"English III Honors: Junior Year. In an attempt to improve our interpretation skills, my teacher brings out a CD: VISIONS OF PLENTY by Kate Campbell. He turns it to track 8, and a groan goes up from the class as we hear the twang of country. But, what the class missed with the first impression is that Kate Campbell is not Dolly Parton. Both have beautiful voices -- though not necessarily entirely similar voices. Track 8 is "Deep Tang", which is not only hauntingly beautiful (reminds me of Judy Collins) but it speaks of the destruction of the environment around Birmingham, AL. Mostly because of her voice, I bought VISIONS OF PLENTY, and found the greatest set of song lyrics I have ever come across. She sings about the South as it is -- with a constant clash between the Old South and the "New South." No glory: just the way it is. I'm too young to remember the Civil Rights Movement but see Campbell's rich description in "Crazy in Alabama". I have, however, been around long enough to appreciate "Jesus and Tomatoes"..."
Repays repeated playing
A. Butterfield | UK | 08/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kate Campbell doesn't have a particularly rich or mellow voice, but it's an interesting one, and I liked her turn of phrase. She writes about odd things too: witness "Bowl-O-Rama", and "Jesus and Tomatoes". Not the only song about food, this reminded me momentarily of Guy Clark and his Homegrown Tomatoes. But, oddball as these subjects are, and humorous in their own way, they're not out and out humorous songs. This is, on the whole, a more serious album. We see it in the political comment she makes in the powerful "Crazy in Alabama" and the sharp memories of "Bus 109". I find I play this CD when I'm in a "serious listening" mood, because it does demand your atention somewhat. It isn't background music. I was a little surprised at that. I think I expected something more laid back, but much of the album is uptempo and demands to be played loud. It's saying "listen to me properly." If you do, I think you'll grow to like it. And if you're a fan of Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, you're almost certain to like it."
Onward and upward
email@example.com | cincinnati, oh | 11/17/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the prior comments with one exception. While Mississippi and Me may be Kate best single, this is clearly her best overall disc. While too many contemporary folk songwriters have lapsed into first rate lyrics and second rate music, this disc is outstanding in both respects and sets her apart from the rest (but in the company of Gillian Welch)."
So Different, So Much Fun
Debra W. Waugh | Princeton, WV USA | 08/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite album by Kate Campbell, and one of my favorites of all albums. The humor in her songs is compelling. Some songs deal more with the civil rights movement, but address it from a very personal viewpoint. Even if you think you don't like country western music, the songs on this album will change your mind and have you singing along. I'm now buying my second copy of the CD because it broke my heart when I had an accident where the first copy got broken. Buy this CD!"