Home - Site Outline - Biography - Timeline - Recordings - Reviews - Comments - Photos - Sources - Links - Contact

Quick Promos for Campbell Events

Shreveport - Brick Street Tavern

Excerpt from: "Clubs Alive with Sound of Music"

John Andrew Prime, Shreveport Times, August 3, 1983

If you happen by ...Street Bridge this weekend and hear soulful singing and dreamy blues guitar picking, don't linger too long outside; those sounds mean Johnny "Slim" Campbell is back in town.

The Texas based blues singer - who has called Shreveport a second home - will perform tonight and Saturday night at the Brick Street Tavern at Clancy's at 115 Texas St.

Campbell is no stranger to the Shreve Square area with credits from almost every club now operating, even Humpfrees' precursor, Chancey's Corner. Remember that?

He has lately been playing in and around the Nacogdoches, Texas area.

Copyright 1983 Shreveport Times

New York - Benson & Hedges Blues Fest 1990

Excerpt from: "New York Agenda"

Newsday, Oct 8, 1990

The Benson & Hedges Blues Festival begins Friday with a free peformance by acoustic guitar whiz John Campbell. He'll play at noon at the Atrium at the Philip Morris Building (120 Part Ave. at 42nd Street.

Copyright 1990 Newsday

Chicago - Fitzgeralds

Excerpt from: "Fitzgerald's Fest Serves Up A Stew Of Musical Styles" by Jae-Ha Kim

Chicago Sun - Times, June 28, 1991

Taking his act indoors, bluesman John Campbell will perform at 9:30 p.m. A guitar prodigy at 3 and a professional musician by 13, Campbell used to sell his own blood to pay for new guitar strings. . . .

Copyright 1991 Chicago Sun Times

London - Mean Fiddler - December 1991

Excerpt from: "Johnnie Johnson & John Campbell"

Feedback, December 1991 p 18

Legendary R&B pianist Johnnie Johnson and new blues sensation John Campbell co-headline this blues showcase - and they've invited a number of special guests.

38-year old John Campbell, who bears the scars of a teenage driving accident which resulted in 5,000 stitches, never sent out a demo tape. He was signed to Elektra on the strength of his live work - his own brand of dark, sinister blues - which attracted crowds everywhere he played in New York.

Copyright 1991 Feedback

Dallas - Deep Ellum

Excerpt from: "Critics Choice" by Dave Ferman

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 10, 1992

Guy is on a major roll. Joining him at Deep Ellum Live on Sunday is John Campbell, a Louisiana-born acoustic bluesman who toured the country for years before being signed by Elektra in 1991.

Campbell subsequently released One Believer, a fine mix of acoustic stylings (think of prime Lightnin' Hopkins) and more contemporary, electric touches courtesy of various members of Robert Cray's crack backup band.

Copyright 1992 Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Little Rock - Juanita's

Excerpt from: "Baker's Dozen - Great Albums" by Jack W. Hill

Democrat-Gazzette, January 12, 1992

Among major-label debuts, these stood out: John Campbell' s "One Believer" ( Elektra ) is some of the best new sounds to come down the blues highway. Campbell growls, moans and writes some intelligent lyrics. (And he will perform Saturday night at Juanita' s.)

Copyright 1992 Democrat-Gazzette

London - Mean Fiddler and The Grand - March 1992

Feedback(UK), March 16 - April 12, 1992 p 6

JOHN CAMPBELL (Mean Fiddler Fri 20th March, The Grand Sat 21st March) excited British audiences with his powerfully original blues guitar when he played here at the end of last year. "Blues?," you might say, "I've heard it all before" - but John Campbell steers away from the old predictability in favour of a new and exhilarating sound, as he plays his selection of acoustic and steel guitars and tells stories from deep inside his heart.

Copyright 1992 Feedback (UK)

Quebec City - Garnier College

Excerpt from: "Buddy Guy...Encore"

Le Soleil, March 22, 1992 p. A12

After he played the hot nights of the �bar-spectacles Le D�Auteuil�, the undescribable blues guitarist Buddy Guy is back in Quebec City. He�ll present a show on April 25th, at Tardif Hall of the college Garnier. Again, it�s the American John Campbell who�ll open the show. Some may remember the slide guitar master preceded the hurricane �Marjo�, at �La Place d�Youville Scene�, on a thunderous Sunday of last years �Festival d��t� de Quebec�(Quebec�s Summer Festival)� Tickets are available on Billetech.

