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Album Review

Jim Campilongo has received a good deal more exposure after his move to N.Y.C. and subsequent association with Norah Jones. But to expect his own albums to sound like Norah Jones would be ignoring his 20-plus-year career as a guitar player. His own albums have been a mix of country, blues, jazz, and rock and as a sideman he's done everything from straight blues (Preacher Boy) to indie rock (Cake) to avant funk with Click Dark (good luck finding that one). Orange proves to be almost as far-reaching as his résumé might indicate. Campilongo comes charging out of the gate on "Backburner," with harmonics jumping out of his Telecaster-on-steroids throughout. "I'm Helen Keller and You're a Waffle Iron" adds a bit of menace and "Fingerpuppet" gets just plain nasty with some wickedly delightful detuning. But Campilongo can play it pretty, too: "Awful Pretty, Pretty Awful" sounds like a Les Paul exercise with its delightful single-line runs, double stops, and rich chordal work, and "Chelsea Bridge" is all jazz chords and brushwork on the drums. "Orange" and "Because You Like Trombone" feature some nice acoustic/electric work. "Blues for Roy" could be called just about anything and you'd still know it's a tribute to the great Roy Buchanan with its beautiful thick guitar tone and volume swells. The covers of "No Expectations" and "No Fun" are the type of acoustic-guitar-with-female-vocals some people might have been expecting, but they're actually the least interesting tracks on the album. Jim Campilongo is a guitar player, pure and simple. Check your expectations at the door and enjoy.

Customer Reviews

Orange is Sweet and Tangy

I purchased most of the tracks from "American Hips" and all of "Heaven is Creepy" during the last few months, and as a music fan, I'm as pleased and impressed with "Orange" as I have been with anything else I've heard in the last decade, not to mention the previous mentioned works. I think Campilongo's work is best understood as a pastiche of feeling and subtle nuances which come together to make succinct, mature statements about the human condition: certainly this is true of "Orange." Balanced, it represents the accomplishments of a mature master of the guitar. Each piece of music has a natural organic feel to it which suggests originality and screams sincerity and isn't forced or contrived. Honestly, listening to it makes me glad to be alive and inspires me to celebrate each moment. Listening to "Orange" for the first time, is like viewing a Rembrandt, Manet, or Picasso for the first time. Furthermore, not a single work on it sounds like a take-off from his previous albums. Each track is unique yet unpretentious though clearly adept. Psychedelia, jazz, blues, country, rock, whatever you want to call this work, it is pure music. For me, Jim Campilongo is carrying the torch of psychedelic music, just as if he's picking up where Jimi Hendrix left off.

Refreshing, sweet and no pits.Acidic in all the right places.

I have all Jims stuff. He has evolved.I play a tele and this stuff comes from a differint place.Jim is a national treasure.On Orange you here his older stuff mixed with his ever more cosmic futureistic stuff.Its all here folks.So beutifuly played.Listen to Iggy's No Fun and The Stones Great Expetations intence ans heart wrenching. I have taken a couple of lessons from Jim.But i don't hear or see what he does.He has inspired me to get my first Tele and seek out his roots.

Exceptional Listening!!!

I've played guitar for 26 years now and like many others I've gone through various stages of genres, styles, scenes, etc, and after a while it's easy to get jaded and bored with new music when it first comes out. And it's been years since I've listened to guitar instrumental stuff simply because it's hard to find an artist who thinks outside the box. But this album really strikes a chord with me (pun intended) and I find this album to be very inspiring and refreshing for me as a musician/guitarist who also has a passion for recording. Not only is the musicianship and song-writing of this album incredible, but I really love the vibe of the recording itself. Jim Campilongo's tone and feel are incredible here. Too many people look to a player's chops or speed or 'flavor-of-the-month' style in an effort to try and associate an artist with a particular genre label. This album falls within many genres and yet the real hidden gems here are in the details like how an amp's reverb is captured, how an amp is placed in the 3D listening field, how the amps break-up on certain notes more than others, etc.. Yeah the playing is superb and the songs are mature, but the overall sound of the recordings are alone worth the ten dollars. Makes me want to obsess with my tones and mic placement and whatnot. Truly amazing stuff here...


Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Jim Campilongo was born and raised in San Francisco and began playing guitar in the mid-'70s, buying his first guitar with Green Stamps. His first teacher exposed him to a wide variety of music, but it was hearing Roy Buchanan that convinced him to make a living as a guitarist. By the early '90s, Campilongo was taking guitar students, in addition to playing with a variety of groups in a variety of styles. In 1990, one of those students gave him a 1959 Telecaster in exchange for some bass lessons...
Full Bio
Orange, Jim Campilongo
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Customer Ratings