This week on It Was The Music, Larry and Teresa play a gig near their home in Woodstock. Larry and Mark visit a used record store, trading stories about the albums they loved. The band hits the road again for a Midwest tour, and scramble to make a club date in time, the stress offset only by Teresa’s good humor about what the couple have gotten themselves into. Tune-in Sunday at 8pm ET.
‘It Was The Music’ is available to stream now on Apple Music and Spotify! Follow Larry and Teresa across the US with friends Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, Jerry Douglas, Blind Boy Paxton and Midnight Ramble Band at Levon Helm Studios.
Plus, The ‘It Was The Music’ soundtrack CD is now ON SALE (a few days early) at Larry and Teresa’s online store!
Announcing “It Was The Music”, a film in 10 episodes chronicling the lives and love of Larry Campbell and Teresa Willams, directed by award-winning filmmaker Mark Moskowitz. The all-star cast includes Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Lucinda Williams and many more. The series premieres on Sunday, December 13th. Stay tuned for details!
Larry Campbell has once again signed with D’Addario as an endorsee, along with Fishman Amplification and Shubb Capos. Click here to find out more.
Larry and Teresa’s performance at NPR’s Mountain Stage will be re-broadcast on over 200 radio stations in the United States starting this Friday, November 29th. Click here for a list of affiliate stations, and browse the list to find one near you. Stay in the loop by following Larry and Teresa on Facebook, and check out the Mountain Stage page here.
Larry and Teresa are thrilled to be touring this fall with two of the most iconic bands in American rock music history, Hot Tuna and Little Feat, both celebrating their 50th year as bands.
‘Tuna’ was formed in 1969 by Jefferson Airplane alumni (and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees) Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady as an outlet for their explorations of American blues and roots music. For this tour Jorma and Jack will forgo the electric guitars and amps for acoustic instruments with the added bonus of incorporating Campbell and Williams’ contributions to the mix. Larry produced Hot Tuna’s 2011 release Steady As She Goes as well as Jorma’s 2009 solo album Ain’t in No Hurry.
Little Feat, also launched in 1969, was the creation of founding members Lowell George, Bill Payne, Ritchie Hayward and Roy Estrada. In 1972, Estrada departed and Paul Barerre, Sam Clayton and Kenny Gradney joined the group. The band persevered despite the losses of George and Hayward, and with the addition of Fred Tackett on guitar and Gabe Ford on drums remains a potent blend of rock, funk and fusion. Larry and Teresa have performed numerous times with ‘Feat’ at Ramble on the Island in Jamaica and elsewhere adding their own magic to Feat classics like “Willin,” “All that You Dream” and “Oh Atlanta.”
Visit our tour section for tickets and more info!
Larry & Teresa will be heading back to Levon Helm Studios on September 20th and 21st to record a live album of ‘old favorites’ – songs more suited to live shows than a recording studio.
Joining Larry and Teresa will be longtime drummer and engineer Justin Guip, bassist and vocalist Jesse Murphy, and Midnight Ramble Band alumnus Brian Mitchell on keyboards.
Visit our Tour section for tickets and more info!
Larry and Teresa will be appearing at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh, PA on October 24th! Tickets go onsale this Wednesday, July 24th at 10AM Eastern time – visit our tour section for tickets and more info.
Larry and Teresa have announced several new dates this August and September, with shows in East Hampton, Westbury, Woodstock, the Dominican Republic, and more! Visit our tour section for tickets and more info.
Larry and Teresa have just announced a show at Mountain Jam with Phil Lesh & Friends on June 15th!
Additionally, three East Coast dates have been added: Bayshore, Long Island on June 20th, City Winery Boston on June 21st, and Guild Hall East Hampton, NY on August 1st.
Just Announced: Larry and Teresa will be performing five shows in Italy from June 2nd-June 7th!
They’ll be at Teatro Sacro Cuore on June 2nd, Musica In Castello on June 4th, Milan on June 5th, Castello Visconti di S. Vito on June 6th, and Villa Marchiori Dei Cappuccini on June 7th!
Just announced: Larry and Teresa are set to perform with Phil Lesh & Friends Thursday, May 9th and Friday, May 10th at Terrapin Crossroads!
