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The Campy Forum

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Table For One
  • Just wanted to thank Jim for this lovely music. Had a migraine last night, and as usual laid down in a dark room with a bag of frozen peas behind my head. Put on Table For One, and I was immediately pulled into the beauty and joy of this music, and there's no doubt it help me to relax and change my negative mood (due to the headache) into a positive one.

    I thought this "review" of the album from Allmusic.com was very well-done:
    On Table for One, Jim Campilongo forgoes the more overt country touches found on the instrumental only recordings done with his band the Ten Gallon Cats and focuses on the low-key, jazz tinged numbers in which the band would occasionally indulge. Songs like "Ewaltz" and "The Grass Is Greener" reflect more the influence of Bill Frissell than Jimmy Bryant. This is due both to Campilongo's own spacious arrangements and subtle guitar work as well as the absence of the fine pedal steel playing of Cats' regular Joe Goldmark -- he's featured here only on "D'Boat." Amidst the low key surroundings, though, Campilongo still manages to run the gamut stylistically without making the album sound like a careless pastiche. On "The Grass Is Greener" his playing organically shifts from atmospheric country chords to a solo that seamlessly alternates between tough blues licks and fluid jazz notes. Throughout the album Campilongo gets great support from bassist and Cats' member Chris Kee as well as new drummer Jason Lewis and accordion player and keyboardist Rob Burger from Oranj Symphonette and Tin Hat Trio fame. Burger in particular contributes fine solos including his Jimmy Smith-inspired, Hammond B3 work on "Feisty's Ride" and a cabaret style accordion exploration on "Strange Face." With the thoughtful title track and a smoldering version of Billy Sherrill's "Too Far Gone" rounding out the set, Table for One ends up being a fine showcase of not only Campilongo's considerable writing talents, but his accomplished, multidimensional guitar playing as well.
  • I think if forced to pick only one Campilongo CD, Table For One would be it. It is just lovely wonderful music.

    Luckily I don't have to choose though so I can enjoy them all :-)

  • Table for One is a current favorite of mine as well, and yes, such a beatiful record. To me it evokes what a Roy Buchanan session produced by Billy Sherril and arranged by Billy Strayhorn would probably sound like. :-)

    EVERY song is pure gold but the title track and Too Far Gone just kill me on every listen.

  • I was really touched by your comments and yeah - that review was a very insightful too. Thanks for posting.

    I hope my records show some kind of improvement and growth but Table for One still remains my favorite record - it was the first time I concentrated on songwriting over shredding and it was a particularly intense time in my life. It's my favorite because I look at Table for One as the runt of the litter... and it's a very personal record that I poured my heart into- I was going through a divorce, I moved out of my house and everything felt like it was collasping - for whatever that's worth.

    Table for One didn't make folks happy at the time - sales were weak, reviews so-so, some folks were confused and it suffered incorrect genre categorization. I was still considered a hardcore Country instrumentalist and Table for One wasn't the Cats take on "Speedy and Jimmy". One person called it my "suicide record". In some ways I didn't understand the confusion - there was a ton of guitar on the record, particularly on "Too Far Gone" which still remains as a personal favorite. Since I disappointed some of the "cat" fans and this was early in my recording career - I was worried I'd never be a able to make another record (Table was my third record) but as it usually does-everything turned out okay.

    Anyway, I think Rob and the group played brilliantly on Table for One and I'm forever grateful for their talent and support. I learned a lot from Rob Burger.

    In any event - considering I put that record out almost 18 years ago it really touches me that it still has some life and your comments really mean a lot. Thank you for listening.


    PS- My Tele and I look so young!


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  • Wow, thanks for the comments, Jim... "for whatever it's worth"- ALOT! I totally get being in tough places like that, and how it affects so many things in your life. Your story only makes me love the record even more! So cool to hear it's actually your personal favorite.

    "Suicide record"???? Artists are frequently misunderstood. And as far as critics go... those who can't do, become music critics!!
  • Thanks for sharing the back story on this very personal album, Jim. It’s remained a favorite of mine since its release. I remember transferring it to cassette and listening to it in the car while driving at night. It’s a mesmerizing, late night album for sure. I know I missed a few exits while driving as a result!
  • "Table For One" is a gem. Kind of like Neil Young's "Tonight's The Night", for lack of better comparison.

    "A statue has never been set up in honour of a critic!" - Jean Sibelius
  • Table for One and du nord are really special to me! Its funny because those were my introductions to Jim's playin, it was not until close to two years of after hearing Jim that I got around to the ten gallon cats stuff.

    I was living in Boston when I first heard Du Nord and Table for one and bailed on classes for the day and literally walked around the city just listening over and over and over. I loved Roy buchanan as a kid but whenever I met a "roy" fan I was a little disappointed, it always seemed like they dug the alligator stuff and I was all about the first two albums. When I first heard Jim it was like meeting someone who I knew was digging the same stuff that I did in Roy buchanan.

    That and the Fender video really got me into playing... a lot.

    The tele looks older but Jim looks the same!
  • cwilliams, great post!!! Makes me want to start a post "how did you get turned on to Jim?"

    Maybe I will!
  • Thanks you guys- you are very nice and I appreciate it.

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