My struggle with the previous Campbell album arose from the mundane nature of the songwriting, leaving her without a distinctive voice.
Campbell’s nifty little niche is her childhood experiences growing up in the desegregating Deep South. She chronicles this in two standout tracks – Crazy in Alabama and Bus 109. The former, perhaps inexplicably, has the capacity to get me a little choked up if I’m in the right mood. I’ve managed to find a vid of Kate performing this tune live (sorry, the volume level is poor – you’ll have to crank it up to 11):
Not only can she tug on the heartstrings a little, she can also tell an amusing small-town homily. She weaves the tale of the failed ten-pin bowler who only ever scores a 299 (before having a heart attack and having to retire) on Bowl-A-Rama. More perverse (only in a nice, soccer mom type way), is her upbeat track Funeral Food, which notes the curiosity that “we sure eat good when someone dies”.
File under: Enough to justifying a viewing