"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

8.31.2006

free our hearts to faith and praise

I am so excited about the new Kate Campbell album! Kate Campbell is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. I first heard about her music from Melissa the Missionary, who sent me two mix cd's when I was living up north. "You need to hear 'South of Everything,'" she said, and she was right. I listened to that song just about every day in Connecticut, thinking about home and which direction I'd rather be headed.

I love her songs because they are smart, funny, and poignant. Songs like "New South" and "Jesus and Tomatoes" are hilarious. She's one of the few songwriters I know who can express the tensions of the Civil Rights movement and modern-day race realtions in songs like "Look Away" and the heartbreaking "Bear it Away."She's released albums of hymns and covers in the past. The new album consists of both.

The first time I saw Kate Campbell was at a small coffehouse in Bridgport, Connecticut. I dragged my best friends to the show, sang along, and bought the albums I didn't have. It was so much fun and such a reminder of home. This summer I got to hear her play again at the Baptist Center for Ethics luncheon at CBF. She played a haunting rendition of "God of Grace and God of Glory" and the room grew silent, because it is the right song for our era of "warring madness" and people who are "rich in things and poor in soul." There's a call away from those superficialities in Campbell's music. We'd do well to listen.

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