Jeff Campbell is visiting from San Francisco, but he says Portland feels like his hometown of Philadelphia. Both cities are full of love for their residents – supporting local artists and creating programs that encourage creativity in the community. Campbell is not technically a local (Portland) musician, but he is playing alongside some of our city’s familiar favorite faces. For example: Nathan Earle of The Get Ahead, Wil Kinky, Redwood Son and Tyler Stenson have, or will be joining Campbell on stage this week, providing a common theme with a unique twist every night of the residency. In the audio interview, Campbell discusses his writing process, the journey that led him to accept an Al’s Den residency, and what inspires him to keep growing as a musician.
Campbell has a very balanced approach to writing – sometimes a lyric gets him going, but sometimes it’s a drumbeat or a particular melody. He follows his heart when writing, and that’s his advice to growing musicians. Campbell’s friend and fans say that he has a signature sound, regardless of the initial inspiration. He says, “write when you feel like it, pay attention to what inspires you, and go where you are led.: He loves the entire process of making music – from the initial brainstorming to the studio recording sessions. If it’s creative, Campbell is enjoying it.
In fact, Campbell enjoys most of what he does – he’s got a light-hearted and positive approach to his “job”, citing such influences as handshakes and the Beatles in the same sentence. He’s been very wise to invite like-minded guest artists to join him every night. The stage banter is guaranteed to be hilarious! Campbell is a musician who appreciates that all artists have a different process, but he just happens to have chosen guest artists who complement his personality perfectly…or maybe he knows exactly what he’s doing.
Campbell is totally devoted to his music, and he tends to work with equally persistent artists – he has formed a new rock project in the Bay Area, Static and Surrender is a group of mates who have played together off and on for years, always hoping for a chance to combine efforts on a project. They are looking forward to being active and developing their ideas in a timely manner because all the members are fully committed to their music! They are just getting started, but definitely a band we will be following!
For now, you can find Campbell on Facebook and on the web by googling him. He encourages seekers to look past the ads for Jeff Campbell shoes. He says the shoes are high-end, but we say the music is better. He’ll be at Al’s Den tonight through Saturday 6/4. Shows are 7-10PM and totally free, in McMenamins Al’s Den. Come early, and expect to stay late, as Campbell and his guests are very responsive to their audiences.
Check out Jeff’s video on his Facebook Page.