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Johnny Campbell & The Bluegrass Drifters

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Johnny Campbell is a third generation fiddler hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. He grew up listening to Bluegrass greats such as Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys, and the Stanley Brothers. Johnny’s long-bow fiddling style is modeled after the late and great Kenny Baker, as well as his brother Jimmy Campbell, who played extensively with both Jim & Jesse and Bill Monroe. To Johnny, Bluegrass is not just a genre of music, but a lifestyle. Sticking strictly to the roots of first generation bluegrass musicians, Johnny brings enthusiasm and charisma to an oft mislabeled musical category. Johnny has won several fiddle competitions over the years, including Uncle Dave Macon Days, LaGrange Fiddle Competition, and Yeehaw Junction. He is a founding member of the Volunteer String Band (a Nashville Jamgrass band), has toured with James Monroe and helped San Francisco based band Windy Hill win several band competitions, including Emerging Artist in The California Bluegrass Association, First Place at Yonder Mountain String Band’s String Summit and Second Place at Rocky Grass. After 35 years as a sideman Johnny is now up front. In the famous words of Johnny himself, “Let’s Pick!” Johnny started the Bluegrass Drifters in Santa Cruz, California with his wife Whitney in 2012.
Whitney Campbell is the backbone of the band, holding down the upright bass. Beginning on guitar at age 12, she comes from a folk and country background. After taking a long hiatus to raise two children, Whitney joined the Upcreek Drifters. While a bit of a late bloomer in the genre of bluegrass, she is charging ahead full throttle, making up for lost time. In addition to her ability to switch between vocal parts for some of the Bluegrass Drifters signature harmony numbers, she is also the major songwriter for the band and is currently working on her own solo music project.
Johnny Campbell stands out from the crowd. Not just because of his characteristic suit, tie and white cowboy hat, but for his love of tradition. As quoted by Al Shusterman of KCBL News, “ …(Johnny has) repeated the lsound that is no longer heard in bluegrass music today!” To Johnny, Bluegrass is not just a genre of music, but a lifestyle. Sticking strictly to the roots of first generation bluegrass musicians, Johnny brings enthusiasm and charisma to an oft mislabeled musical category. Johnny’s long-bow fiddling style is modeled after the late and great Kenny Baker, as well as his brother Jimmy Campbell, who played extensively with both Jim & Jesse and Bill Monroe.
Johnny is a third generation fiddler hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. Johnny has won several fiddle competitions over the years, including Uncle Dave Macon Days, LaGrange Fiddle Competition, and Yeehaw Junction. He is a founding member of the Volunteer String Band (a Nashville Jamgrass band), has toured with James Monroe and helped San Francisco based band Windy Hill win several band competitions, including Emerging Artist in The California Bluegrass Association, First Place at Yonder Mountain String Band’s String Summit and Second Place at Rocky Grass. After many years as a sideman Johnny is now up front. Johnny started the Bluegrass Drifters in Santa Cruz, California with his wife Whitney in 2012. He completed his first album in the beginning of 2014 and immediately set to work on his first fiddle CD, set to be released late-summer of 2014. He’s already got his sights on the next band album and he’s ready to come to a town near you!
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