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The Campy Forum

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How Did You First Discover Jim Campilongo?
  • My buddy Tony Pepitone sent me a DVD of a Little Willies show he taped along with a solo show of Jim at The Living Room. Jim's playing is right up my alley. Unique, quirky at times, moving from playing the perfect thing to going outside of the box. I loved the songs and the refreshing organic tone. It wasn't strictly one style but a mashup of so many things I like. Thank goodness for Jim's music and playing to inspire others.
  • I can't believe I never contributed to this thread

    My introduction to Jim was like many.... The Fender Princeton Reissue video. Those first 40 seconds where Jim played what I now recognize as "Wishful Thinking" was flat out life altering. I spent quite a bit of time hunting down what I could. Unfortunately I misunderstood Jim when he said in the video he played with Nora Jones. I assumed he was in her band. Being a fan of Nora's I looked through all her CDs trying to find the one Jim played on.

    Anyways.. It was quite a path that led me there. After playing guitar for 20 years my wife bought me the guitar of my dreams for my 40th birthday. An Olympic white Stratocaster. I was totally self taught and a bit of a hack. The thought of owning that guitar inspired me to hunker down and become more proficient. That led to a lot of web surfing and reading of the forums. Back when Fender reissued the Princeton there was a lot of buzz on The Gear Page which led me to check out the video on Youtube. Seconds in I knew I'd found something special. Jim didn't play the worn out pentatonic licks. There was something really refreshing in his music. Since then I have bought every one of Jim's CDs, many lessons, and my own Princeton. Still a Strat player though. :-)

    Someday I'll make it New York to see Jim live in person.

  • Through a Guitar Player Lesson. I really connected with those lessons in GP because Jim had a knack for not only teaching a cool lick, but sharing some aspect of music/guitar "truth" that was lacking in other lessons. And they were always right to the point. After that I bought the first 10 Gallon Cats CD and realized I had stumbled on a true original. That doesn't happen to me much in the here and now, and it inspired me to find out who the heck I was musically. I'm still on that path and enjoying it more than ever.
  • Being from and living in Maryland for almost 50 years and the fact that there is still a great Tele scene here. We are always looking for hot "tele pickers" so it didn't take long for Jim to show up on the radar so to speak. Wish Jim came here to play ...hint hint :) I am sure lots of people would come out and see Jim and there are plenty of the old players from DG's and RB's old line ups that would love to meet Jim too.

    Jeff (forum newbie)
  • I read the Guitar Player review of "Jim Campilongo and the Ten Gallon Cats" I guess right after it came out. Bought the album then and have been sold ever since.

  • In my lifelong journey as a student of the guitar I had somehow lost my way over the last half dozen years. Attached to a Joe Bonamassa email was a video of this white haired guy in his apartment talking about his '59 Tele and a Fender Princeton amp. That Fender Fender tone and his technique was an epiphany for me. I purchased a used standard Tele and plugged it into my Vox Valvetronix. I was now part way to Nirvana but something was amiss. After some deep thought I realized I only had half of the equation. I sold my beloved PRS and bought a PRRI. Now I was on my way. Fender Fender tone and refocused on technique. After all it's a marathon not a sprint. Thank you Jim!

  • Hi, My real name is Thom. I am not a guitar player, but briefly tried, taking lessons with Joe Gore in San Francisco in 1988. When Joe quit teaching to go write for Guitar Player, he referred me to Jim. I used to take lessons in his room near a park in SF, then share coffee with him afterwards. I was in graduate school at the time, and my time with Jim was a great diversion from that. While I was taking lessons with him, Jim formed Po Go Bo, and they put on some great shows, including opening for Screamin’ Jay Hawkins at Slims. Over the next few years I also saw Jim solo a number of times, then with the 10 Gallon Cats. Then I left for Austin, and of course Jim left for New York. We saw him with the Little Willies at SXSW a few years ago and I have seen a couple of the recent Yoshi’s shows. Have not yet made it to NYC to see him, but I hope to.
  • Thom - Thank you for your post ... We really go back, don't we? It's great to see your post and it was nice to see you at Yoshi's. Any word from Joe Gore?
  • I play in a local (Milwaukee) classic-rock cover band and sometimes we do shows as an Allman Brothers Tribute act. Our local guitar-meister (and overal-great guy!) Greg Koch was our guest guitar player at one these shows a few years ago. He showed me the ultra-cool sounding "Chet chord" he was playing before the gig and mentioned I should check out Jim Campilongo...but I never followed-up! After reading Jim's columns for Guitar Player over the past year, I realized how knowledgable he was.. and then when I saw a mention on FB for a Chet Atkins lesson ("LIttle Bit of The Blues") from Jim's website...I bought it! Talk about money well-spent! His tablature style is WAY easier to follow for me. I can read music...but have always struggled with standard guitar-tab...don't know why. He's a gifted teacher/communicator. He has really good penmanship too!

    Anyway...you all know what I heard when I "discovered" his recorded output. His abilities as a Tele-wrangler are one thing...but his melodies and arranging...especially on the pretty stuff...oh man! Seriously...if something like "Pepper" was the theme song for some major Hollywood movie...it would be nominated for an Oscar...it's prettier than any Randy Neuman melody..in my humble opinion.

    We were lucky to be sitting about 6 ft. in front of The Jim Campilongo Trio..(and Jim's Deluxe on 10..sounded great!) this week at The Green Mill in Chicago. Their ensemble playing blew me away...they're now my favorite band! Plus they were all gracious, polite people when we met them. But...the big revelation/inspiration to me was Jim just plain old plugging right into that (probably rented) Deluxe Reverb...with the Peterson Strobotuner as his only pedal....and sounding like....Jim Campilongo! The new live CD is also outstanding in a way I didn't expect: I'm not a big fan of "jamming" per-se..but the Trio can JAM...especially on the cuts with Nels Cline...pull-over if you're listening while driving! I'm even hearing a hint of "Live At Leeds" on this CD!
  • Danny- Thank you for your kind post and for going to the Green Mill show- I'm glad you enjoyed it. I know we did.

    During and after the JC & Honeyfingers "Last Night, This Morning" record - I was playing and developing the music on "Live at Rockwood" and thought it would be a good follow up. I really hope you like it and thank you for buying my music.

    Have a great day- Jim
  • Thom - Yes, Matt is in Byrne I think. I saw Robin a few years back and she's beautiful, happy and raising a teenager - Joe is still in SF being a guitar genius I assume.
    Thanks for checking in and I'm glad you're on the forum. - Jim

  • Wait, is the new live CD out???? Did I miss it????
  • I have them here at my place and bring them to live shows to sell. Though the release date is March 2018 they should be available online in hard copy and digital download in two weeks or so. Thanks for your interest, it means a lot.

    All the best- Jim

  • Great!! Can't wait, Jim!

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