Dream Dictionary on sale now!
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"Dream Dictionary is a masterpiece of 21st century guitar-noir"
"Campilongo is an artist freely following the pull of the muse, whether it takes him to dark, haunting corners or inspires him to reel off a light, smile-inducing jaunt"
"Campilongo plays like hes engaging in a long, very personal conversation: It ranges from heated to relaxed, angst-ridden, and even a little flirty but its always fluent, spontaneous and full of nuance, texture, and emotional truth."
VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE
"On Dream Dictionary, his patented Telecaster tones take on a greater dimension as he conjures a world of stark harmonics, crushing twang, edgy note selection, and sly humor…"
GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE
"rich harmonic textures come across like Cirque du Soleil playing the Grand Ole Opry with some heady downtown jazz landscapes tossed into the mix"
"savor the afterglow that Jim Campilongo music casts, lingering long after the last note has faded no one is walking in Campilongo's footsteps, nor is he treading in the long shadows of the past"
Jim Campilongo Electric Trio
"Simply stunning - an album instrumental music fans will likely quickly salute as a classic..." "...Orange bursts with succulent playing and juicy compositions, an ear-snagging winner in every regard. -- JAMBASE
ADK Telesound - Dec 2009".....I purchased it and let me tell you Jim does not dissapoint! From the gritty tone of Backburner to the haunting melody of Chelsea Bridge Jim has created a masterpiece! I highly recommend this album!...."
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Urban Semiotic - Dec 2009".....Our favorite Mad Telecaster SuperGenius, Jim Campilongo, has a brand new album called "Orange" that sets a broad, new, standard for experimentation in melody and intention...."
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DIRECT CURRENT - Dec 2009
Orange is yet another collection of remarkable fret work from Campilongo, an astonishingly diverse assortment of instrumentals that should appeal to fans of Jeff Beck, Roy Buchanan and anyone who has secretly strutted a few air guitar riffs now and then. Produced by Anton Fier and backed by drummer Tony Mason and bassist Stephen Crump, Orange also boasts two outstanding covers -- The Stones' "No Expectations" and The Stooges' "No Fun" -- featuring vocalist Leah Siegel. Slowed and stripped to the core, these songs simply put Campilongo's inspired playing directly up against Siegel's impassioned voice in a one-on-one match that will raise goosebumps. The aptly titled,scorching instrumental workout "Backburner" kicks off Orange with an incendiary, muscular kick, setting and then blowing out the stage for the glorious works to come. Highly recommended.http://www.directcurrentmusic.com/music-news-new-music/2009/12/11/jim-campilongo-orange.html [close]
Orange is now available on premium 180 gram vinyl!
TO ORDER: Simply send the prepaid amount via Paypal to campy8 [at] yahoo.com with your shipping address and we'll get the autographed LP on it's way to you ASAP.
Heaven Is Creepy|
Jim Campilongo Electric Trio
Called an “American treasure” by Billboard Magazine, acclaimed guitarist
Jim Campilongo’s new release “HEAVEN IS CREEPY” is his best and most
anticipated record to date.
Downbeat, Dec 2006 — "He plays with dash and color, the sound of surprise informing his tone and lines, at complete ease in a country jazz-and-extras style...."
Village Voice, Sept 2006 — "From the man who channels his mood swings equally with his axe swings, local guitar maven Campilongo takes his (as Jim Macnie so accurately coined) "Twangadelica" stepwise into gorgeousness... Bow down and take communion when he warbles out the drugged out mega-reverbeb version of "Cry Me A River". Bravo!"
Guitar World, 2006 — "...his unrushed approach and generous tone create a comfortable, burnished grace that's distictly all his own"
Guitar One, Dec 2006 — "[Heaven is Creepy] is at once off-center and accessible; it should appeal to guitar fans of all stripes."
Blues Review, Feb 2007 — "a daring performance ... Not angelic but damnably good"
USA TODAY — "...Cry Me a River - an eerie instrumental filled with his rubbery twang-jazz improvisations..."
