Now here's a curiosity. Well, perhaps a curiosity is too strong a word but it is nonetheless true that Sheila K Cameron's "Cut Feet And Empty Shoes" album just doesn't fit into the neatly arranged sock drawer that people expect of music these days.
For a start, there are two strands to Ms Cameron's album. One strand presents her as something of a blues singer with the kind of twelve bar realism that makes you wonder why you have never heard of her before. In itself that is not particularly unusual as much of what is and what has passed will be missed by many but here the requisite familiarity that should come with that approach is curiously absent and has been replaced with the kind of poetry more associated with the likes of Shelagh Macdonald. Listen to "Old Sadness" or "Universal Blues" for illustrations of this conundrum.
The other intertwined strand would suggest that Ms Cameron is a torch singer to trade but even then there is an almost ethereal quality to her performance that equalises out the directness that you were expecting. Elements of jazz creep in and the lyrics often have the obliqueness that you would expect of, say, Lee Hazelwood ("From My Room" had me looking for the writing credits). To my ears, the most successful songs on this album are wound into this strand with the sinuous "Mr Moon, I'm Working Against Time" and the right angled elegance of "As You Wrapped The String Around Me" being the highlights.
So there you have it. "Cut Feet and Empty Shoes" is a complex album full of fragmented poetry that would come across as pretentious in lesser hands. However, Sheila K Cameron is far from a lesser talent and she duly carries it off.