Working to the traditional side of contemporary country, singer, songwriter, pianist and Georgia native Craig Campbell is blessed with a deep, expressive voice, an awareness of the genre’s history and a no-gimmicks approach to performance that brings out the sincerity in his songs. Born in Lyons, Ga, Campbell played piano at his mother’s Baptist church from the age of ten until he was 18 and his home was filled with the sound of gospel music, but he also fell under the spell of country music, particularly Travis Tritt, whose gospel-fueled delivery suited Campbell’s own vocal style. While still a teenager he formed a band, Out of the Blue, and began playing the bar circuit, learning how put together a performance and capture an audience. In 2002 he relocated to Nashville, quickly immersing himself in the music scene there, landing a steady gig at The Stage, one of the biggest clubs in historic Lower Broadway and doing demo sessions for other singers. Fellow Georgian Luke Bryan suggested Campbell try his hand at writing his own songs, and in time he mastered the craft, honing his original material at gigs. He met another singer, Mindy Ellis, fell in love, and the pair married, and he began playing piano in her band, which in turn led to a touring stint with Tracy Byrd. Keith Stegall caught one of Campbell’s performances at The Stage in 2008 and the young singer was soon signed to Bigger Picture, which released a debut single, “Family Man,” in 2010, following it with a full-length album, the self-titled Craig Campbell, in 2011. ~ Steve Leggett
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