Acoustic Guitar Magazine Issue #305 May 2018 “Lead Me Home” Review

By Acoustic Gutar Magazine, acousticguitar.com

Camille Nelson

Lead Me Home
(Stone Angel Music)

Fingerstyle playing shines on spiritual collection


It would be a mistake to pigeonhole Camille Nelson’s Lead Me Home as “praise music.” Though the collection features traditional and original hymns in lush arrangements for acoustic guitar and string ensemble, Nelson’s winding and fluid fingerstyle playing is a joy to behold regardless of the listener’s faith (or lack thereof).

The arrangements, mostly by Nelson, are full but uncluttered, making room for contributions by Ryan Shupe on fiddle and mandolin, Nelson’s brother Steven Sharpe Nelson (of the Piano Guys) on cello, and Alex Sharpe (formerly of Celtic Women) on ethereal vocals. However, Nelson and her trio of custom guitars remain front and center. The strings soar on “Amazing Grace,” but remain tethered to Nelson’s silvery yet robust picking on her Stonebridge/Furch.

In a style similar to her former teacher Kaki King, Nelson draws on the resonating treble of her Taylor to enfold and cradle the cantering melody of “Be Still My Soul.” DADGAD tuning and the woody bass tone of yet another Taylor—a 524ce with a 12-string neck—enrich one of Nelson’s original tunes, “Patterns of Light,” on which her picking dances like shadows cast by a gluttering candle. And Nelson employs a percussive thumb technique on “Israel, Israel, God is Calling” to thread an earthly path through a cloud layer of sighing strings that seem to represent the spirit world.

On Lead Me Home, the message may be Christian, but the appeal of Nelson’s virtuosity is limitless.

-PM

You can view the original review in this issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine.