Larry Campbell
A multi-instrumentalist who has been a respected studio musician and sideman in performing bands since the 1970s, Larry Campbell moves freely between rock, blues, country, folk and Celtic styles, playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel, cittern, dobro and banjo. Today, Campbell performs most often at Levon Helm's Saturday night Midnight Rambles in Woodstock, New York, where he also functions as bandleader. He tours with the band and produced Helm’s two consecutive Grammy-winning records, 2007's Dirt Farmer and 2009's Electric Dirt.  In 2005, Campbell released his own solo CD, an acoustic guitar tour de force called Rooftops.  He also performs as a duo with his fellow Levon Helm Band member and wife, singer Teresa Williams. In 2008, Campbell was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for his instrumental work from the Americana Music Association.

Sideman and Producer
As a sideman, Larry is probably best known for his eight years (1997-2004) in Bob Dylan's band. He replaced J.J. Jackson on guitar but soon expanded his role by playing cittern, violin/fiddle, pedal steel, lap steel, mandolin, banjo and slide guitar, and also contributing vocals. Before Dylan, Campbell toured with other artists including Cyndi Lauper, K. D. Lang and Rosanne Cash. On breaks from the Dylan tour, he often made guest appearances with musicians including Richard Shindell, Buddy and Julie Miller, Levon Helm and Little Feat.  Since his departure from Dylan's band, he has continued to make guest appearances with an impressive range of entertainers including Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris. Over the past decade, Campbell has recorded with artists ranging from Judy Collins and Sheryl Crow to B. B. King, Willie Nelson and The Black Crowes.  In the more recent past, Campbell took on a prominent role in the last few tours (2006-2008) of Phil Lesh and Friends, joined by Teresa Williams in 2008.

Campbell has also gained a reputation as a producer. In 2003, he produced the acclaimed Diamond Jubilation for The Dixie Hummingbirds. He played guitar and wrote several songs for the record, including “When I Go Away,” covered by Levon Helm on Electric Dirt. In 2005, Campbell produced Willie Nelson's version of  "He Was A Friend Of Mine” for the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. In 2006, he produced Riverside Battle Songs for the gospel/roots group Ollabelle and the following year an album for the late Marie Knight. Knight’s record, Let Us Get Together, is a tribute to Reverend Gary Davis, whose songs Campbell and Williams often cover today. Campbell produced Levon Helm’s rendition of “You Better Move On” for a CD to benefit the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, released in 2008. Later that year, he produced Sentimental Streak for Catherine Russell and River of Time for Jorma Kaukonen, released in early 2009. Electric Dirt came out in June the same year, featuring the Levon Helm Band and horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint. The record was named Best Americana Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards.  On the Imus Ranch Record II, Campbell produced Helm’s version of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot to Laugh (It Takes A Train to Cry).” Most recently Campbell has produced Wood and Stone for Donna the Buffalo’s Tara Nevins and the legendary band Hot Tuna’s first studio album in more than 20 years, Steady As She Goes.

Teacher and Family Man
As if performing, recording and producing were not enough to fill his days and nights, in 2008 Campbell served as the musical director for Lomax: The Hound of Music, a PBS children's series featuring a good-natured, melody-obsessed puppet pooch named Lomax, his fluffy feline sidekick Delta, and their human companion Amy on a tune-filled train ride crisscrossing the musical landscape of America, designed to increase the musical intelligence of children ages three to seven.  With the help - and full participation - of real kids on the train, on location, and the viewers at home, Lomax and his friends doggedly pursued their mutual passion: tracking down the wonderful songs that form the heart of our nation's diverse musical heritage. As Lomax the dog tracks down the folk songs of America (much like his namesake, legendary musicologist Alan Lomax), he and his friends also discovered that America is a land of fascinatingly diverse places and people.

The following year, Campbell was asked to conduct a workshop at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch on the fingerstyle playing of Reverend Gary Davis. The Fur Peace Ranch is not a fantasy camp, but a guitar player’s oasis within an award-winning music community with instruction in various guitar styles, bass guitar, songwriting, mandolin, vocals and more. The Ranch is nestled in the rolling foothills of Southeast Ohio. Campbell and Williams also recently recorded an instructional video for Happy and Jane Traum’s Homespun Video series, titled The Guitar of Larry Campbell Interpreting the Gospel Songs and Style of Rev. Gary Davis.