Click here to head over to our Tour section to buy tickets, and stay tuned for updates!
Join us April 13th at 7:45pm EDT / 6:45pm CDT for a free livestream of Larry and Teresa’s performance at Fur Peace Station Concert Hall! Link: Click here to watch the livestream
Larry and Teresa are hitting the road!
Check our Tour section for tickets and information on new shows, including a night at Fur Peace Ranch on April 13th, two dates in CT, and a tour of Spain in May!
Stay tuned to LarryAndTeresa.com for the latest news and updates, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for exclusive videos, photos, and behind-the-scenes footage.
Just Announced: Larry and Teresa are pleased to announce a show at City Winery NYC with special guest David Bromberg!
“Teresa Williams sang like a woman possessed during the last number of the evening on November 15 at Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT. With Larry Campbell at her side, letting rip on his Telecaster in a way he had not previously that night, the woman seemed in a trance at certain points during the traditional “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” that is, when her voice wasn’t going from a whisper to a scream, then back again.
It was no wonder then that the audience was awestruck and silent when the duo and their bandmates finished this encore. But that quiet was in marked contrast to the loud and immediate response following the romping version of Rev. Gary Davis’ “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,” that ended the show proper, a sequence that in itself imbued this near two-hour performance with logic: that selection in itself was representative of the expert pacing in play in this small room of Higher Ground; the audience’s enthusiasm was out of proportion to its sparsity (perhaps due to impending winter weather)”
Just announced: Larry and Teresa will be performing at All The Best Fest, Nov 11-15, 2019 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic along with John Prine, Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff, Kacey Musgraves, and other excellent artists. Tickets are now onsale at AllTheBestFest.com
Larry and Teresa will be touring along the East Coast during September, October and November, and have added new dates in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia!
Larry: “I remember when I decided I was going to be a musician. I gave myself permission to have that aspiration … And then it was all over. There was nothing that was going to stop me, there’s was nothing else I wanted to do, there was nothing else that turned me on that way, and there was nothing else that would fulfill my life the same way. Why? Hell if I know. But music is a way of communication that heads right to my soul. There are those that are content listening and absorbing and then there are those that can’t rest until they figure out how to communicate and deliver it to their own personal satisfaction. That’s where I’m at.” –Click here to read the full interview via SeaCoastOnline
New Show announcement: Larry and Teresa will be performing at the Sellersville Theater on June 7th!
Tickets are now onsale via Ticketfly. Click here to check our tour section for a full list of upcoming tour dates and ticket links.
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have been married for nearly 30 years, but they only turned their private song-making into a public affair with the release of their 2015 self-titled debut. (Though, before that, they played for seven years in Levon Helm’s band.)
Last year, they returned with their sophomore effort, Contraband Love, a darker affair that takes a hard look at love’s pocks in order to reveal its pearls. Original folk-driven songs like “Save Me from Myself” explore a strong relationship’s balm, while the title track promises to keep fighting past the hard-bitten instinct to keep love at bay.” – The Bluegrass Situation
Larry and Teresa will be joining Camp Cripple Creek on August 21 and 23rd to benefit Levon Helm’s barn.
Camp Cripple Creek – A Celebration of the Music and History of The Band and The Legends of Woodstock, featuring The Weight Band, Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams and More To Be Announced.
Visit www.CampCrippleCreek.com for more information
Tonight, January 2nd, Larry and Teresa will perform the National Anthem and several tunes with the band at halftime at the New York Knicks vs. San Antonio Spurs!
“Williams shares the story that led to 29 years of marriage and how, eventually, after years of each building prolific careers performing with some of the greatest artists in history (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, The Grateful Dead), the pair finally decided it was time to make their own music together.”
“This weekend, Austin City Limits will broadcast a celebration of highlights from the awards ceremony billed as ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2017, featuring performances by Old Crow Medicine Show, John Prine, Iris DeMent, Rhiannon Giddens, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Amanda Shires, The Lumineers, Drive-By Truckers, Graham Nash, The Milk Carton Kids, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Van Morrison and Robert Cray & The Hi Rhythm Section.”
