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The World Is Crazy (Live In Germany)

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Album Review

Basically, this is a searing 2003 live date from Canadian (Cape Breton to be precise) blues guitarist John Campbelljohn, who specializes in the lap slide mode of playing though he is also an acoustic guitarist of startling ability, and has great emotional depth as a songwriter when he wants to. He and his rhythm section roar through 11 originals and a stomping read of Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'." This is stripped to the bone, walking-on-the-wire, hardcore, rollicking electric blues. Campbelljohn may not be from the U.S., but he doesn't slip into Yankee blues clichés, either. His sound is raw, unhinged, rowdy, and shows none of the artificial upper class polish of his Chicago contemporaries; and while he rocks, he doesn't delve into the sterile waters of Clapton-ist laziness or guitar god masturbation either. This is straight talk, hard, wooly, and raucous. Campbelljohn's best tunes, "Heart Like a Stone," "Martha Mae," "Nerves of Steel," and the showstoppers, "Ready for a Riot" and "Punchin' Bag," are off the chart. Campbelljohn's knowledge of blues traditions as well as early hillbilly and even rockabilly blues come into his playing and writing as well, making him more sophisticated than most of his contemporaries, but it all folds its way into that blistering energy, as he and his band pull out all the stops. [A live in Germany version was also released.]

Biography

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Working with a trio that harnesses his exciting guitar work and powerful songwriting, Canadian blues-rocker John Campbelljohn first arrived at the age of 14. Growing up in a household that often had jamborees and parties that celebrated music, Campbelljohn was enamored with the guitar from an early age. He was not into the Celtic music that his community enjoyed, so he took up the guitar and studied artists like Son House and Muddy Waters. Sonny Landreth became a huge influence, and it led him to...
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The World Is Crazy (Live In Germany), John Campbelljohn Trio
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