His collaboration with Teresa Williams may be the project closest to Campbell’s heart at present. During their nearly 25-year marriage, they have performed locally in New York City, on Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour and on The Blue Plate Special, a radio show out of Knoxville, Tennessee. In 2006, they performed at The Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia, in Song of the Mountains, an award-winning bluegrass concert series showcasing the best in bluegrass and old-time music. But during most of their married years, they worked separately and often in different states, if not hemispheres. When Campbell joined the Levon Helm Band, Williams soon followed. She also joined Campbell on stage when he toured with Phil Lesh and Friends in 2008, and soon was part of that ensemble as well. The pair are working on a record they hope to release in 2011.

New York City and Woodstock
Born and raised in New York City, Campbell is a self-taught musician, having never had a formal lesson on any instrument. At an early age, he became enamored with the country and bluegrass music in his parents’ eclectic record collection. He became interested in Hank Williams, George Jones, Jimmy Rodgers and country music from the 1920s and 1930s. When the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Campbell knew he wanted to be a guitar player. Through passion, hard work and support from his family, Campbell learned to play not only guitar but also fiddle, mandolin, banjo and pedal steel. After graduating from high school in 1971, Campbell played all of these in one of his first bands, Cottonmouth. Their music was described as bluegrass-county-rock, as they experimented with American roots music. Cottonmouth performed at York College in New York City in 1972 where they were the previous year's talent contest winners (and where it only cost 50 cents to see the performance!) During that summer, Cottonmouth gigged at the Long Island Potato in Westhampton Beach.

Spreading his wings a bit, Campbell spent some time in the early 70s in Mississippi and California playing gigs and traveling in country cover bands, but he eventually returned to New York City. Beginning in the late 70s, Larry was a member of Woodstock Mountains Revue, a unique folk group that featured Artie and Happy Traum, Pat Alger, Jim Rooney, Bill Keith, John Herald and John Sebastian. Guest artists like Maria Muldaur, Rory Block, Eric Andersen, Paul Butterfield and Paul Siebel joined the group for recordings. The Revue recorded five classic albums for Rounder Records, and although 50 of their tracks are now out-of-print, the band is widely considered one of the premier folk groups of the time.

The Lone Star and City Limits
In the country vein, he regularly played steel guitar with Kinky Friedman at The Lone Star Café. (Friedman mentions Campbell in three of his books: A Case of Lone Star, Musical Chairs and Blast From The Past.) He played with many other artists at The Lone Star Café, including Willie Nelson and The Band, when he first met Levon Helm. Campbell would also play steel or fiddle with local bands at City Limits.  Campbell played in an electric country/ bluegrass band fronted by John Herald, and another band with Dennis Blair, Nightlife, along with Billy and Bruce Lang. He would regularly sub for the steel guitarist in a Western Swing band, The Dixie Doughboys.

Around this time, he met and worked with Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Julie Miller, Lincoln Schleifer, John Leventhal, Soozie Tyrell, Tony Garnier and Shawn Colvin in various bands and clubs in New York City. He joined The Buddy Miller Band in 1980 and had regular gigs at The Lone Star and City Limits. When Miller left the band, it became The Shawn Colvin Band.  Campbell also played in Doug Sahm's Sir Douglas Quintet, The Greg Trooper Band, Floyd Domingo's western swing band, Stan Bronstein’s band Swing Fever and The Happy Traum Band. He also performed with Tommie Joe White, David Johansen, Marc Cohn, Bob Belden, and Tanya Tucker.

On Broadway and the Radio and at the Midnight Ramble
In the ‘80s, Campbell contributed his talents to several musicals. In 1982, he joined the orchestra of Alaska The Musical playing fiddle, acoustic and electric guitar, pedal steel and banjo. He also played in the orchestra for Big River in 1985 and Rhythm Ranch in 1989. He played pedal steel, banjo, fiddle and guitar for the several-year run of The Will Rogers Follies, which opened, on Broadway in 1991.

Campbell appeared on Howard Stern's radio show in 1995 with Cyndi Lauper, but nowadays is more likely to be heard on the Imus in the Morning radio show, where he has appeared on numerous occasions, several times with Kinky Friedman and, most recently, with Levon Helm.

Helm’s Midnight Rambles are held several times a month at his studio in Woodstock. They are modeled on the Southern medicine shows of his youth and he has invited some of the most notable entertainers and musicians of our time to perform there. It’s also the best place to witness Campbell’s virtuosity and style up close.

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