Tune in to PBS tomorrow night to see Larry Campbell lead the house band at the Americana Awards, performing with Van Morrison, Old Crow Medicine Show, John Prine, Iris DeMent, Rhiannon Giddens, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Amanda Shires, The Lumineers, Drive-By Truckers, Graham Nash, The Milk Carton Kids, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Van Morrison and Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm.
“Their second album under their own name offers another potent blend of roots sounds, but Campbell’s writing – he penned eight of the 11 songs – cuts even closer to the bone this time. “In the light of day, all I see is the dark of night,” Williams sings over the folk-rock of the set-opening “The Other Side of Pain.” Campbell himself cuts loose with the howling cold-turkey blues of “Three Days in a Row.” He’s been there.”
“Collectively, they’ve played with Dylan Paul Simon, Little Feat, Phil Lesh, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, and, for a long time as part of Levon Helm ramble. (Campbell is kind of the musical president of Woodstock.) They’ve got two albums out now. The second one is called “Contraband Love” and together with these shows, it shows off their unmatched musical education. I particularly loved their version of Reverend Gary Davis’ “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,” a Hot Tuna staple, which reminds me, Jack and Jorma will be doing four nights at City Winery at the end of this month, to replace their annual Beacon show. Maybe you can get standing room. In the meantime, spend an evening with Larry and Teresa and you won’t be disappointed.”
From the Colony Cafe Woodstock: “Special matinee Sunday, Dec 3rd: Purchasing tickets for the Dec 2nd show guarantees admission to a free, filmed performance by Larry & Teresa on Sunday Dec 3 at 4pm. The performance will be part of the documentary film “It Was the Music” starring Larry & Teresa with other filmed appearances by Phil Lesh, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, Hot Tuna, David Bromberg Quintet & Band, Rosanne Cash and more. Please note there will be stops and starts during this show at the directors request.”
Larry and Teresa are currently on tour across America with Shawn Colvin on the 20th Anniversary tour of her landmark album ‘A Few Small Repairs’. Click here to visit our tour section for a full list of dates.
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have been called the First Couple of Americana ever since they embarked on their own recording and touring journey after decades of marriage and seven years working closely with the late Levon Helm—Campbell as bandleader and producer (for which he won three Grammys), and Williams as singer. They’ve also collaborated with Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples, Little Feat, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Rosanne Cash along the way.”
“When Shawn Colvin takes stage in SouthCoast next week, it will actually be as part of a stellar double-bill: Bob Dylan’s longtime guitarist Larry Campbell, and his talented wife, singer/guitarist Teresa Williams will open. They are the modern-day Johnny Cash and June Carter. Campbell — part of Dylan’s Never Ending Tour from 1997 to 2004 — and Williams were both part of Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band.“Music is what got us together; it’s a cohesive glue. It gets us through thick and thin,” Williams told me when I interviewed the couple last year. Campbell added: “At this point in my life, all I want to do is have a good time making music, and be with the person I want to be with. And I never get tired of hearing her sing.”
“The first time I remember seeing Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams was at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. They were backing up Levon Helm, and as I delved deeper into Helm’s music, I would find the Campbell was that band’s rudder. With Williams on acoustic guitar and vocals and Campbell’s sizzling guitar work and ability to switch to violin, mandolin, or whatever the song called for, Helm could go whatever direction he wanted. Campbell had done the same for Bob Dylan on tour for several years starting in the late 90s, but he hadn’t really explored a solo career, outside of the 2005 album Rooftop. ”
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have taken the latter to heart over 30 years of marriage and a musical partnership stretching out even longer. Yet the world only got turned on to the explosive powers of their combined talents in 2015 with the release of an eponymous debut that melded Campbell’s New York upbringing with Williams’ Southern roots. Before that, he spent eight years on the road with Bob Dylan as the Nobel laureate’s master of strings while she sang with the likes of Mavis Staples and Emmylou Harris. Later the duo collaborated extensively with the late Levon Helm as touring members of his band and Campbell taking a leadership role in the writing and recording of Helm’s late-in-life landmark offerings…”
“Still, in Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams’ hands and voices even the darkest ballad about loss or despair or depression somehow turns into a bright beam illuminating dark corners with honesty and maybe even a little hope. Their music has healing power; it’s a redemptive force that urges us that no matter what kind of despair we’re facing down, and going through, we’ll come out of, in their words, on “the other side of pain.”
