ARTIST: Craig Campbell
VENUE: The Bluestone - Columbus, OH
REVIEWER: Jason Evans
Follow Jason on Twitter at @JEvans_Photos
CLICK ON PHOTO TO ACCESS ENTIRE PHOTO GALLERYCraig Campbell is the real deal when it comes to country music and is as genuine as they come. Craig played a show in Columbus, OH at The Bluestone on Thursday night 4/16/15.
Before we get to Craig's headlining performance, a couple other country newcomers would grace The Bluestone stage with their own performances. Sandra Lynn would be the first act of the evening. Sandra is new to me as I had only briefly heard a couple of her songs prior to her performance. I was impressed by Sandra's stage presence as she owned the stage making her way from one end of it to the other waving at the fans and interacting with them as she would flash a beautiful smile while performing her songs. Sandra would perform her last single "Afterparty" and also performed a cover of Bonnie Raitt's "Something to Talk About". Lynn would close out her set with her newest single "Bar Hoppin'" and then invite the fans to stop by and say hi at the merchandise table.
Next up would be Dean Alexander. Dean has most recently been sharing the stage while on the road with Eric Paslay touring the bar/club scene. Dean brought a lot of energy and attitude to the stage with the speakers and amps turned up loud. He kicked off his set with "Let the Bad Times Roll". Dean's performances were just what the night needed to get the fans pumped up and ready for a party. Some of the songs that Dean included in his set this evening were "Let It Go", "Keep Your Crazy" and "Sunshine in My Rain". Dean would close out his set with "Life Ain't Fair" and "Live A Little". Although Dean mentioned that they were having technical difficulties onstage, that did not stop him from bringing a great performance to the fans and certainly gave it his all.
As the crew was clearing the stage and setting up for the headliner of the evening, Craig Campbell, the fans were lining up out at the merchandise tables to say Hi, get a picture with or an autograph from Sandra Lynn and Dean Alexander. After the stage setup was finished and the crowd packed in tighter on the floor in front of the stage, it was now time for Craig Campbell. The stage was set up with a piano made to look like a bar and the initials CC lighted up on the front with a Craig Campbell banner hanging above the stage.
Yelling and cheering came from the crowd as the band began to take the stage and broke into a cover of Brooks and Dunn's "Play Something Country" as Craig appeared onstage providing the vocals. Craig would follow up with "Shindig", "My Little Cowboy" and "Outta My Head". I am a big fan of Craig's because I've always loved the traditional country sound and Craig provides that. Craig would perform a fun song titled "Truck N Roll" from his latest CD "Never Regret" and has incorporated a type of dance move in which he has titled "The Dolphin". Gotta check out a Craig Campbell concert to see "The Dolphin". One of my personal favorites is a song called "Family Man" and being a father of two boys myself, it hits home for me.
Now, did I say Craig Campbell is Country? Here is how "country" Craig Campbell is. At one point in the show, the band provided two bar stools at Craig's bar/piano and invited two fans up onstage. Sitting on top of the bar was a mason jar of "Smoky Mountain Moonshine" in which he will share with two special guests from the crowd while playing a song at his piano. As the two fan sat at the bar and Craig at the piano, he would proceed to inform the crowd that he used to play piano for Tracy Byrd and for Luke Bryan and that this was the first song that he had ever learned on the piano. Craig would begin to play Garth Brooks' "The Dance" on the keys and the crowd would get as loud as it had been all night. After the song had finished Craig would begin to play and sing the first few lines of "Let it Go" from "Frozen" and then stopped and said I'm kidding, I'm not playing that one and stood up from the piano. Craig would then say you can't drink moonshine without playing a Merle Haggard tune! He would begin playing "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" while passing the mason jar around to the fans standing in front of him.
Craig Campbell has had two CD releases. One self titled CD and the most recent one titled "Never Regret". Craig would perform two brand new songs during the show, one of which was called "Winnebago" and the other which will be his newest single to country radio called "Tomorrow, Tonight". Following these new songs the band would begin into an instrumental battle of sorts in which Craig would introduce the band members to the crowd as they would play solo performances of their specialty as an introduction to Craig's most recent hit "Keep Them Kisses Coming" and then would finish up with a song from his first album called "Fish" as he would also throw in a little teaser of "Fishin' in the Dark" encouraging audience participation. Craig Campbell throws a party like no other and I would encourage you to check out a Craig Campbell concert and we are looking forward to the release of the new single, "Tomorrow, Tonight", as well as a new upcoming album!! Thanks for keeping it Country Craig!
Please Check out CraigCampbell.tv for more information on this amazing artist!