Even though bandleader Foster Campbell has been playing guitar most of his adult life, he’s only been performing in front of audiences for around 15 years, 10 of which with his monster band, Foster Campbell and Friends. Last November, Campbell debuted his new band: Foster Campbell and Deep Water, an auxiliary smaller combo that will focus on his original music.
“In the big band, it is pure fun and it’s easier to hide,” Campbell said. “Fronting the smaller band is a bit more nerve-wracking but it’s very rewarding because we put our heart and soul into the original music.”
Thursday, Campbell will have a CD release party for Deep Water’s debut release, “Believe.” Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. CDs will be on sale for $10. If you can’t make this event (or the other CD release party in Camarillo, Campbell’s hometown), you can still find the album online on iTunes, Spotify or CD Baby.
“It’s really one of my favorite venues to perform at,” Campbell said. “The sound system's great, the people that work the boards are awesome. It’s just a great place for playing music.”
From the driving opening title track, to the blues shuffle closer, “Now I Know Better,” there’s something here for anyone who’s a fan of rhythm and blues, the blues and 1970s classic rock. They even sound a little bit like Frank Zappa on the track “Pop Radio.”
The album’s most endearing export isn’t just the amalgam of influences but Campbell’s sincerity. The ballad, and my personal favorite on the album, “Everything I Wanna Be,” reminds me a bit of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” but shifts gears once the the song really kicks in. Campbell's lyrics and delivery is undeniably sweet. Chris Neufeld’s keyboard work throughout the album is simply fantastic.
But it also shows that, even at 59 years young, Campbell still has a lot to say and he's performing and recording like someone who’s just getting started. Which, like I mentioned, he basically is. He's compelled.
“We’ve got plans for another one,” Campbell said. “I’ve already got 75 percent of the material that we need for the next one. We want to let this one settle and. .. to at least kinda break even on this one so we can talk my wife into letting me spring for another one.
“The main thing is, I hope that people enjoy it.”