Living Blues - p.35
"The hard-funk backing of 'G-String' brings new ruggedness to another set of familiar riffs and themes; the straightforward ballad 'If You Make One Step' stretches his pipes to their limit....The Trickster of the Blues remains as impressible as ever..."
Adapter: Phillip Campbell.
The Campbell Brothers: Phil Campbell (guitar, bass guitar, hand claps, background vocals); Chuck Campbell (pedal steel guitar, hand claps); Malcolm Kirby (bass guitar); Darick Campbell, Denise Brown, John Medeski, Carlton Campbell.
Personnel: Darick Campbell (vocals, lap steel guitar, hand claps, background vocals); Denise Brown (vocals, hand claps, background vocals); Phillip Campbell (guitar, midi guitar, hand claps, background vocals); John Medeski (organ); Carlton Campbell (drums, hand claps).
Audio Mixers: John Medeski; Scotty Hard.
Liner Note Author: John Medeski.
Recording information: Spirit Sounds Studios, Chili, NY.
Photographer: Michael Didonna.
Arranger: Phillip Campbell.
Sacred steel has found its way into the consciousness of the music-listening public over the last few years, bringing the music of the House of God services to the masses. The real center of the genre lies in and around Rochester, NY, with the church of Charles Campbell being one of the focal points. Here, the children (and grandchildren) of the venerable Campbell elder pump out a series of pieces from in and out of the church. The idea in sacred steel is to make use of the wailing and moaning of steels to bridge the gap between blues and gospel in essence, with tinges of R&B, etc., thrown in for good measure. The brothers deliver on that goal quite well. The gamut from traditional songs ("Amazing Grace") to the works of Pops Staples and Sam Cooke is run ably, with the three front-line brothers putting together a volley technique of guitar playing that would make Lynyrd Skynyrd proud. The playing is quite good here, and -- perhaps more notably -- the recording quality is excellent, as opposed to many of the other sacred steel albums on the market. For new fans of sacred steel, this one's a sure pick. For those just looking into the genre, some of the compilations on Arhoolie may be better overviews. ~ Adam Greenberg