See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Chicago cruiser

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Eddie C. Campbell’s blues ride in that kind of groove that feels like a smooth old Cadillac easing its comfortable way down the open road. In the country. On a warm, summer day. With a big, fat smile stamped on the grill. In short, this is the kind of Chicago blues that’s meant to keep the foot tappin’ and the head waggin’.

On Hopes & Dreams, Campbell displays the kind of mastery of blues simplicity that purists love. But even a master of the basics such as Campbell can’t resist a few nods to more modern influences, such as on the funky cut, “Geese in the Ninny Bow (Hey!)” On this particular number, Campbell borrows the opening groove from Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” but then throws some hilarious lyrics on top of it and shifts the rhythm around just enough to make the song his own.

But on most of the 11 all-original tunes featured here, Campbell showcases what has come to be known as Chicago’s “West Side” sound, particularly on his guitar where his tasteful, melodic style is fed through an amp with its reverb cranked as far as it’s willing to go. A veteran with more than 50 years of blues dues tucked firmly under his belt, Campbell’s list of credits definitely places him in the top tier of the blues elite. He has toured with Jimmy Reed while serving as his band director, has served as lead guitarist for both Koko Taylor and Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Mighty Joe Young and Little Walter. Campbell’s band has backed up the likes of Tyrone Davis, Howlin’ Wolf, Percy Mayfield and Lowell Fulson, just to name a few.

Campbell’s first album, King of the Jungle, was released more than 20 years ago in 1977 and he hasn’t released anything else until now. Sure, it’s a shame that someone with this much blues juice hasn’t recorded more, but it is what it is. Rather than crying about what never was and never will be, it’s more important to celebrate the here and now of Campbell’s most recent release by checking it out — and his live performance in Ann Arbor — for yourself.

Eddie C. Campbell performs June 14 at the Firefly in Ann Arbor.

Keith A. Owens is a Detroit-based freelance writer and musician. E-mail him at


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Keith A. Owens

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 28, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit