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John Campbelljohn – Under The Blues Covers 2000

Posted in BLUES, John Campbelljohn on November 28, 2010 by whoisthemonk

John Campbelljohn – Under The Blues Covers 2000

Blues

Many artists have their specialties – some cut great records but need support to realize their studio sounds in a live setting while others are born performers who never quite translate to records as well as they do live. Rarely do you find an artist who excels at both. John Campbelljohn does. In each of his many forms.

In his solo, acoustic blues performances he makes the most of the song. Campbelljohn soulfully commands the stage with rich vocals, while his powerfully prolific technique on guitar or trusty dobro lap steel further embellishes each composition. His power trio ups the ante with an electric sound that can pummel an audience into submission or captivate them with the subtleties of ace musicians driven solely by the love of their craft.

A tight rhythm section fronted by Campbelljohn’s distinctive prowess on slide guitar quickly demonstrates that, although John’s a Cape Bretoner, he’s been cut from a plaid of a very different color. Power blues that touch on rock, reggae and roots with a few overtones of pure country – these are John Campbelljohn’s stock and trade. He’s also added the wondrous sounds of the pedal steel to his live band shows to haunting effect. The overall quality of the musicianship, the energy of his delivery and the guaranteed good times that spring from the band’s performances are proof of the pudding.
Acoustically, John combines the influences of such diverse players as Fred McDowell, Ry Cooder and John Hammond while his electric shows earmark everyone from Sonny Landreth to Johnny Winter, Clapton to Duane Allman. A simple listen to any of his six CD releases tell the tale that John Campbelljohn – solo or otherwise – is a born performer and a credit to his accomplishments: Blues Artist of the Year, Guitarist of the Year, Slide Guitarist of the Year.
Treat yourself to something truly fan-friendly and fun – a compliment to any fine establishment hoping to make a serious claim on grown-up entertainment with a no-nonsense master of many genres.
As many a mainlander will tell you, if you want to make a success of yourself, you have to do it away. Unless, of course, you’re a Caper and your heart and soul are inextricably tied to the land for reasons that no outlander could ever comprehend. Despite the fact that Cape Breton is a hotbed of traditional Celtic music with its high energy fiddle-playing and step-dancing, John Campbelljohn focused his energies in other directions. Learning his first guitar chords at age 14 from his steel-working Dad, Chas, it was hearing the first strains of Duane Allman’s “Statesboro Blues” at a high school dance that set him on a course from which there was no return. Learning slide guitar became Campbelljohn’s sole obsession. Step dancing could wait.
He, in truth, had been spoken to by the blues and he responded in kind, injecting his music with the same sense of frenetic energy, raw emotionalism and pile-driving rhythms that fire the regions rich legacy of Celtic fare.
Musically, Campbelljohn covers a lot of ground – his is an eclectic grasp of the blues grounded in the subtleties of Fred McDowell, Son House and Earl Hooker, yet channeled through a stylistic bisque that name-checks the mastery of Sonny Landreth, Duane Allman and Johnny Winter. Depending on the muse, he can veer off into territory that embraces reggae, roots-rock and (with the help of his pedal steel) pure country. Yet the core of his sound is a sophisticated, well-informed and progressive definition of the blues. He may follow a slightly different path than that taken by his tartan-clad brethren but the “guts” inherent in the Cape Breton sound remain true-to-form and Campbelljohn’s unique calling card no matter where his travels take him. The distinctiveness of his sound has been applauded and appreciated from Sydney to Stuttgart.
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John Campbelljohn- (Vocals);
Daniel Ruiz Estrada- (Piano);
Steve Harnish- (Bass Guitar);
Stephen Morin- (Drums).
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01. Hey Hey Baby 2:50
02. Rock This House 3:20
03. 30 Dirty Women 3:14
04. Key To The Highway 4:19
05. Kokomo Blues 5:27
06. Seventh Son 3:13
07. How Blue Can You Get 4:55
08. You Don’t Have To Go 3:24
09. You Upset Me Baby 3:30
10. Walkin’ By Myself 4:16
11. You Gotta Move 2:29
12. Ask Me No Questions 3:10
13. Baby Please Don’t Go 3:58
14. Watch Yourself 3:57
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