“Like many people, I first became familiar with Campbell when I saw him countless times as part of Bob Dylan’s band from 1997 to 2004. For many fans, the various lineups featuring Campbell created some of the most exciting and satisfying concerts during Dylan’s so-called “Never-Ending Tour.” Since then, I’ve seen Campbell with Harris, Elvis Costello, David Bromberg, and Levon Helm, where he served as his musical director in his final years.”
August 31, 2017
No Depression Magazine
by Henry Carrigan
“The anguish of pain lies within the sweetness of love like a fisted glove in a rose. The agony of love gone wrong twists our hearts and churns our souls even more when our lovers betray us. How do we travel the corridors of defeat, disappointment, anger and survive? How do we make it to the other side of our pain?”
Larry & Teresa will be performing and signing copies of their new album ‘Contraband Love’ at Barnes And Noble NYC, 33 East 17th Street – on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 7pm. Stay tuned for more info and breaking news, and visit our Tour page for a full list of dates.
This fall, Shawn Colvin will hit the road with the A Few Small Repairs 20th Anniversary Tour. Her first major tour with a full band since the album’s original release, the seven-week cross-country jaunt runs from September 30 through November 19 and will showcase Shawn performing the album in its entirety alongside a variety of hits, personal favorites and surprises from her repertoire. Multi-instrumentalist-singer Larry Campbell & his wife singer-guitarist Teresa Williams will support all dates in addition to appearing in the band. Visit our tour section for a full list of dates and ticket links.
Larry & Teresa will be on the road this Spring and Summer and have added several new tour dates – including two nights at New York City’s famed Joe’s Pub. Visit the tour section for tickets and more info, and stay tuned for updates!
“At the end of the set, Prine brought out Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, who had opened the night, for “In Spite of Ourselves,” the title track from Prine’s first album of duets. The singer then played two of his most somber compositions, “Unwed Fathers” and the Vietnam-era “Sam Stone,” by himself, and finished up with the band, Campbell and Williams on “Lake Marie” (one of Prine’s most evocative story songs) and the coal mining saga, “Paradise.” Campbell and Williams have spent many years as backup players with the likes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Judy Collins and, for the last part of his career, Levon Helm. They recently released their debut album together, featuring a mix of Campbell’s original compositions and covers. With elements of country, bluegrass and gospel, their opening set showcased Campbell’s deft fingerpicking guitar leads and William’s downhome country vocals.” – Jim Testa, NJArts.net
Just announced: Larry and Teresa will be playing the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA on July 15th!
“The first couple of Americana” (Mojo Magazine) begin recording their highly anticipated second album in February for 2017 release. Like their eponymous debut album, the recording will be handled by Grammy winning engineer/drummer Justin Guip and will feature Campbell originals, some covers and another performance by the late, beloved Levon Helm on drums. Click here to join the campaign today
We’ve added two new videos of Larry and Teresa’s recent performance @ City Winery NYC with Cindy Cashdollar. Visit our media gallery to check out the performances of “Never Again Be Mine” and “Jesus On The Mainline”
Larry and Teresa are on tour this winter! Click here to visit our tour page for a full list of dates and ticket info.
“Phil Lesh is celebrating Halloween with a three night run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. The Grateful Dead bassist kicked things off last night with Luther Dickinson on guitar, Larry Campbell on guitar, mandolin, and vocals, Barry Sless on guitar and the pedal steel, along with drummer John Molo, keyboardist Jason Crosby, and vocalists Teresa Williams and Nicki Bluhm. The Dead tunes were in full force, with the female vocalists trading harmonies throughout the night. An 18+ minute version of Cream‘s “Crossroads” took the cake for the most powerful jam of the evening, followed by the encore’s 16-minute “Turn On Your Lovelight.”