Editor Amazon.com — "Like virtuosi as different from each other as Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, and Pat Metheny--each of whom Campilongo's music occasionally recalls--he's more concerned with tone, timbre, and space than with show-off runs of hot-licks speed"[close]
Jim Campilongo Electric Trio
"...To say Jim Campilongo is a unique guitar player is like saying James Brown is funky. His playing is totally original and keeps growing. And the beautiful thing is that he seems to be getting more and more unique...."
—Vintage Guitar Magazine
Blues Revue, Dec 2003
"A noted Tele-twangler returns: the new album (AMERICAN HIPS) offers the best of blues, country,and jazz, from the sublime to the sick... immaculate chord-melody work... avant-roots meet uptown grit..."
Direct From Finland...
Finnish Newspaper "Keskisuomalainen" gives American Hips 4 Stars ( Oct 2003 )
Guitar Player Magazine, November 2003
Tele Master Jim Campilongo lets 'er rip on American Hips - easily his best effort to date. The components of Campilongo's sound are simple - wire, wood, and hands - just like his hero, Roy Buchanan. And, like Buchanan, Campilongo treats every note like his last. But Campilongo isn't simply a Buchanan devotee. Underneath the exposed-nerve twang lurks a dark compositional sense. Think of what it would sound like if Roy Nichols was asked to record the soundtrack to the film-noir classic "The Big Sleep", and you'll get the idea. "American Hips" also features two tracks with Grammy bogarter Norah Jones, who lends beautiful vocal perfomances on "Stella" and "Sweet Dreams." Go do your inspirational muse some good and get "American Hips." It's a great record by a player who just keeps getting better.
No Depression Magazine #47, September 2003
It is easy to have your own sound on guitar -- just play what you feel. So why do so most guitarists sound like carbons of other guitarists? They work very hard at it; sitting in their rooms for days copying famous licks, thus gaining presold acceptance. Jim Campilongo obviously put in serious listening time, but somehow it got filtered through a sensitive, fiery, quirky, personality, coming out fresh and distinctive. (Warning -- excessive practicing during the Wonder years can prevent developing a personality.) This guitarist wrings the elements of his soul through a Telecaster and puts them on display for the public. Scary stuff, and another reason so few attempt it. Luckily Campilongo's courageous exposure provides us with the naked romanticism of "Between Your Toes", the carnival wackyiness of "Like, Hello?", and the swampy grit of "Jim's Blues" -- this a person that you want to know. Another distinctive voice, Nora Jones, helps out on "Sweet dreams and Stella". Critic Paul Williams once said, "We meet the artists who are important to us in those works of theirs in which they meet themselves" Campilongo meets himself every time he picks up his instrument; that brand of artistic bravery is rare and to be treasured.[close]
Live At The Du Nord
Jim Campilongo & the 10 Gallon Cats
"Somewhere between modern blues of the late Danny Gatton, the out-there jazz of John McLaughlin, and the western swing jangle and twang of Jimmy Bryant, Campilongo's guitar work is precise and studied, but always stoked with something intangible and deeper." —SF Weekly
SF Examiner, Feb 2000
The opening strains of the newest work by The City's own guitar god are only faintly heard in the background: what sounds like the ominous opening of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung." But it's only a momentary flash -- an omen, if you will -- before Campilongo plunges headlong into his most satisfying, and yes, heaviest, album yet.
The hard-working picker, who has made a home of the club-within-a-club upstairs at the Paradise, has made another album of dazzling Western swing-meets-jazz-meets blues-meets-country, which has become his patented trademark. I love the Spaghetti Western flavor of "Sergio vs. the Moth," the sweet melancholy of "Tiramisu" and the honky-tonk of "Tic Toc," which makes you want to put on your cowboy boots and line dance. Campilongo stretched a bit on this one, and came up with a winner.
SF Weekly, Feb 2000
"Somewhere between modern blues of the late Danny Gatton, the out-there jazz of John McLaughlin, and the western swing jangle and twang of Jimmy Bryant, Campilongo's guitar work is precise and studied, but always stoked with something intangible and deeper."
"The band's first two records, an eponymous 1996 album and 1997's Loose, were the sound of Campilongo maturing from a fine country-inflected jazz guitarist into a songwriter; there are moments on Loose, like "Above Paradise" or "The Girl With Red Eyes," that are almost Ellington-esque in terms of musicianship, color, and mood. 1998's Table for One finished the job."
