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Scott Campbell (and Friends) Release New CD

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A Tallahassee singer/guitarist has released a new collection of his own songs.

Scott Campbell brought in an all-star cast of local musical friends to help him realize this sonic vision and said his musical aspirations began at a very early age.

“As a kid I had three older brothers and there was a guitar laying around that none of them did much with. But something about it attracted me and what was on the radio and what I got to see as a kid…I wanted to do that.”

That desire was further ramped up, Campbell recalled, when he saw his very first rock concert at age nine; a concert during which arguably the greatest rock guitarist of all time was the opening act for a made-for-TV band that could barely play their instruments.

“(It was) the Monkees,” he remembered. “My brother took me to see them in Miami at the Miami Beach Convention Center – it must have been 1967 – and Jimi Hendrix opened for them. So that had to get into my blood, although I didn’t know who it was at the time.”

A fired-up Campbell then threw himself into mastering the mysteries of the “six-string mistress”, as the guitar has been described by many of its devoted practitioners.

“Mostly it was just trying to do what my heroes were doing, how Eric Clapton bent a string or how Duane Allman (did it). You know, pick up the (record) needle and pull it back and do what they’re doing. I didn’t even sing for years, much to my mom’s chagrin; ‘You have such a nice voice!’ ‘But, Ma…I’m a guitar player!’”

Campbell admitted he was so shy during his teen years, he didn’t even play in a band, preferring instead to perfecting his craft in his bedroom. But eventually he did start playing with other musicians and developed quite a reputation in and around Tallahassee. Now Campbell has released a new collection of eight tunes entitled “An Old Photo”. That song was inspired by an actual 1908-vintage photograph of his maternal grandfather.

“Usually I write a song and it’s some angst-ridden feeling that I’ve got to get out in the middle of the night,” he said. “But I woke up one day thinking, ‘Artists are craftsman, too; you should work your craft!’ and I wrote a song and it started with, ‘I’ve got an old photo on a dresser in a frame. It’s of a young man much younger than I am today. I don’t know what they called him then, but I know his name and it’s Albert P. McQuaid there.’”

Campbell had some other tunes well-rehearsed with his regular drummer and bass player and ready to record.

“Five of the eight songs was (with) Leon Anderson and Randy Barnhill and we just went in and played. Because I actually had a gig that got canceled and I called up Kris Kolp at Log Cabin (Studios) who recorded it and he said he had the date open, so I went in with Leon and Randy and we just played.”

But like a party that gets better the more people show up, Campbell said the songs just seemed to call out for a bit more spice and sweetening. “And then I’d listen to those and I’d think of my buddies and I’d think this could use a little bit of Hammond organ so I’d call in John Babich…this one ventures out a little bit further, so I called Hal Month of Dead Keys; a wonderful piano player. It’s almost embarrassing to sing on this record when you think of the background vocals I got on there. There’s Avis Berry, Kelly Goddard and Brian Durham.”

Also adding their artistry to several tracks were Tom Longfellow on sax, Mike McKenzie on trumpet, drummer Ed Bradley, guitarists Kevin Robertson and Buck Colson and studio owner Kolp on harmonica. Fourteen of Tallahassee’s top musicians joining Scott Campbell on “An Old Photo”, which he said can be found in a few places around town and online.

“The Quarter Moon at Lake Ella and the Gray Fox on North Monroe have my record. (And) there’s CD Baby, which is a real gift to independent artists, where you can find this record.”

And fans might want to attend Scott Campbell’s release concert for “An Old Photo.” It happens this Friday evening (11/4) starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Northside Stage. That’s located at Wildwood Church near the corner of North Meridian and Ox Bottom Roads north of Tallahassee.

Follow @flanigan_tom

Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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