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Transcript - TV Interview with John Campbell - Montreal Music TV

Montreal - French TV - TV special

Special Thanks to Kenny Pauze.

Hello John, Would you say that in order to be a good bluesman - that you have to be miserable in your life?

J.C. - No - that's not necessary.

There are a lot of people who say that bluesmen are so ...suffering people.

J.C. - No. The great power of the blues is that the blues will address any issue no matter tough it may be. That's the thing about the blues. The blues is a victory. The song is a victory, you know. It's like you look at something that is dark - and it's hard to face - and you sing a song about it and that's the first step I think to overcoming it, to getting it under control. That's what has always been the great power of it. And at the same time it praises the good times. I think it addresses fears and nightmares as well as hopes and dreams. But, you all got to walk your road, you know. My road has been alot of night time roads, but not everybody's is. So, you just got to carry your own guitar case and be honest. It looks at everything square in the eye.

But you were talking about strong feelings. There is a song on your album called Tiny Coffin. It is so -- it disturbs people when you listen to this song. And since you put it that it is a victory on adversity. But would you say that people want to get revenge. At the end of the song we know those people want to avenge little Billy. I thought it was really heavy.

J.C. - That song it's very heavy. It's reality. It's something that unfortunately occurs. It's not the kind of thing that you can talk about and then give the sports scores right after, you know. It's something that you have to look at straight on. Its a tragedy, but in the song the only way that we knew to present it was truthfully.

It's tragic.

J.C. - It is very tragic, but it's real.

Is this something - I guess. Do you feel that Montreal is softer on this - that it is a little less violent than the way you see New York? Is this something that happens just in New York?

J.C. - It happens in a lot of urban areas in the states. It does. It's unfortunate. It's too often looked at as a statistic and not as something that really happens. We felt that it was something that we needed to address head on. That is why we recorded it.

That's true - it's almost like a slap in the face.

[The interviewer now translates the last two questions and answers into french.]

Ok, it's time for you to introduce your song. What are you going to play.

J.C. - Well I am going to do a version of a thing off the record called Person to Person in which I kind of explain what I think a little of what the slide guitar is all about - on this old National.

John starts playing...and demonstrates the three methods - piano, bianjo, and mississippi delta slide - with a beat.

Are you sure that you only have 10 fingers?

J.C. - Well...[laughs]

That's incredible...it's really something...I guess this guitar is really be dear to you.

J.C. - Yes, this is a really special guitar.

It's from person to person, too - that relationship.

J.C. - You got it.

So, I invite - I'm going to invite everybody to see you tonight at the Club Soda. I'm really impressed.

J.C. - Thank you very much.

This is a really one really good album.

[The interviewer now translates into french and mentions that John is opening for Kat Dyson.]

Can you talk just a little bit about Kat Dyson?

J.C. - Oh yeah. Kat Dyson is so happening. I heard her - I came to the Blues 92 in April. I saw Kat the first night I came to town. Man, she just knocked me out. And again the next night at the show. So, I am really thrilled to be working with her - I think there's going to be a whole lot of picking going on.

Is there good chemistry between two?

J.C. - Oh yeah. I am really looking forward to it - looking forward to jamming with her and catching her set. It should be a good time.

And is there an album coming out, I know this album was released last year?

J.C. - Yeah, I'm working on a new one.

And videos, too.

J.C. - [John grimaces - then makes a cross with two fingers - as if warding off evil]

You owe us!

J.C. Ok.

So have a good gig tonight - I am going to invite again everybody - really impressive.

J.C. Thank you. It was really a pleasure to be here.

Copyright 2003, Thomas Geiger
Revised: May 27, 2003