That’s When I Know
This writer had the pleasure to see Eddie C. Campbell when he was part of Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All Stars in the late seventies, after his critically acclaimed LP King of the Jungle. Campbell’s distinctive playing and singing was a highlight. He moved overseas in 1984 and produced some of the best blues albums ever recorded in Europe. He has returned to the US in time for his wife to deliver a son, and produced this fine new album available on Blind Pig.
Comprised completely of Campbell originals, what sets apart both this album and Eddie’s music is how nicely paced it is. There’s no frenzy in his playing or mannerisms in his vocals. Both his slightly twangy guitar and his laconic singing are marked by a clean articulation of songs and notes, and his backing is tight, but never intrusive or overbearing. His songs hit a variety of moods, though usually marked by considerable humor. The echoes of his old friend, Magic Sam, might be evident, but he certainly is his own man.
About the only complaint one might raise is that this is over in a little over 40 minutes, but, another way to look at it is that it is all good stuff - it is a recording which possesses little filler. A very enjoyable listen.
I likely received a copy of this from Blind Pig. This review originally appeared in the December/ January 1994/1995 Jazz & Blues Report (issue 197). It is currently available used or as a download. Here is Eddie C. Campbell performing.