Review & photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Singer-songwriter Kate Campbell’s recent concert at the Eighth Step at Proctors’ Education Center was chock full of her patented tongue-in-cheek humor and engaging storytelling about southern folks’ culture, social customs and their dog-gone ways of doing things. Born in Louisiana and raised in Mississippi, Campbell has lived most of her adult life in Nashville and through an acute observational eye, she has amassed a trunk full of stories and anecdotes about her southern roots and day-to-day life that she shares with the audience.
She’s criss-crossed the country playing coffee houses, concert halls and festivals as a socially conscious troubadour with an acoustic guitar, so she knows something about the country and its people, drawing comparisons from east to west and from north to south.
But I wonder, when she plays for Southern audiences, do they laugh as hard as the Eighth Step crowd did that night when she sings about us northerners with our own set of peccadilloes?
Campbell’s appearance was a last minute add-on to the Eighth Step concert schedule, although it’s the second time she has played at the Step since their move from to Schenectady over a decade ago. Margie Rosenkranz, the Eighth Step’s Executive Director and Programer, couldn’t pass up the chance to showcase Campbell again, even if it meant drawing only a small audience.
For those who did get the word and came out for the show, it was a wonderful night of song and gaiety with Campbell accompanied by Greater Nippertown’s own multi-instrumental music master John Kirk (Quickstep, Mountain Snow Orchestra) on mandolin, banjo and backing vocals.