If you’re a Telecaster player or just appreciate guitar playing that combines rich tone and expert technique, then you’ll want to check out Jim Campilongo’s work. His playing mixes elements of rock, jazz, country, blues and Americana in a way that’s unique, bold, and full of Tele twang. With influences like Roy Buchanan, Chet Atkins, Herb Ellis, and many other greats, Campilongo has carved out a niche voice for himself that is immediately identifiable in his solo instrumental work and with his former band, the 10 Gallon Cats, as well as currently with his own band and with The Little Willies, featuring vocalist Norah Jones.
The streamlined and superb Jim Campilongo Trio had a long-running residency at the Living Room in New York City that only ended when that venue closed. On any Monday night, one could walk into the Living Room, pay a one-drink minimum, and hear some of the best guitar playing in the nation. With his Fender Telecaster leaning against his go-to Fender Princeton Reverb amplifier, Jim would often take a break outside the venue and be readily accessible to talk to fans about his music and more. The Living Room is shuttered, at least for now, but you can still catch some archived videos here. And since then, Campilongo has begun a new Manhattan residency at Rockwood Music Hall, Monday nights at 10PM. Frequently attended by local musicians, this is one of the best live music values left in New York.
And, if you can’t make it to New York City, you can catch Jim on tour promoting his new record, Dream Dictionary. Check his website for dates. Vintage Guitar magazine recently ran a Q&A with Jim Campilongo that you can read here.