The Jim Campilongo Trio
with Chris Morrisey and Josh Dion
Live at Rockwood NYC
(Blue Hen: March, 2018)

Live at Rockwood


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"…New York has no shortage of guitar heroes but few cover as many bases as Jim Campilongo..." -Time Out New York

"...There it was again: the stinging treble, the spooky overtones, the strings snapping and booming under his hands—the sound of a Tele being played as skillfully and exuberantly as it can be played…it sounded like nothing and nobody else—sounded like Jim Campilongo…" -The New Yorker

"…An engaging improviser whose … supple moves can keep an audience enthralled—meaning their asses wiggle and their minds jiggle..." -The Village Voice

"…Mr. Campilongo connects American styles … in a sly, knowing way..." -The New York Times

"…Campilongo plays like he’s engaging in a long, very personal conversation: It ranges from heated to relaxed, angst-ridden, and even a little flirty—but it’s always fluent, spontaneous and full of nuance, texture, and emotional truth." - Premiere Guitar

New York, NY - Jim Campilongo's twelth solo album, "LIVE AT ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL NYC" (Blue Hen), chronicles The Jim Campilongo Trio’s celebrated Monday night, East Village residency, showcasing standout performances from dozens of shows recorded over several months. The result is freer, riskier and more in the moment than any studio session could allow. At turns ferocious, mesmerizing, raw and unabashed, "LIVE AT ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL NYC", documents in real time an evolving, “New York Music”; breaking new ground, and building new sounds.

The trio calls this music, “Free Rock”.

It’s easy to come up with superlatives when talking about Jim Campilongo. Even in a city as jammed with exceptional musicians as New York, this iconoclast guitarist's gifts are evident the moment his fingers meet his strings.

LIVE AT ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL NYC features three of New York's finest musicians. Chris Morrissey, on bass (Sara Bareilles, Mark Guilliana's Beat Music, Taurus), and Josh Dion (Pat Martino, John Medeski, Paris Monster), on drums and occasional vocals, display...
JC: "... an unprecedented chemistry. I think Josh and Chris are one of the greatest rhythm sections in the history of the world, and we absolutely take no prisoners! On a good night, we can plunge full-speed, head-first into uncharted territory, navigating a jazz sensibility akin to Miles Davis, with the rocking intensity of Cream, Hendrix and The Who".

The incredible Nels Cline, (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers, many others), who joins the trio whenever his busy touring schedule allows, is featured on two tracks: "Cock and Bull Story", and, "There You Are". The former clocks in at over ten minutes and highlights the band’s seemingly fathomless improvisational skills.

LIVE AT ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL NYC, opens with its hair on fire with, “I’m Helen Keller and You’re a Waffle Iron”, reinterpreted from Jim's acclaimed LP, “Orange”. The band chugs, grinds, and howls before dropping out in the solo section, creating a, "The Who meet Miles Davis", maelstrom of harmony and freewheeling, seat-of-your-pants synergy.
JC: "This tune is everything I wanted it to be; dirty, raw and smart. It's a great opener”.

“Big Bill”, an up-tempo piece Campilongo wrote in ‘96 for the 10 Gallon Cats, is basically a "rhythm changes" tune the trio has completely - and repeatedly - retooled.
JC: “It’s completely different every night, and every night I look forward to playing it. There were so many good and different versions, we could have put out an entire record of 'Big Bill's, (laughs). I especially like the energy of this version, and what happens at 4:25 is magical!”

"Here I Am", (Ray Charles), features multi-instrumentalist, Josh Dion, on vocals.
JC:'Here I Am', was recorded on two-track so we were limited somewhat in mixing as far as levels go, but Josh’s vocal performance was so special and the band dynamic so substantial, we knew we had to include it.”

“Jimi Jam”: Excerpted from an extended improv, Jimi Jam illustrates the “Free Rock” leanings of the trio. Faded in and out, 70’s live album style, its ferocity emanates from a vein of early-era Cream, or Hendrix.
JC: “I quoted Hendrix a few times , hence the title ‘Jimi Jam’. I’ve been in awe of Hendrix for nearly fifty years, and this is our humble tribute”.

"Cock and Bull Story”:
JC: “That track is one of the key reasons I wanted to release these performances as a live record! We change keys twice, divine our way into an introspective spell, finally falling into a section you could call, 'Comrades In Rage', (laughs). We’d never take this kind of chance in the studio, (laughs)! Sure, the perfectionist in me wants every hair in place, but the trade off for abandoning ‘perfection’ is capturing some unabashedly ferocious performances in real time... I can live with that!”

The two new, never-released tracks, "There You Are", "Sal’s Waltz", compliment the record beautifully; soothing respites from the burning intensity of the other tracks. Both are built around haunting, introspective melodies, taking the listener on a dynamic and impressionistic journey. And, Nels’ contribution on lap-steel guitar is...
JC: "... absolutely sublime! Nels is an amazing artist who has the rare gift to contribute exactly what serves a song while retaining his own inimitable voice”.

“Jim’s Blues” is a “CD only” bonus track. The trio deconstructs a blues form with a "second-line" backbeat over a thrilling eight minutes, typical of this elastic, empathetic trio’s penchant for honoring, while simultaneously twisting, traditional forms and styles.
JC: “I like this track because it has a jazz mentality yet is still robust, without straying into ‘alpha-blues’, ‘Blues Hammer’ clichés.”

JC: “I’ve always wanted to release a record that captured the band’s live spirit, but after you’ve booked expensive studio time, put on the headphones, and feel the clock ticking, it takes a toll. This record bypassed all of that, and I’m ecstatic with the unhinged quality and adventurous-yet-always-generous spirit of the group. This record is as true a representation of ‘what we do, live’ as we could make, and we are all very proud to bring it to you”.

Jim Campilongo is also a contributing columnist to Guitar Player Magazine, - "Vinyl Treasures" - and has been honored by the Fender® guitar company with his own Campilongo Signature Telecaster, an instrument made by Fender's elite Custom Shop (Visit for more information on the Campilongo Tele) Regarding the video Jim produced for Fender's Princeton amplifier that went viral (500,000 hits), Campilongo notes, "Believe it or not, that Fender Princeton video is one of the biggest things that's happened to me in my career!”

With his composer/arranger/guitarist duties in The Little Willies (a band that includes Norah Jones, a guest on Campilongo’s Dream Dictionary), and a discography of hundreds of titles featuring a "who's who" of music, including JJ Cale, Cake, Martha Wainwright, Nels Cline, Bright Eyes, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Burning Spear and Peter Rowan, Jim Campilongo has carved a niche for himself as a uniquely original, prolific and in-demand guitarist. Jim’s numerous television appearances include The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, Later… with Jools Holland, and The Abbey Road Sessions.

For music, photos and interview requests, please contact:

Live at Rockwood

Track Listing

  1. I'm Helen Keller and You're a Waffle Iron - 6:07
  2. Big Bill - 5:56
  3. Here I Am - 5:01
  4. Jimi Jam - 3:53
  5. Cock and Bull Story - 10:27
  6. Sals Waltz - 5:07
  7. There You Are - 6:17
  8. Jim's Blues - 8:01 (extra bonus track)


Jim Campilongo - Guitar
Chris Morrissey - Bass
Josh Dion - Drums, Vocals on Here I Am
Nels Cline - Guitar on Cock and Bull Story, There You Are

All songs written by Jim Campilongo (Copyright 2017 Bully Cat Music [BMI]) except Jimi Jam written by Jim Campilongo, Chris Morrissey (Chris Morrissey Music [BMI]), Jose Dion (Hebad music ASCAP), Here I Am, by B.G. De Sylva, Lew Brown & Ray Henderson (Ray Henderson Music Co. Inc./Songwriters Guild of America/OBO Stephen Ballentine Music/Warner Bros Music, a Division of Warner Bros Inc.)

All tracks recorded live at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC

Produced by: Jim Campilongo
Mixed by: Aaron Nevezie at The Bunker Studio, Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by: Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NY, NY
Cover Photo: Manish Gosalia
Album Design: William Reardon

Special thanks to Nels Cline, Luca Benedetti, Dave Boat, Ken Rockwood, Matt Currie, Nate Kriechman, Tyler Van Dalen and Rockwood's live sound team, the great people and fans at Rockwood Music Hall and Vance Gerstein.

Jose Dion endorses Meinl Cymbals; Yahaha Drums; Vic Firth Sticks; Evans Drumheads

Jim Campilongo endorses Fender Amplifiers; D'Addario Strings; ToneConcepts Inc. Effects Pedals; Harper Manufacturing; Celestion Speakers; Souldier Guitar Straps; JAM Pedals


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Jim's Blues - Bonus Track

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