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'Daybreak Over Jackson Street'   

-  Label: 'At The Helm Records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '10th November 2017'-  Catalogue No: 'ATH198724'

Our Rating:
The two key objectives of this album are to create a mood of warmth and intimacy.

Steph Cameron explains that "the idea was to create a record that sounds as though the songwriter is in the room with the listener".

With just voice and guitar, the arrangements of the eleven songs, produced by Joe Dunphy in Toronto, couldn't be more straightforward. This is folk music, pure and simple.

As you might surmise from the title of her debut album, 'Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady' from 2014, Cameron is not averse to dabbling in a bit of Dylanesque poetry. For instance, she waxes lyrical that "the law is like an anchored ship drowning people drip by drip" on the title track.

Both in terms of the style and the lack of contemporary reference points this is a record that could have come down a time tunnel from the late 1960s. And for a 'bright new talent', she seems old beyond her years "the world ain't quite the way it used to be". she sings Young And Living Free

The album certainly has more in common with the legendary folk clubs of Greenwich Village than the province of Saskatoon where the Canadian singer is currently based.

She is open about being drawn to American pop culture, perhaps also inspired by the prospect of warmer weather. Winterwood offers a chilly account of her native country while in California she dreams of escaping the icicles and enjoying some sun-kissed beaches.

This might also be the imagined location for campfire songs like Little Blue Bird and Sing For Me.

The album closes with just a hint of protest in the form of the wistful Peace Is Hard To Find.     

So long as you are prepared to embrace the strong elements of nostalgia, the songs in this collection are easy-going and likable.    

Steph Cameron's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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CAMERON, STEPH - Daybreak Over Jackson Street