Norwegian Interview - June 27, 2001
"Always nice to play with Bob. If Bob stops touring, I will too", says guitarist Larry Campbell to BT. "Still 'feeling the time difference'(the word "døgnvill" is a little hard to translate..), but satisfied with the tour opening in Trondheim." It's 3 PM and Larry Campbell has just awoken, for the second time. Early Monday morning he had to go to fix his damaged cittern, a traditional Irish string instrument similar to a bouzoki. "It was damaged during the flight and had to be glued back together," Campbell explains. He has been working for Dylan since 1997 and is the bands "multi-instrumentalist", with guitar, pedal steel, and mandolin among his specialities.
From Broadway to Bob, Campbell accepts a coffee and a chat, but emphasizes that he will not say anything about his boss, Dylan. The Sunday show however, he was reasonably pleased with." It was great being back in Norway and beautiful to play while the sun was still up. But as I grow older, the jet-lag keep getting worse", he smiles, and continues: "It is always great playing with Bob, because it is different every time, you know. I played in a Broadway show for two years. It was interesting for a month, then I went tired of playing the same stuff every day. This is, in a way, the exact opposite situation and it is great", Campbell explains. "If Bob stops touring I will too. Then I will stay in New York doing recordings." From Stephen Ackles to Paul Simon, Larry Campbell is in fact a popular studio musician who has contributed to more than 50 records. Among others he has worked with Paul Simon, Johnny and Roseanne Cash, Shawn Colvin and Edie Brickell. In addition the American has of all things produced three albums for the Norwegian Stephen Ackles. Campbell came in contact with Ackles after his many visits to Norway during the eighties. He came to Norway for the first time in 1979, with Bob Dylan's old folk duo friends Happy and Artie Traum. As tour guitarist for the country rock artist, Doug Sahm some years later, he became a regular at Hulen (Venue in Bergen). "It's a great place! Some venues just feel great, you know. I can't explain it, but it always felt great playing at Hulen. The response was great and it is intimate. I also like Bergen a lot." Dylan-fan since youth, Later Campbell also visited Norway with the folk rock artist Greg Trooper and with Cyndi Lauper, known for the hits "Girls just wanna have fun" and "True Colours". Pop music has never been his thing though, he explains. "I started playing guitar in 1966. The Beatles and Bob Dylan were a great influence to me, as to everybody else. In the early 70's I only wanted to play country music, and learned to play the fiddle, mandolin, banjo and pedal steel. At the same time I grew up at the end of the American folk-music boom and love that", Campbell says. In the end of the 70's he lived at Woodstock Mountain Revue, with people like the Traum brothers, Paul Butterfield, Eric Andersen, John Sebastian and Ben Keith. "My passion includes all roots-influenced American music, along with traditional music from other countries. Norway for instance", says Campbell. He has among other things tried the "hardingfiddle"(Norwegian traditional instrument). "It went okay, but you have to learn the tunes."