Memorial Day Weekend: Madison WI
Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Friday, May 26 | Country | Metcalfes Grand Stage | 6:45pm–7:30pm

In a world fueled by the smoke and mirror act of overnight success, Campbell
has long been admired for his patience and persistence on the road less
travelled. A consistent balancing act of traditional values and modern industry
trends, Campbell is also considered by many to be one of the most talented yet
under the radar stars, across all genres.
He put together a string of Top 10 hits on two labels before launching Grindstone
Records with his “It’s About Time” single in 2020. The charismatic charmer coproduced the song, played acoustic guitar and piano, and sang his own
harmonies. He also released “All My Friends Drink Beer,” the music video to
which featured his notable friends like Jaren Johnson from The Cadillac 3, Randy
Houser, Granger Smith and other familiar faces who recorded their own
segments during last year’s quarantine.
After focusing on his family and spending time writing and recording new music
through 2020, he hit the new year aggressively releasing songs like the touching
“What A Girl Will Make You Do” and the raucous “Good Things Come To Those
Who Drink,” the heart-wrenching “Never Mine,” and the fun “Things You Do In A
Truck,” a rollicking duet with his Georgia buddy Trea Landon. His drive to release
new music and hit the road stems not only from a desire to reach more and more
fans but also satisfy his own aspirations to continue to grow as a songwriter,
singer and performer.
After all, the magic of the keys brought him his hunger for music as a child. The
good ole’ down home boy grew up playing his mother’s piano and singing in
church. After graduating high school, he took a job as a corrections officer in his
hometown of Lyons, Georgia. But music never left his side. Taking a cue from the
sounds of classic country and idols like Travis Tritt and Randy Travis, Campbell
started a band and played local and national bar gigs. When the guitar player
quit, Campbell took that as a sign to chase his dreams all the way to Nashville,
Tennessee.
With two rolls of quarters and a roll of dimes given to him by his mother for gas
money, Campbell barely made it into town. Starting in 2002, the young hopeful
would spend the next several years paying his dues the old fashioned way. A
demo singer by day and Lower Broadway gigger by night, Campbell was
eventually connected to a soon to be signed artist who needed a keyboard
player. He and fellow South Georgia native Luke Bryan hit it off and Campbell got
the job. A year and a half long keyboard stint with Tracy Byrd soon followed, and
on his non travel days, he took over as bandleader down at The Stage on
Tuesday nights. His smooth chops and hot blooded stage presence soon caught
the eye of industry execs and in 2009, Campbell signed with Bigger Picture
Group.
His first single, the sentimental ballad “Family Man”, hit the top 15 on Billboard’s
Country Airplay Chart in 2011. “Outta My Head” also cracked the top 15, while
the catchy tune “Fish” garnered more than 10 million on demand streams. His
2014 breakout hit “Keep ThemKisses Comin’” was on its way up the charts when
Campbell got the unexpected call that after two albums and a string of hits,
Bigger Picture had closed. However, Campbell and his devoted team continued
to press radio stations around the country, so much so that the single ended an
impressive run well inside the Top 10, which is unheard of for a song with no
financial backing.
Another door opened for Campbell in the form of Red Bow Records, a division of
the Broken Bow umbrella. “Tomorrow Tonight” made it into the top 40, followed by
perhaps his most poignant and well known work to date, “Outskirts of Heaven.”
“Outskirts” took on a life of its own, showcasing Campbell’s vulnerability and
deep rooted faith. The uplifting and remarkably personal ballad was praised
by Rolling Stone and Taste of Country, among others.
The impact of “Outskirts” prompted media appearances and memorable
performances at nationally televised NFL games, the TODAY show, CMA Fest,
and the Grand Ole Opry, the latter of which he has made over 50 appearances to
date. And in a full circle moment, the down home Georgia boy reunited with
buddy Luke Bryan on his highly successful 2017 Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’
Every Day Tour.
In the summer of 2018, Campbell released his first new music in five years with
his “See You Try” EP on Broken Bow. The title track became an instant crowd
pleaser with its confident, flirty lyrics and boot stompin’ melody. The EP also
found a home for both an electric and acoustic version of “Outskirts of Heaven.”
But by August of 2018, Campbell and Broken Bow had mutually parted ways,
leaving the door wide open for new and long-awaited opportunities.
Those opportunities include realizing a longtime dream of opening a coffee shop
– The Grindstone Cowboy – with his wife Mindy and their daughters Preslee and
Kinni Rose in their adopted hometown of Eagleville, Tennessee. He also started
signing and producing new artists to Grindstone Records, including Cody Cozz
and Ethan Payne.
“I’ve been recording and producing music my way, and that includes things I’ve
never done before, like playing piano and producing. I’m not gonna even
entertain the idea of recording any song if it doesn’t give me chills, and the same
goes for artists we sign to Grindstone Records. I have to be proud of it. I have to
answer for it and it has to get me fired up,” Campbell reflects in his deep-rooted
Southern accent. “Man, oh man . . . . I love where I am!”

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