In the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains lies a sleepy little town, Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. It’s a typical small town filled with high unemployment and little to do but play music. So it goes with a cute three-year-old redhead who began her singing career in churches, school events, and anywhere she could sing. Guided after many country artists such as Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood, this young singer/songwriter ended up for a time in Vancouver, BC. With added influence from the blues artist Bessie Smith, she found her home in Nashville, Tennessee pursuing her greatest love, country music. Her name is Camille Rae, and this little lady has a voice that is astounding. As I listen to her debut album, I need me, it’s an album that does not sound like a debut album. Her songwriting has so much virility to it and her vocal ranges are impressive. The more you listen to this new artist, the more you want to listen to this new artist.
Camille opens with a strong country rock piece “Dial Tone.” Her songwriting on this piece is genuine to many hearts. The chorus is especially appealing, “I gotta stand up and let you go. I gotta stand up and tell you no.” I love the way she uses a staccato on the last three notes of each line.
“Get Outta Town” is a tune that is noteworthy, especially in the first verse. The only instruments are a soft guitar, bass, and percussion. The finale is awesome as Camille gives us an a cappella jazz flavor in the last couple of bars.
“Shadows Dance Tonight” is Camille’s featured track on her album. This piece is another well-written song with a cool banjo playing in the background. I like the line, “You can’t hold a candle to his flame.”
But it’s “I Need Me” a simple ballad that is her best number. I see this tune as her second featured track. The song says much to people struggling with themselves while others control them and their feelings. The lyrics are sublime.
Camille’s last track is a live version “Best of Me.” Another ballad, Camille plays the piece with only a guitar and her voice. At times, I hear a Joni Mitchell sound in this country tune. “Best of Me” provides a quiet ending to the album.
Moving from a small town and settling in Nashville, Tennessee can be a radical change. But in the 1930’s there were many musicians that started their careers in the Mt Vernon area. From Red Foley to Homer & Jethro, to Lily May Ledford, all played many performances there. Today, it’s Kentucky’s Country Music Capital. The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame is located in Mt. Vernon as well. Raised in the heartland of Kentucky music, Camille is no stranger to the entertainment industry. I’m sure the Nashville family of musicians has welcomed her with open arms. I’m JR Miller with High Note Reviews and this is Camille Rae singing I Need Me.