(Album Review) One Guitar, No Vocals

For the past few years, Larry Campbell would check into Egg Harbor Township's Scullville Studios while on break from touring the world as Bob Dylan's guitar player. The master of many stringed instruments, and collaborator with a multitude of artists over the years including Rosanne Cash, Cyndi Lauper, Willie Nelson and Richard Schindell, Campbell decided it was time to make a record of his own. Having worked at Scullville on a number of projects in the past, including producing the Dixie Hummingbird's 2003 Diamond Jubilation album there, Campbell decided the South Jersey studio was the perfect place to lay down the tunes. Rooftops, released by Treasure Records earlier this month, is the culmination of those sessions. An outstanding solo acoustic guitar achievement, the album is a beautiful sounding trip through time with Campbell's picking conjuring up the ghosts of music past for a wide-ranging exploration of traditional tunes such as "Ragtime Annie," "The House Carpenter" and "The Camp Chase." The title track, one of two original compositions featured, stands out among the rags, jigs and ballads like a diamond in a field of gold. Fans of old-time music and solo guitar playing go to to hear a sound clip and find out more. Although Campbell ended his eight-year stint with Dylan earlier this year, if this disc is any indication, the music will be flowing from his fingers for a long, long time in many forms. - JS