This article was originally published in French and has been translated by Jacques Dulac. Original French

Copyright 1992 Le Soleil

Montreal - Montreal Blues Festival

Excerpt from: "Il bourlingue � travers le monde...Pas de ch�mage pour Buddy Guy" by Michel Bilodeau

Le Soleil, April 19, 1992 p A12

Also in October, we�ll see as Buddy Guy�s opening act, guitar player and singer John Campbell. But this time, Campbell won�t be backed by his band. He will be alone on stage with his guitars, remaining in close contact with Quebec City�s audience.

Contacted in New York, Campbell said that he�ll probably present an half-acoustic/half-electric concert. He�s not afraid of this formula since he performed solo for almost 20 years all across United States. Like Buddy Guy, John Campbell will play at the Montreal Blues Festival on April 26. Afterwards, he�ll play Chicago�s festival before rejoining his band for a European tour. Then finally he hopes to take some time to write.

"I wrote some songs on tour. But I take it seriously and it will take a while to finish them all and to write some new ones." For this, Campbell will work again with Dennis Walker. Walker produced Campbell�s album One Believer and co-wrote most of the songs. Walker has also worked with Robert Cray.

"I still don�t know how the next album will turn out. I�ve always worked by instinct, in a very spontaneous way. It has to come from the heart otherwise I see no interest in doing what I do", concludes Campbell.

This article was originally published in French and has been translated by Jacques Dulac. Original French

Copyright 1992 Le Soleil

Excerpt from: "The Legendary Buddy Guy Headlines Our Festival" by Paul Wells

Montreal Gazzette, April 24, 1992

John Campbell, a less prominent bluesman who'll be on the same bill as Guy on Sunday afternoon, puts it a different way: "A million dollars won't keep the blues away from your door, if you had it."

Campbell 39 years old and also from Louisiana, has never had a million dollars or anything close. Nor has he had much luck outrunning the blues. He lost that particular race when he was 15 years old, in a horrible car crash - that took 5,000 stitches - that's no misprint - to repair, and left him with a network of scars and a lingering sensitivity to ligth.

He took refuge in the night and the road, with his guitar, developing a deep, tortured playing style. For Campbell, too, "The blues is a healing thing. I still feel better, man, every time after playing music."

For years, he had only the comfort of music to keep him company. His latest album, One Believer, is his first in North America, only his second ever.

Strong production from frequent Robert Cray collaborator Dennis Walker has made Campbell's album a stead seller, despite its stark insights into a troubled soul. That means a decent income, and for the first time in Campbell's life, an apartment.

Like his frequent roadmate Buddy Guy ("as great a person as he is a guitar player"), Campbell finds a growing market for the blues. Bad economic times can't account for all of it, he said.

"What I attribute it to is that the blues talks about human things: feelings, hopes and dreams, nightmares, everything. And I think people are more in tune to humans, to other people and feelings, than they were."

Copyright 1992 The Gazzette

Philadelphia - Riverblues Festival

Excerpt from: "It's A Blues Who's Who" by Jonathan Takiff

Philadelphia Daily News, July 24, 1992

John Campbell may play an antique slide Dobro guitar, but his darkly comic and sometimes just plain disturbing visions are very modern and poetic, rather like a Southern working-class variation on Leonard Cohen.

Copyright 1992 Philadelphia Daily News

Houston - Rockefellers

Excerpt from: "Festival expands its outlook" by Marty Racine

Houston Chronicle, October 4, 1992

John Campbell , Chris Whitley -- Deep blues , 8 p.m. Oct. 13 at Rockefeller's, $17.50.

This is the only strictly blues concert. Campbell is a scarifyin', mystifyin' vocalist/guitarist from Louisiana who started out as a street musician. His powerful debut album is "One Believer."

