Glen Campbell: Guitarist, Singer, all-around Uber-God

Rich Engle

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Sometimes in my business you get bright lights; stuff that confirms why you play in the first place.

If you haven't looked into Glen Campbell's work lately, I highly recommend it. This guy is 73 yrs. old and isn't missing a lick. I have a soft spot for him, due to his work with Jimmy Webb, the fact that he's from my family state of Arkansas, and because he's just a brilliant flatpicker. Probably one of the best natural musicians ever.

Recently, Public TV has been airing a concert he did in Sioux Falls, SD, which he did for telethon purposes. He plays with their symphony, the band is amazing. You can see all this on You Tube. I particularly like his renderings of "Wichita Lineman," "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," and "Still Within the Sound of My Voice," but there's lots of other goodies there.

Here's one where he plays a killer version of a golden moldy, Classical Gas. Not bad for an old feller. Love his attitude. He has also recently done a spot on the new Chris Issak talk show, which is well worth seeing.

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You're welcome. Glen went through a drug and coke thing a long time ago, and he beat it.

I just got into a motherlode of old vinyl I found down here in Florida, and got a bunch of great stuff, including two of his early sixties records. Sound great. I like the one song he did called "Bad Seed."

A lot of his early work is crooner stuff with big strings, etc. (often sounding Elvis like), but if you check the B sides, you usually find treasure.

That whole concert in SD is great. They pretty much have the whole thing out on YouTube. Also, he has a new album, funnily called "Meet Glen Campbell."

He is very funny in that he always tries to stay cutting edge. Glen Campbell covering a Greenday tune is pretty funny. See, he can always put a golden spin on a tune. If Campbell got hold of a song, he always had his own arrangement ideas, and they involved putting on air and making at least a top forty hit. This was one of his talents.



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