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CD Review -- Eddie C. Campbell

 

EDDIE C. CAMPBELL

Tear This World Up

Delmark Records

 Eddie C. Campbell CD art

by Dave Glynn

 

Tear This World Up, showcases the talents of veteran West Side Bluesman Eddie C. Campbell, headliner at this summer’s Chicago Blues Festival.  Eddie C., back for a while now from a long hiatus to Europe, reestablishes himself as one of Chicago’s top Bluesmen with both this CD and his stature at 2009’s blues fest. 

 

Eddie C. combines a sense of humor with some of the best West Side Soul since Magic Sam, one of his old buddies.  I particularly like this style of blues over many others, so forgive my jaded favoritism.  I think I like it most because it conveys a very easy going feeling, with troubadour-like vocals and the guitars aren’t distorted and have lots of reverb. That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of change-ups on this CD, the beats do change, but the overall feel is consistent, which you’d expect from a veteran.

 

From the boogie of “Makin’ Popcorn” to the jump blues of “Big World” to the West Side Soul of “Easy Baby” to the shuffle of “Tie Your Time Up”, this CD hops along very easily and entertains you like a nightclub set. I like the fact that the tracks flow together very tightly – there’s no real space between the songs.

 

Humorous standouts are “Makin’ Popcorn”, “Big World” and “Voodoo”.  Eddie’s sense of comedy and timing are very good to the point where you know this guy is a total card. Performance and arrangement standouts are “Easy Baby”, the Magic Sam tribute and “Care” has a unique, ‘60s style Stax-like arrangement.  But the track that really blew me away beyond all others was Eddie’s take of Gershwin’s “Summertime”.  Eddie’s arrangement of this song really brings it up to a level as distinct as the Janice Joplin version. When Tom Marker (WXRT, 93.1 FM – Chicago) played the cut on his Blues Breaker’s show, I immediately had to have this CD.

 

Production credits go to the two of Chicago’s top Blues preservationists, Dick Shurman and Bob Koester.  Dick, a good friend of Eddie C.’s produced the record with Bob K supervising Steve Wagner and Eric Butkus on the controls.  Having Shurman and Koester behind your Blues record is like having Don Was or T-Bone Burnett produce your pop record.

 

Eddie C. Campbell handles vocals and guitar and his supporting cast includes Dario Golliday on bass, Marty Binder on drums, Mojo Mark Cihlar on harmonica, Marty Sammon on piano and organ, Chuck Parrish on trumpet, Sam Burkhardt on tenor saxophone and Juli Wood on baritone saxophone.

 

The last song called “Bluesman” is autobiographical and has Eddie C. playin’ the acoustic guitar.  Eddie produces his resume in this song and it’s an impressive list of Bluesmen that he’s performed with over the years.  But most importantly on this song and on this entire recording, he credits all of the bluesmen and women and how you can hear each one of them in his playing and singing. Eddie gives credit where credit is due,  so let’s give Eddie C. some credit and buy his CD at the Jazz Record Mart or your local record store. It’s worth every penny and will tear your world up!

 

About the reviewer:  Dave Glynn is the leader of the Empty Can Band found at http://www.emptycanband.com You can follow Dave’s tweets on Twitter.com as @guitardone. Dave is also the PR co-chair for the Blues on the Fox Festival -  http://www.bluesonthefoxaurora.com

 

 

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