Press Release from Red House Records:
“We at Red House Records, based in the nation’s icebox of Minnesota, have a lot of experience with below-zero temperatures and dark, snowy nights. Oddly enough, we’ve never put out a record to mark the holiday season. A request for songs brought out the best from Red House veterans and newcomers alike …from Rock ’N Roll Hall of Famer Jorma Kaukonen to Red Hot Mama Davina & The Vagabonds… from the First Couple of Americana, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, to raw acoustic bluesman Charlie Parr…from covers of Elvis and Gordon Lightfoot to a modern-day spiritual from The Wailin’ Jennys. Like the season itself, it’s an eclectic mix of lust, lament, and gratitude. Even Santa gets him some lovin’ (courtesy Bill Kirchen & Austin de Lone).”
They met almost 30 years ago, when Williams hired Campbell to back her at a gig. “I thanked him for lugging his pedal steel down for a short rehearsal,” she says. “I could see who he was from the first time we met. His honesty and sincerity, I could see his soul in that moment. I could see he was it for me. He was with somebody else, but I had him in mind that whole year.”
Adds Campbell, “As soon as I met Teresa, I thought: I gotta get me some of that.”
They laugh about that remark; they laugh about everything. They might be fun to tour with in that car, if you could find a seat among the guitars and suitcases. Creative people often end up together, but sometimes working in the same discipline — movie-star marriages attract lawyers like a feeder does birds — can be problematic.
“It’s a real bind, if you think about it,” Campbell says. “It’s a potential recipe for disaster. In its own way, it’s incestuous.
“But Teresa and I are so much on the same wavelength, we can actually have a relationship and put that aside and have a musical relationship.” Click here to read the full interview
As part of the Naked Soul Series, Larry & Teresa will be doing an intimate ‘acoustic only’ show at NYC’s Rubin Museum of Art on August 26th at 7pm; tickets are very limited so act now! Visit our tour page for more info
Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist and producer Larry Campbell, whose childhood playground came with a view of the 59th Street bridge in the Big Apple; actress and musician Teresa Williams grew up in the midst of a West Tennessee cotton patch.
“We met when she hired me to play pedal steel in a band for a gig in New York City,” says Campbell. “I was totally smitten, and soon after that, we got married.”
Two decades later, the pair, a match made in Americana music heaven, released their self-titled debut as a duo last June; the album, the musical equivalent to curling up with a handmade quilt that’s become a much-loved family heirloom, is phenomenal. “We’ve always had a strong musical rapport, but for the first five years of our marriage, we were playing different projects,” explains Campbell. “I went out on the road with Cyndi Lauper and then Bob Dylan, and Teresa was doing theater and other work.”
“Teresa and I have sung and played together all along, for the joy of it,” Campbell says.
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have been touring the country since the release of Surrender to Love, their first CD as a duo. With this performance, they concluded a residency at NYC’s City Winery before hundreds of enthusiastic fans. Surprisingly, they began with the Reverend Gary Davis raver “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,” which often closes the show and showcases Williams’ sweetly energetic style and Campbell’s astonishing guitar skills.” Read the full review here
“If anyone has ever put together a more meaningful arrangement of “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,” Sound Bites is yet to hear it. And so it came to pass that Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams closed the second set of their stellar Saturday night performance in the Fur Peace Station with a hell-fire rendition of the oft-covered Blind Willie Johnson number so powerful, even non-believers might have begun to doubt themselves. With Williams jumping up and down, wailing and throwing her arms above her head, and her husband, Campbell, trading scorching licks with guest Jorma Kaukonen, the five musicians onstage left no doubt old spirituals can in fact be new and relevant – and even low-down and sexually charged – again.” Read the full review here
“The luminous crescent moon that hung in the night sky over Higher Ground in South Burlington March 12 wasn’t so enchanting as the performance of Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams had just offered. In fact, it’s a safe bet the Showcase Lounge in the South Burlington venue hadn’t seen such a spell cast in recent memory.” Read the full review here
“Teresa and I first met in 1986,” Campbell said. “She was doing a gig at Bottom Line Club. They put a band together and we had a mutual friend who called me and I ended up being part of that band for that show. I was knocked out both musically and personally by who she was and what she did. As we went on, we would work with other people together, like the guys from Hot Tuna, and especially with Levon Helm,” Campbell said. “We had all this opportunity to sing together and sort of hone our musical relationship. The result of that is the record we have out right now.” Read the full review here
“When I left Dylan’s band and Teresa had just gotten off the road at the same time, we started thinking maybe we could do something together,” Campbell said. Instead they worked with Helm, who was all about letting the musicians in his band step up to the microphone. “And then this thing with Levon just came up and in its own way it gave us this environment to really hone what her and I can do together.” Read the full interview here
“As a sideman, Larry Campbell has a résumé that would make any musician jealous. His long career includes eight years touring in Bob Dylan’s band; studio work with Keith Richards, Paul Simon and Willie Nelson; and a seven-year stretch as bandleader of Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles before the drummer’s death in 2012.”
