Larry Campbell | Rooftops

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Folk: Traditional Folk World: Celtic Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Larry Campbell

I suppose the common thread running through most of this album (with the exception of the two originals and "The House Carpenter") is that these are all tunes that I originally learned on the fiddle. Hope you enjoy it.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Camp Chase
3:46 $0.99
2. Black And White Rag
3:23 $0.99
3. Margaret's Waltz
2:58 $0.99
4. Rooftops
3:51 $0.99
5. The House Carpenter
7:34 $0.99
6. Blind Mary
3:07 $0.99
7. The Market Town/Scatter the Mud
3:36 $0.99
8. Ragtime Annie
3:25 $0.99
9. Death and the Sinner
3:36 $0.99
10. The Scholar/The Bank of Ireland
4:04 $0.99
11. Henderson County
2:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Larry Campbell is a multi-instrumentalist who has been recording music with other artists and performing as a backup musician since the 70s. He presently has his own solo acoustic guitar album out called "Rooftops".

Larry has had extensive experience as a studio musician as evidenced by his discography. Over the past few years, Larry has recorded with Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Peter Wolf, Little Feat, Lyle Lovett, B. B. King and Sheryl Crow to name a few. In addition, Larry played on Bob Dylan's latest studio album, "Love and Theft" which received 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine and was nominated and won a Grammy Award for "Best Contemporary Folk Album". (2002) Coincidentally, he also played on Buddy and Julie Miller's album that year (titled "Buddy and Julie Miller") which was also nominated for "Best Contemporary Folk Album

Larry was a member of Bob Dylan's "Never Ending Tour" band from March 31, 1997 until November 21, 2004. When he joined the band, he replaced J.J. Jackson as a guitarist and his role in the band expanded to multi-instrumentalist, playing other instruments such as cittern, violin/fiddle, pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, mandolin, banjo and slide guitar. He also contributed vocals. When introducing Larry and the rest of the band, Bob Dylan often referred to them as some of the finest musicians in the country.

When Larry was not performing with Bob Dylan, he often made guest appearances with other artists including Richard Shindell, Buddy and Julie Miller, Levon Helm and Little Feat. Prior to 1997, Larry played on tour with other artists, including Cyndi Lauper , K. D. Lang,and Rosanne Cash.
Since his departure from Bob Dylan's band, he continues to make guest appearances with various artists. Over the summer, Larry joined Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris on their tour. He also joined them when they appeared on "Late Night With David Letterman" and "The Today Show". Larry has an open invitation to sit in with Levon Helm at his Rambles in Woodstock, and he does so as his schedule permits. In addition, Larry has been performing with his wife, Teresa Williams, who is an actress and singer. They have performed locally in New York City, on Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour and on The Blue Plate Special, a radio show out of Knoxville, Tennessee.

In addition to performing and recording with other artists, Larry has been called on by numerous musicians to produce their albums. Larry spent some time in August 2000 producing, recording and writing for Charles Lyonhart's album "Down to the Hard Line". He also played on, wrote for and produced an album for "The Dixie Hummingbirds" called "Diamond Jubilation" which was released in July 2003. Garth and Maud Hudson started playing one of Larry's songs that he wrote for The Dixie Hummingbirds' album called "When I Go Away" when they perform live. Most recently, Larry produced his own solo acoustic guitar album. He is currently working on producing an album for Ollabelle and is touring with Phil Lesh and Friends

Larry Campbell
Treasure Records

Most fans will recognize Larry Campbell as the magnificent accompanist to Bob Dylan in recent years, where his electric, acoustic, pedal steel guitar and fiddle playing added such a grand texture to Dylan’s live shows and recent recorded output.

Yet, those who only know Campbell from his work with Dylan are missing a much bigger, and better, musical picture, as this wondrous instrumental guitar album points out. According to his liner notes, Campbell originally learned most of these tunes on the fiddle, and transfers that knowledge to acoustic guitar for the release.

Campbell has been a fixture on the music scene for many years, having also worked with artists as diverse as Sheryl Crow, Buddy and Julie Miller, and Cyndi Lauper, among many others. Yet, this is his very first solo album, clearly a poignant, personal amalgam of his soulful picking and playing. Listening to it, it is clear why these many musicians want to work with him.


