News From Terre Haute, Indiana


June 12, 2014

Aussie bluesman to bring deep repertoire to Verve

TERRE HAUTE — Aussie bluesman Owen Campbell is making his U.S. debut with “The Pilgrim” and will be hitting the Verve in Terre Haute on Wednesday, June 18.

Campbell’s stateside debut was released June 3 through Reckless Grace Music ( The album debuted in Australia and New Zealand topping the iTunes charts and yielding three top 10 hits on the Australian Blues Singles chart, including the single “Wrecking Ball.”

Always the road warrior, Campbell honed his chops through steady touring and cherry gigs in front of blues-hungry fans in Australia and Europe, earning him fans across both continents. However, it was his appearance on “Australia’s Got Talent” that put the national spotlight directly on him.

But it almost didn’t happen.

“When I was on ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ two years ago, I had a bit of a run-in with the judges during the audition, and I almost missed my chance,” he said. “But it worked in my favor. They had me back for another audition. I concentrated on my music and not being cheeky. People in the audience — and the judges — really loved it.”

Campbell earned runner-up honors on the show and audiences responded enthusiastically for “The Pilgrim” (his follow-up to “Sunshine Road”) by placing it high on the charts and filling venues around the country.

Campbell brings a deep repertoire to performances on his U.S. tour of clubs and festivals. His smoldering guitar work runs from bluesy riffs to soulful finger picking to lap steel guitar solos using a shot glass slide. His eclectic mix of rock-influenced songwriting results from his early years of busking on the streets of cities across Australia and Europe.

Campbell first strummed a guitar at age 9, a gift from his musician father that launched his musical journey. The 30-year-old Campbell’s strongest musical influences were blues-rock musicians from America and the U.K. — and his own household.

“My father was a big influence,” he says. “But so were Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, The Band and the Rolling Stones. I always liked the way The Band brought variety and diversity to their sound. So my sound has bits of country, soul, Celtic and rock. I love the variations.”

Campbell says few things top the thrill of live performance. Whether it’s a club date with a small audience or a festival with thousands, he’ll play anywhere — and often does. His past dates include shows in Austria, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy and the U.K.

“I still do some busking from time to time, because playing two hours a day, every day, is great practice.” he says. “These days, I’ll play 100-150 dates a year, or three or four shows a week, whether it’s a club, pub, festival or whatever. Anywhere there’s a gig, that’s where I’ll be.”

Check him out at 10 p.m. Wednesday in downtown Terre Haute.


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