Copyright 1992 Houston Chronicle

Minneapolis - Cabooze Bar with the Red Devils

Excerpt from: "Nightlife " by Jon BReam

Minneapolis Star Tribune, Feb 12, 1993

Here's a blues bonanza: John Campbell and the Red Devils Wednesday at the Cabooze bar. Campbell (pictured), who's originally from Louisiana, plays dark, grisly, soulful voodoo blues reminiscent of Tom Waits and the Doors. The Red Devils, one of L.A.'s finest, play gritty, harmonica-driven blues. The group cut more than a dozen tracks as Mick Jagger's backup band for his new solo album, but the Devils were left on the cutting-room floor. Don't you be left out. Catch the Devils' return engagement at the Cabooze. It's the opening night of their tour with Campbell. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Highly recommended. Call 338-6425.

Copyright 1993 Minneapolis Star Tribune

Washington, DC - The Birchmere

Excerpt from: "Fugazi's Date Forces the Issue" by Eve Zibart

Washington Post, February 26, 1993 p n12

STEEL DRIVIN' MAN -- What John Campbell does with a steel-body slide guitar has a sort of danger about it, like one of those gods so terrible that just speaking their names lights fires. Broody and sulfurous at times, muscular and predatory at others, it is almost violently expressive -- definitely not blues lite. Drink slow, at the Birchmere.

Copyright 1993 Washington Post

San Antonio - La Semana Alegre Festival

Excerpt from: "There's lots of music outside" by Jim Beal, Jr.

San Antonio Express-News, April 20, 1993

When I look at La Semana Alegre's lineup, I see far too many retread bands. But, for fans of the blues, one name stands out on the Thursday schedule John Campbell. Guitar ace Campbell, like the fabled bluesmen of days gone by, has lived and survived on the road, eking out a living by doing whatever he had to do to support his addiction to music. While talents such as Campbell's are usually ignored by major record labels so they can push the latest fad-makers, Elektra, to its everlasting credit, has released two Campbell albums, "One Believer" and "Howlin' Mercy."

Backed by the rhythm section from the Joe Ely Band drummer Davis McLarty and bass man Jimmy Pettit Campbell makes raw, spooky, powerful blues that conjure images of Howlin'Wolf and Robert Johnson meeting for a juke-joint showdown. How "Weird Al" Yankovic will follow Campbell with cartoon/parody music I don't even want to think about.

Copyright 1993 San Antonio Express-News

New Orleans, LA - 1993 New Orleans Jazz Festival -

Excerpt from: "Dog Eat Dog" by Larry Burton

Shreveport Times, April 9, 1993

Another bluesman who once prowled these parts - now Elektra Records artist John Campbell - will perform at Jazz Fest as well. Slide guitar ace Campbell will appear on a a bill with The Allman Brothers and Fabulous Thunderbirds (nice company) at 9:00 PM, April 23 at New Orleans' Municipal Auditorium.

The musician that fans here remember as Johnny "Slim" Campbell recently released his second Elektra album, Howlin Mercy which got mixed reviews in a a recent Rolling Stone. "While the playing is certainly accomplished, it's altogether too familiar," the magazine wrote.

Copyright 1993 Shreveport Times

Cancelled Shows

St. Louis, MO - Blues Heritage Festival - September 5, 1992


St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 23, 1992

John Campbell: Originally from Texas and now based in New York City, this powerful young singer-songwriter is one of today's leading exponents of the acoustic Texas-style guitar picking exemplified by the late Lightnin' Hopkins. Campbell's two previous, largely unheralded appearances in St. Louis have won him a number of enthusiastic fans here.

Copyright 1992 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Excerpt from: "Heir To The Blues: Lowell Fulson Recalls Rise Of R&B" by Paul A. Harris

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 30, 1992

THE LINEUP originally announced for next Saturday's St. Louis Blues Heritage Festival has been reduced because financing was not available for a second stage, according to the St. Louis Blues Society, the sponsor of the event.

Previously scheduled acts that will not appear are John Campbell, Carey Bell, Oliver Sain, Johnnie Johnson and the Rockin' Luckys.

Copyright 1992 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Cleveland, OH - May 27, 1993

Excerpt from: "Foreigner Sizzles Like the Ribs at Cook-Off" by Jane Scott

Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1993

Special guest, blues guitarist John Campbell, canceled the show because of his wife's illness, Jules Belkin reported.

Copyright 1993 Cleveland Plain Dealer

Copyright � 2005, Thomas Geiger
Revised: April 4, 2005