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Royce Campbell: Gypsy Soul (2006)

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Royce Campbell: Gypsy Soul How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

In a program of originals that recalls the spirit of Django Reinhardt, the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, and other masters of early acoustic swing, guitarist Royce Campbell turns to the heartfelt spirit that feeds our soul.

Born in Indiana, Campbell issued his first recording in 1983. As Henry Mancini's guitarist, he toured and became acquainted with many aspects of songwriting. His work has always remained fresh and original. Campbell's discography, which includes tributes to Wes Montgomery, Charlie Byrd and Joe Pass, has moved in several directions, interpreting each aspect authentically with his guitar.

Gypsy Soul represents Campbell's tribute to the gypsy guitar masters. Backed by an acoustic trio of rhythm guitar, acoustic bass and light drum set percussion, the leader expresses the free spirit of the nomad entertainer. The added rhythm guitar tracks make the ensemble grow from a trio into a quintet: always swinging, always in sync.

Charlie's Swing lets the quintet romp through a comfortable country fling that moves up-tempo with a powerful drive. "The Rhythm Method moves even faster, launching the quintet into a casual affair that embraces swing. "The Happy Nomad proves light and festive, while "Slow Down, Low Down stirs the embers with a serious encounter that combines classical guitar with the blues. The quintet format allows Campbell to interpret from the heart with a warm embrace. Along the way, bassist Bob Bowen steps out with a few lovely solo stretches of his own.

Campbell interprets "Gypsy Romance alone and without meter. His thoughts drive the adventure with passion and clarity, and his expressive guitar brings a sincere delight to this recommended session of Gypsy Soul ideals.


Track Listing: On the Move; Im Gonna Take it Real Easy; The Rhythm Method; Slow Down, Low Down; The Happy Nomad; Minor Episode; Gypsy Romance; Bygones; Charlies Swing; A.M. Sunrise.

Personnel: Royce Campbell: guitar; Bob Bowen: bass; Phil Riddle: drums.

Record Label: Moon Cycle

Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


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