Kate Campbell

For the Living of These Days – 2006 (Large River Music)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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Pairing spiritually leaning singer-songwriter Kate Campbell with legendary piano/organ player Spooner Oldham takes her bluesy tunes and injects them with some of that famous Muscle Shoals soul on this, her second album of gospel music.

Like the first, "Wandering Strange," it is a mixture of classic hymns of the church including, "Be Thou My Vision" and "There Is A Balm In Gilead," new compositions by Campbell and Oldham such as, "If I Ever Get To Heaven" and inspired covers from Kris Kristofferson and Woody Guthrie.

Campbell was raised in the Baptist church and sings the hymns as one who has sung them and believed them, her whole life. The addition of Oldham this time around gives the songs depth and texture, whether it's a Hammond organ or just a simple piano accompaniment.

Gospel music is such a cornerstone of American popular music, from country to soul, blues and more, it is inspiring to hear an artist like Campbell who has internalized so much of the genre in her own music, gospel or not.