Campbell shared the latter experience with his wife, Teresa Williams, a country singer from Tennessee with a rich, honeyed voice who also has worked with Emmylou Harris and Hot Tuna. Last summer the couple decided to step out of the shadows of icons and release their debut album, “Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams.”
“Campbell is proficient on multiple instruments, including guitar, fiddle and mandolin, and during live shows the couple is backed by a tight rhythm section. After many years in diligent supporting roles, Campbell and Williams are now a taking a turn in the spotlight.”
Larry and Teresa recently performed the National Anthem live at Madison Square Garden! Click here to watch the video in our gallery.
Larry and Teresa’s debut album has earned a #3 spot on the ND Critics’ Poll, ‘Your Top 50 of 15: Considering The Finest Roots Music of The Year’.
“Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams is one of the best albums of 2015 not only because of Campbell and Williams’ vision but also because of their deep love for each other, their passion for making good music together, building songs layer by layer vocally, lyrically, and instrumentally, their commitment to purity in musical self-expression, and their energetic and deeply felt desire for delivering this good music straight from their hearts to ours.”
“I felt like we really said what we were trying to say [with this album],” Campbell says. “In its artistic essence, this is who we are: playing this great music with great people and with the person I want to be with.”
“More than any other quality, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams carries a purity of expression difficult to find on many other albums released in any year. Whether he’s playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, or steel guitar, Campbell never wastes a note. Williams’ vocal phrasing is impeccable. Like any great soul singer – Maxine Brown, say – she controls her breathing, wielding the power of her vocals to deliver just the right emotional touch to a lyric.”
“The debut of Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams as a musical duo was decades in the making. Husband and wife, they have long pursued largely independent creative careers that havw taken them around the globe many times. Campbell, a virtuosic and versatile multi-instrumentalist, has been a go-to session musician and producer since the 1980s.”
‘Musicians Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have had a very big 2015.
The Woodstock couple released their debut record in June and the catalog of songs served as a culmination of sorts.
“Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams” showcased two people, partners in life, whose dynamic and ability to play off each other and joke around on stage, in front of hundreds of people, underscores the way in which their musical lives have wrapped themselves around each other. Click here to read the full feature
“I first met Teresa in 1986 during the Urban Cowboy thing that was going on in New York City from about 1978 to 1986,” he says. “At that point every woman in New York was a country singer, because that was the trend.“ One day Larry received a call asking him if he wanted to do a gig at New York City’s famous Bottom Line. “I said ‘Oh yeah; here we go again, another woman with a guitar.’ But the first time I saw Teresa my jaw was on the floor. Then I heard her sing and it was the real thing. I mean Teresa just stood out like a beacon of what the real thing is supposed to be…That was it, I was smitten.” Click here to read the full interview.
Larry and Teresa will be performing at New York City’s Beacon Theatre for two nights with Hot Tuna on November 20th and 21st.
“The legendary Hot Tuna’s not-to-be-missed annual Beacon Theatre musical bash celebrating Jorma Kaukonen’s 75th birthday will emphasize Jorma’s music over the years. Hot Tuna will deliver two nights of music filled with unfiltered innovation plus numerous musicians and friends to commemorate the occasion.”
“Passionate, eloquent, and spilling over with regal harmonies,” says (Uncut Magazine) of the recently released Red House Records ‘Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams’ CD.
Larry and Teresa are currently on tour across America with Jackson Browne.
