It’s perhaps understandable if Kate Campbell fans have pictured her as standing — in an artistic manner — still for the last several years. Her most recent albums have either consisted of covers (Twang on a Wire) or re-recordings of early material (Sing Me Out and The Portable Kate Campbell). So the release of Blues and Lamentations is a welcome return to fine, deep albums like Wandering Strange. Campbell’s warm Southern vocals wrap themselves around the lyrics of “Miles of Blues” and “Pans of Biscuits” as though they were old friends, and the country-folk arrangements offer the perfect underpinning. There are also nice touches like spiritually tinged background singing on the choruses of “Genesis Blues” and “New Blues.” It would be easy to mistake Campbell’s song titles — “Shallow Grave” and “Lay Back the Darkness” — as depressing and gain the idea that Blues and Lamentations is a downbeat affair. A spiritual quality underlines each lyric, however, and Campbell’s vocals inject each song with a hopefulness that remains despite life’s obstacles. These songs, filled with good melodies and understated instrumental work, are brought to life by the deep resonance of Campbell’s lovely vocals. Blues and Lamentations is much more than another album by another singer/songwriter about how rough life is; it’s a deeply considered recording and it should receive a warm welcome from Campbell’s fans.