Uranium Maiden

Kate MacLeod

Courier Music, 2022

http://www.katemacleod.com

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/20/2022

Kate MacLeod is both a historian and a musician. Her new album, Uranium Maiden, uses stories and people from the American West to form the foundation and inspiration for her new album of music. Several years in the making, her newest compositions follow miners, pioneers, and other people and places in the Utah region of the American West. Even the four instrumental tracks have a Western feel and bind the album together. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The music is simple. While a number of instruments make an appearance over the 17 tracks, they take turns accompanying her voice and acoustic guitar without getting in the way of the lyrics. While there is a very Americana feel to her stories, there is also a folk and country feel present.

“Now Is The Time To Be Alive” is the lead track and sets the tone for what will follow. Culled from the writings and reminiscences of Everett Reuss, who disappeared in the Utah desert in 1935, it is a haunting tale enhanced by various harmonies. “A Fire I Can Borrow From” is similar, drawing from a pioneer woman’s 150-year-old journal.

The instrumental “The Train Across The Great Salt Lake” paints pictures without words. MacLeod’s acoustic guitar is surrounded by a harmony of fiddles. “Sand In Breeze” is just Macleod’s voice and violin as it gently moves along.

The town of Widtsoe, Utah is now abandoned, but MacLeod digs into the history of the descendants’ yearly reunions. “Every Year Among The Pines” is a nostalgic piece of a long-forgotten time. “U-235” moves in a different direction as it is a searing condemnation of the ruinous use of uranium.

Kate MacLeod has brought a labor of love to life. She is just about a lifelong resident of Utah and her trip back into the history of the area is both beautiful and interesting. Uranium Maiden is well worth the trip.

Rating: B+

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