"For the new 10 Gallon Cats record, Heavy -- officially out on the 24th at a release party at the Paradise -- Campilongo's struck a deal between his country-jazz background and his strengths as a composer. Bounding from mournful ballads like "Tiramisu" and "Like Butter" to off-kilter swing tracks like "Mozart Woulda Played a Tele" to the Morricone-styled "Dagger Through My Heart" and the trucker rock of "Tic Toc," it's Campilongo's most inventive and complex album, as well as his most playful."
Guitar Player Magazine, June 2000
One of San Francisco's best-kept secrets, Telecaster-wielding Jim Campilongo possesses a wacky sense of humor, lunatic technique, and a fat, snarling tone. Until now Campilongo has displayed two sides: With his band, the 10 Gallon Cats, he recorded two albums of what could be best described as demented hillbilly instrumentals. And on his solo CD, the moody Table for One, he sounded as if he was scoring a film about love gone wrong. On Heavy [Blue Hen Records], however, his two muses merge in a swirling melange of twisted Western swing, skewed Bakersfield twang, ominous surf, and over-the-limit, hot-rod jazz. Backed by the 10 Gallon Cats (which features monster pedal steeler Joe Goldmark), Campilongo weaves snappy lines and tremolo-drenched voicings in a moving homage to Ennio Morricone, Link Wray, and Hank Marvin. Imagine Jimmy Bryant's hair-trigger reflexes hitched to Roy Buchanan's restless spirit. Better yet, pick up Heavy and dig just how much sound one guy can coax out of six strings and an amp.
San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 2000
Guitarist Jim Campilongo shows off his songwriting chops in addition to his jaw-dropping technical ability on his latest album. "Pat and Patsy" hints at the playful tone that dominates Heavy, sampling a toy Microjammer Country Pickin' Geetar lick before diving headlong into a barn burner featuring fiery interplay between Campilongo and pedal steel virtuoso Joe Goldmark. As spectacular as the duo's fretwork might be, the intelligence and economy of their playing is even more impressive. "Sergio Versus the Moth" finds Leone's classic theme to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly butting up against "Flight of the Bumblebee" in a creatively comical jaunt that takes as many twisting, stylistic turns as one of John Zorn and Naked City's Mancini deconstructions. Campilongo tempers the humor by mixing in a number of less whimsical tunes, wringing out some of his heaviest, most emotive playing on the CD over a thick foundation laid by bassist Chris Kee and drummer Ken Owen.
Heavy is the new collection of instrumentals from San Francisco guitarist Jim Campilongo and his band of swinging cowboys, The 10 Gallon Cats. As on Campilongo's first self-titled CD (1996) as well as Loose (1997), his duets with pedal steel guitarist Joe Goldmark are at the center of the music. Campilongo and Goldmark have brought new life to the jazzy country instrumental, a style that was pioneered by teams like Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West in the 1950s and James Burton and Ralph Mooney in the early 1960s. Unlike their predecessors, who tended to ignore rock 'n' roll, Campilongo and Goldmark gleefully add a liberal dose of the stuff to the venerable jazz and country mix. Tracks like "Dagger through My Heart," which features Dave Boat rapping in Italian, and "Sergio Versus the Moth," with its mix of Ennio Morricone-inflected guitar tones and Japanese monster noises, take country guitar to strange new places. But when Campilongo and Goldmark get down to twanging, as they do on the western swing-flavored "Mozart Woulda Played a Tele," the sweet and slow "Tiramisu," or the country stomp of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," you know that, no matter how far-out the music gets, their hearts secretly beat to a honky-tonk rhythm.
The Jim Campilongo Band
"... A bridge between the big sky and the big city, "Table For One" is Americana at its most touching..."
July '98 - Review of "Table For One"
"Campilongo has created a collection of alternately moody and catchy instrumentals showcasing his darkly romantic melodicism and absolutely pristine tone ... Campilongo tips his hat now and then in the direction of Roy Buchanan, which is fine. Coming from Campilongo, it's a heartfelt tribute, not a forgery."
