Quickly becoming known as the “Family Man” after the release of his hit single by the same title, Craig Campbell is showing audiences around the country that he has what it takes to become a chart-topping Country superstar. Currently out on the road with Josh Turner, Campbell is enjoying the benefits of performing for the larger crowds attending the shows.
“Opening for Josh is always a good time. This is my first full-band experience on tour with him. Usually, it’s just me and my acoustic guitar, and this time out it’s showing me how much fun it really is to be playing with a full band in front of all the people who come to see the show, and I’m really glad I’m having this opportunity. I just hope the audiences enjoy the show.”
And what do the audiences think about this Georgia native? Before the show, one attendee hailing from Macon, GA., admitted she hadn’t heard much about Craig prior to that evening. After seeing his performance, it was a broad smile, two thumbs up and three words that described her impression: “I like him!”
The title of Campbell’s first hit single truly describes the nature of the Country artist. It was after moving from Lyons, GA to Nashville in 2002 that Campbell met Mindy Ellis, the woman who would become his wife and mother to his two daughters. When he talks about his family, it’s easy to see that they are the most important part of his life.
“The hardest part about being on the road is that I’m not able to see Mindy and the girls as often as I’d like, but they are the reason I’m doing what I do. I think it’s a small price to pay to be able to provide for them in the way that I’d like to. I think I’m doing a good job at taking care of them so it all balances out. But it’s still hard not seeing them all the time.”
Campbell spent a number of years working his way up through the Nashville music scene before getting noticed by the right people to help him take his career to the next level. He played in the bars on lower Broadway, wrote songs, worked as a musician in Tracy Byrd’s band and, essentially, paid his “Music City Dues.” But all the hard work reaped huge rewards when hit producer Keith Stegall of Bigger Picture Group liked what he saw in the budding star and signed Campbell as an artist.
Stegall and Bigger Picture Group have helped Campbell gain fans around the world, including Australia where Campbell’s self-titled CD debuted high on the Australian Country Music Charts. Released in April of 2011, Campbell’s CD has garnered him critical acclaim by fans and music critics alike. One reviewer went so far as to say “I think we’ve found the next Alan Jackson (and) his name is Craig Campbell.”
Being on the road can be hard on an artist, but it has its rewards, too. When asked whether he had time to enjoy the sights of the various cities in which he’s performed, Campbell cracked a smile and nodded his head.
“When we’re on the road, we try to get out in each town we’re in and do something fun… like this morning, we went and played golf. I like seeing the attractions in different places and having the opportunity to see the country and all it has to offer.”
Craig Campbell’s schedule currently has him on the road through August, including appearances at the upcoming CMA Music Festival in Nashville where he will perform on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage. Make sure to catch Campbell in concert when he comes to a city near you. It will be a performance you’ll not only remember, but will talk about for a long time to come.
By - Dan Harr