(Album Review)

The first time I saw Larry Campbell play was at a Bob Dylan concert at the bottom of a ski slope in Boalsburg, PA. Campbell had been in the band about a month and the on-line reviews were mixed at best with many complaining the new guitarist wasn’t doing very much. My reaction was finally, a real lead guitar player. One who played country on the country songs and blues on the blues songs. There was no doubt in my mind that Larry Campbell had listened to and studied the great guitar players, he was a what a good guitar player should be, a walking catalog of guitar licks and riffs, and more important, he knew when to play and when not to.

That sense of when and what to play never changed during his long tenure with Bob Dylan. A band, whether a back-up band or not is a team, and above all Larry Campbell was a team player. But sometimes being a team player doesn’t mean you get to do your best stuff, ’cause you’re doing what’s right for the team.

Now I don’t know whether “Rooftops” Larry Campbell’s all instrumental album is his best stuff or not, but in the more than 50 times I saw him play with Bob Dylan there were only slight glimpses of the music on this album, like when he restored the finger-picking part to “Boots of Spanish Leather” or perhaps in the latest re-arrangement of “Girl From The North Country.”

“Rooftops” is the kind of album they used to make a long time ago. As Campbell points out in the liner notes, the songs are mostly fiddle tunes, many of them Irish fiddle tunes transposed to guitar. There’s nothing so new in that, Doc Watson’s reputation is pretty much based on that, and lots of other pickers such as Dave Bromberg followed suit. It’s what you do with the songs that counts, and where the songs take the listener.

There’s lots of stuff on this album to make guitar pickers want to figure the stuff out, and Campbell graciously provides the various tunings he used. On the two opening songs, “The Camp Chase” and “Black and White Rag,” there’s plenty of astounding moments. The latter song reminds me of Dave Van Ronk who also liked to transpose rags to guitar.

The seven-minute excursion of “House Carpenter” -- perhaps the album’s tour de force shows that you don’t always need the lyrics to get the story. Campbell’s guitar sails several seas, each one a little different, before coming ashore only to return to sea again.

However as amazing and dexterous Campbell’s picking on the fast songs may be, for the heart of this album is in the slower Irish songs, “Margaret’s Waltz,” “Blind Mary” and “Death and the Sinner.” Like most of the songs on “Rooftops,” they take me to another time and place. “Margaret’s Waltz” in particular reminds me of a record I once heard years ago of a song named “Tramps and Hawkers” by some long gone group called the Arwen Mountain String Band. About the third time I heard that record, I realized the melody was “I Pity the Poor Immigrant,” and a host of other Irish songs. Either way there was something about that version of that song, the almost classical fingerpicking that touched something deep inside and that’s what Campbell does on these songs.

And he sums that feeling up perfectly in his own composition, “Henderson County,” which he says in the liner notes is “written in homage to the places we either go physically or in our minds that that provide refuges from the daily burdens.

And that’s what “Rooftops” is. It’s a refuge and a beautiful one. And it should be noted that Larry did a great job producing this. You can almost feel the wood on the guitars.

- Mark T. Gould


(Album Review) "No Depression" Magazine

Larry Campbell has been a respected sideman as a member of Bob Dylan’s touring band for seven years and has worked in the studio with Rosanne Cash, Jim Lauderdale, the Dixie Hummingbirds and others. Campbell shows he’s cabable of being a frontman with “Rooftops”, his debut disc, which serves as a showcase of his considerable skills. It’s a true solo effort. He performs eleven instrumentals by himself on acoustic guitar with imagination and flair.

Campbell included eight songs he originally learned on the fiddle, and demonstrates their adaptability on guitar. “The Camp Chase” is a sprightly opener that features a melodic banjo part. “The Market Town/Scatter the Mud” is a successful blending of two Irish jigs. The traditional “House Carpenter”, the album’s longest cut at seven-plus minutes builds and subsides in intensity like a classical piece.

The reflective title track was inspired by the New York City building where he grew up practicing the guitar. Like a roof offers a wider view on the world, “Rooftops” should raise Campbell’s musical profile.

Tom Wilk



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Wilfried Wemhöner

larry campbell rooftops
a record for the lonely island

Wilfried Wemhöner

Larry cambell rooftops
what a great album; a record for the lonely island.

linda martin

saw larry and his wife with phil lesh last night in charotte n.c. was so very good, we really enjoyed it, plus I have seen them singing on Song of the Mts and was wondering where I could get a cd of them singing together. loved the song \"All I want is you\" They are quite the talent together and was just trying to find a way to let them know , and find their music. thank you, Linda Martin