August '98 - Review of "Table for One" in Arts & Entertainment
"Campilongo redefines country as the landscape of his own soul ... In brief, it's the the sort of Americana guitar jazz that will sound familiar to fans of Bill Frisell, supremely lyrical and slightly bent but without Frisellian forays into feedback and noise. 'Table for One' is, more importantly, a deeply felt expression of Campilongo's innermost muse ... And by the ending with a reflective reading of 'This Old Man' accented by acoustic bass, brushes, and wistful accordion, Campilongo shows that his concept of roots music has more to do with sentiment than geography".
Music Millennium, February 1999
"At the top of my 'Top Ten Records' for 1998 is Jim Campilongo's latest release, 'Table For One.' The bell-like fender Telecaster match up with a Fender amp is incredibly expressive in Campilongo's hands. In a recent conversation with the guitarist, he said that this was the kind of record he would like to put on while having his morning coffee. I would elect to have a second cup and sit, listen and savor this wonderful record."
Axe Magazine (Italy), cover story - January 98
"Jim Campilongo, now on his third album, is one of the treasures of American music, in terms of the guitar...Table for One is his most mature and refined album - an entirely instrumental work, of a mostly 'after hours' tone and mood..."[close]
Jim Campilongo & the 10 Gallon Cats
"LOOSE combines the band's typical wackiness with a new, haunting depth ... a dizzy mix of roadhouse swing, eerie ballads, and hillbilly rock ... an exhiliarating range of musical dispositions, from festive to penetrating..." —San Francisco Chronicle
Vintage Guitar Magazine, Spotlight, June '97
"LOOSE features 11 exceptionally eclectic tunes (nine of which were written by Jim C.) and a whole lot of sonic variety ... on behalf of all eclectic instrumental music fans, I'd like to personally thank Jim, Joe and the great rhythm section of Chris Kee (bass) and Ken Owen (drums) for their wonderfully eclectic tastes and continuing to make quality music in one of today's most (unfortunately) commercially underappreciated genres." - Jim Hilmar
San Francisco Chronicle
"LOOSE" ... combines the band's typical wackiness with a new, haunting depth ... a dizzy mix of roadhouse swing, eerie ballads, and hillbilly rock ... an exhiliarating range of musical dispositions, from festive to penetrating, and is perfect for any turntable in any mood. - Dave Ford
Citysearch.com (Austin), Band to Watch, March 98
" 'Loose' is filled with well-crafted songs, psychedelic guitar work, and complex harmonies. "
Country Standard Time Magazine
"Campilongo has certainly done his homework ... 'Loose' richly deserves a place up there with the work of the Hellecasters in the pantheon of hot country guitar records of the '90's. " - Jon Johnson
Gavin Report (America's most Trusted Name in Radio)
May 16, '97 - 'Loose' named "Record to Watch" and "Chartbound"
Campilongo And The 10 Gallon Cats
Jim Campilongo & the 10 Gallon Cats
"Campilongo possesses slick flatpicking chops and a great Tele tone... No question this disc is a must for Teleheads and starving country-jazzers alike" —Guitar Shop Magazine
Guitar Shop Magazine
"San Francisco picker Jim Campilongo is reviving the spirit of classic country-jazz, albeit with a delightfully skewed '90's approach... Campilongo possesses slick flatpicking chops and a great Tele tone... No question this disc is a must for Teleheads and starving country-jazzers alike".
Hi-Fi Reviews, July 98
"[Campilongo] has chops galore and ideas to match. He attacks swing licks with a down-home raunch and sense of humor ..."
www.bigzines.com, Jan '97
"The CATs' first CD knocked off our proverbial socks... Imagine Western Swing with a hint of sassy jazz, an updated 90s feel,and you'll be on the right track for this talented group."
SF Bay Guardian, May 97
"Over the past few years, self-effacing picker Jim Campilongo and his pedal steel foil have worked their way to the head of the (instrumental guitar music ) class by updating and personalizing the country and western swing legacies of such rock-eclipsed masters as Jimmy Bryant, Speedy West, Eldon Shamblin, Leon McCauliffe, Tom Brumley, Don Rich, and Lloyd Green ... " -Derk Richardson[close]
Jim Campilongo with Bobby Black
"...Campilongo's Telecaster and Black's pedal steel produce the joyful noises that make "Almost Christmas" a great holiday album...."