Kate Campbell's folk credentials are so far beyond reproach at this point that good reviews seem slightly redundant. Luckily, Campbell has yet to fall into the trap of believing that her consistent positive press is an excuse for her to stop trying, and her latest is merely further proof of her continued need to stretch.
Campbell's gift has always been the ability to appoint her folk foundation with flourishes of whatever genre she chooses to add to the framework, from southern gospel to R&B to pure country to bluegrass. Here, Campbell applies an appropriate layer of country blues to her solid folk presentation with predictably wonderful results, from the field blues of Jessie Mae Hemphill's "Lord, Help the Poor and Needy" to the twangy roll call of "Miles of Blues" to the folk protest blues of "Freedom Train" to the gospel strains of "New Blues."
Is Kate Campbell capable of producing a merely good album? Like the rest of her catalog, "Blues and Lamentations" is far too good to help answer that particular question.