"My initial moment was reading Eudora Welty in college. I had this feeling that she wrote the way I talked, and it also wasn't always what she was saying but what she wasn't saying."
"Great fiction shows us not how to conduct our behavior but how to feel. Eventually, it may show us how to face our feelings and face our actions and to have new inklings about what they mean.
-Eudora Welty, On Writing
One of the happiest pleasures – and there are many, trust me – of my job is exploring a new artist or subject of interest for the Ring Lake Ranch community. I've spent time digging through the catalog of Kate Campbell's music and lyrics and it's been a delight to apply the title of her week's retreat, "Comfort Language," to her own work. My favorite album is her most recent, "The KOA Tapes, Vol 1," partly from how she recorded these songs. She simply sat in front of a couple of microphones, and sometimes only her cell phone, and recorded the most basic instrumentation: Guitar, an occasional piano and bit of percussion, the voices of friends. It's not hard to imagine hearing these songs in the solid confines of the Living Room at the Ranch. Hearing the soft southern lilt of her speaking voice is as much a pleasure as the clear bell of her singing voice.
She is a lifelong daughter of the southern U.S., which is a profoundly different landscape than the Wyoming wilderness, but her writing calls up familiar images of a spirituality of honesty, hope and persistent life that derives from the land, sky and water around her. I hope you will join us for a week contemplating these beautiful songs and the spirit and tradition that informs them.
Here's an article that gives a great sense of Kate's history and what inspires her songs:
This is a link to her personal website, where you can listen to all of her albums, study her lyrics and more: