies a few humble background harmonies, but his main role is to buttress Campbell's stately vocalizing with down-home, backwoods church piano and organ. Spare and respectful, reverent and transportive, these performances beg only to be heard. Campbell doesn't exactly take a noncommital stance here, though; rather, she wears her topicality with appealing demureness. In Bobby Braddock's "Would They Love Him Down in Shreveport," she renders Christ's tribulations with bemused sweetness, over Oldham's rich organ chording. In "Jesus Christ," which Woody Guthrie modeled on his rewrite of the traditional outlaw ballad "Jesse James," Campbell, accompanied only by her softly strummed acoustic guitar, describes misunderstood historical figures, each betrayed by a "dirty little coward," each aligning himself with the downtrodden, each meeting a violent end. Gentle, organ-fueled pleas ("Be Thou My Vision"), acoustic guitar-and-organ exultations ("God of Grace and God of Glory"), and a moving, searching, nearly a cappella rendering of the African-American spiritual "There Is a Balm in Gilead," suggest the varieties of religious experience in a thought-provoking style that is sneakily didactic but intensely mesmerizing.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/05/2006
Label: Large River Music
UPC: 0634457175921
catalogNumber: 1759
Rank: 184620

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