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John Campbell - Interviewed by Charlie Hussey

Charlie Hussey interviewed John Campbell for Irish Radio in Dublin during 1991 when John was touring Europe in support of One Believer. What follows is a transcript of the portion of that interview that was actually aired.

J.C. - I�m very pleased with the record, you know, I�m proud of everybody that played on the record as well, it�s not that I�m braggin� about myself but I think that the men did a fine job and it�s different I think as the focus was more on the song on this record and we took a fresh approach and wrote all new material for the album and the record came up like we intended it.

C.H. - A marked contrast to your first record as it was nearly all acoustic. Do you still play acoustic?

J.C. - Well the guitars are the same. They are the same instruments it�s just a more ensomble approach.

C.H. - Your influences are Lightnin� Hopkins......

J.C. - They remain the same: Lightnin� Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Fred McDowell, and Son House. These are the men that inspired me to play in the beginning you know and Muddy Waters.

Now Im� based out of New York. The current rhythm section, Jimmy Pettit and Davis McLarty are regularly with the Joe Ely Band and are based out of Austin Texas but my guitarist Zonder Kennedy and myself are based in New York now.

C.H. - The instruments that you play some of them are very old.

J.C. - The steel guitar is a 1934 National Duolian, that was actually played by Lightnin� Hopkins himself and when he passed away his family requested that guitar be played at his wake and Rocky Hill a great blues player from Texas did Amazing Grace for Lightnin� and shortly thereafter that guitar was passed on and I was fortunate enough to receive it.

C.H. - Were you raised in Texas?

J.C. - I was born in Louisiana but I moved to Texas when I was about 16 and spent a lot of time there.

C.H. - So you could nearly be classified as a Texas guitarist.

J.C. - I think so yeah that�s been pretty much the tag.

C.H. - Have you any thoughts on this Texas sound?

J.C. - It�s a very specific sound and I think it comes from many sources, from the acoustic side Blind Lemon Jefferson you know starting it and the father of the electric guitar T. Bone Walker and I think a primary infuence is a Spanish influence in Texas the single note arpeggio style and I think that�s a heavy Spanish influence in the music.

C.H. - Some of your playing is like Johnny Winter.

J.C. - Well you know it�s very astute that you noticed Johnny. In my hometown Shreveport, Louisiana when I was coming up on guitar - Johnny was playing in my hometown and he was one of the kings around there at that time so he influenced me from a young age.

Copyright � 2003, Thomas Geiger
Revised: May 10, 2003