Lead Me Home


Camille Nelson

Written by
Steve Sheppard

Music is the panacea to cure all ills and put the mind at ease, as such Camille Nelson must be pretty proud of her achievement on her latest release entitled Lead Me Home.

Starting with a well-known classic like Amazing Grace is really something to live up to, but here on her version she has created something not only different, but dramatic and inspiring. The symphonic nature and the guitar seem to meld together in a symbiosis of musical cleverness, which makes this a most original arrangement indeed.

The originality of this next piece How Great Thou Art is also remarkable, once more the emotion is there, but a gentle performance style can be felt and heard and through the mix, the reflective and respectful energy of the piece can truly be felt too.

On Nearer My God To Thee, there is a slight tempo shift and arising of the rhythms, one that inspires the narration of the composition to flow like a summer brook. The folk styled performance here adds a whole new dimension to the arrangement as well.

As we move to the piece Be Thou My Vision, we hear a violin at the very beginning that is performed quite admirably by Nelson, this piece also features Alex Sharpe from Celtic Woman. For me this one was always going to be a winner, it seems to have followed me around all of my life, but until now I don’t think I have heard anything quite so beautiful.

Adelia is up next, the meaning of that name is noble and one can feel that through the tones of the song, that was written by Susie Brown. This solo guitar composition has a really light and proud feel to its construction, a moment of musical performance when the sun comes bursting in through your curtains is here in music for you.

Nelson’s uniqueness on guitar is fascinating and on Be Still My Soul we have a piece that seems to float and hover around us. The strings seem to reverberate with the energy of quietness and calm. This is one of the prettiest arrangements on the release without doubt.

On Israel, Israel, God is Calling, you will hear the talents of Dylan Schroer on Pedal Steel Guitar, when you hear the familiar melody you will probably remember it under the name, What A Friend We Have In Jesus. The performance here is light and sparkling and I also detected some rather nice harmonics in their as well, the percussive additions also added a real depth to the piece.

One of my favourites was Come, Come, Ye Saints, which also featured the skills of Steven Sharp Nelson the brother of the artist in the composition. This Mormon Hymn is steeped in a folk style, with an empowering percussive beat and is performed with such style and presentation, but it also has a certain level of power and posture, that makes it for me, the stand out track on the album.

The title track is now upon us, Lead Me Home, this empty canvas is the opportunity for the artist to illustrate their intention. Camille Nelson does this with flair and style and panache and adds a level of subtle intensity to the composition that really adds a wonderful level of charm to the overall arrangement.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing featuring Ryan Shupe on Fiddle and Mandolin is next, the exquisite nature of both stringed instruments adds a new realm of depth to the song. This is a veritable wonderland of stringed instrumentation and a truly fascinating piece to listen quietly too.

The penultimate offering is fascinatingly and called Patterns of Light, this has such a wonderfully warm guitar leading the way, I would also rate this as a personal favourite of mine. As a guitarist myself, this is inspiring to hear, the gentle and careful build is delightful.

So we arrive at the very last port of call and it’s called Count Your Many Blessings, something I have been doing a lot of lately. This features Camille Nelson on piano, the first time it has been used on the album and this creates an opportunity for the multi-instrumentalist to leave us in style, which she does with grace and polish. The artist does herself proud her with the perfect finale to what has been an illuminating release.

Camille Nelson with Lead Me Home has proved me right, that although this is an album, as some may say, of the joys of religious communion, Nelsons music crosses borders that some would fear to tread, and as usual music is the key. There is something in this release for everyone, regardless of religious beliefs or not, if you step into this realm of music, you will be happy to have done so, some of the techniques, performances styles and instrumentation used, are innovative and as refreshing as a brand new day.