Stay tuned for news, views, videos, and updates from the road.
“But beyond some unexpected song choices, Browne’s show also greatly benefited from guest performers Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams — husband and wife, and longtime Levon Helm bandmates (Campbell produced Helm’s last three Grammy-winning albums), who opened the night with their own dynamic set of original Americana tunes.”
“During Browne’s show, Campbell played guitar for each of the show’s 20 songs with effortless bluesy flash and soulful substance — particularly in the beginning, for “The Barricades of Heaven;” and near the end of “Easy,” where he traded riffs with Greg Leisz, who supplied psychedelic ripples from his pedal steel. Williams frequently sang backing vocals, but seized the spotlight singing a duet of “My Opening Farewell” with her husband strumming mandolin behind her.”
“Maybe by choosing Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams as his opening act – and new additional band members – he somehow hit the reboot button. Because on Tuesday at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, not only was Browne was in good spirits, but he was generous, spontaneous and even fun. And the music was darn good, too.” Click here to read the full review
“Today’s Morning Edition music is from an interview with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, who are out with a new album on Red House Records.
Until this album, Campbell and Williams, who are married, worked primarily as supporting musicians.
Campbell played guitar and other instruments in Bob Dylan’s band for seven years. Williams, meanwhile, sang with Emmylou Harris and others.
A turning point for them came while they were working with Levon Helm after he was diagnosed with throat cancer. Helm hosted informal concerts known as midnight rambles at his house in Woodstock, N.Y.
MPR Morning Edition producer Jim Bickal talked with Campbell and Williams about how the rambles led to the creation of their own music.”
Enjoy this video of Larry and Teresa performing “Did You Love Me At All” live at the studios of 89.3 ‘The Current’ on Radio Heartland. Click here to watch the video
“[Jackson’s] also a class act: He appeared a few minutes before the 8 p.m. starting time, much to the surprise of concertgoers who’d gotten to their seats early, just so he could personally introduce Campbell and Williams’ opening set.”
“They played for 40 minutes and delighted the crowd with originals and a sweet version of the Louvin Brothers’ “You’re Running Wild,” which Campbell explained he’d first played decades ago in a band with Colvin and renowned guitarist Buddy Miller.”
“They recently celebrated 27 years of marriage. He spent eight years touring with Bob Dylan. She’s sung with Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Bramlett. Together, they’ve been members of Little Feat, Hot Tuna, and Phil Lest & Friends. Most famously, they were members of the Levon Helm Band, working with the onetime Band drummer and singer until his death in 2012.”
“Now, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams are out on the road with Jackson Browne. They serve as both the acclaimed SoCal troubadour’s opening act and as members of his band.” Click here to read the full interview
“Be it L.A.’s “Wrecking Crew,” the Muscle Shoals “Swampers” or Nashville’s endless stream of session players, it’s easy to be drawn to the stories of musicians who provide the backbone to great songs but probably wouldn’t be recognized in a grocery store.”
“Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams fit this description perfectly.”
Collectively, the pair has backed Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, Phil Lesh, Bob Dylan, Rodney Crowell, Elvis Costello and Rosanne Cash among many others.”
“Toss in the fact that the musical duo have been married for nearly 30 years and the story gets even more interesting.”
“These days, Campbell and Williams are taking their rightful places in the spotlight with this year’s release of their self-titled debut album.”
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams appear together on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston.
Campbell, a singer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and all-around “musician’s musician,” has worked with Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples — and, perhaps most notably, served as Levon Helm’s musical director for seven historic years.
Campbell steps into the spotlight here with Williams, his partner in life and music, for a mix of original songs and beloved covers from their self-titled collaborative album.” Click here to read more
“Any visit from Browne, one of the quintessential troubadours of rock’s classic era, means a concert for which the bar for songwriting it set pretty high. He’ll no doubt play some of his best-known ’70s tunes, but last year’s ‘Standing in the Breach’ showed Browne remains committed to dovetailing the personal and the political with new material.”
“Equally significant on this bill, however, is the opening duo: Campbell, an ace instrumentalist with the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, stepped out front with vocalist Williams on an impressive self-titled album released in June.”
“I’m thrilled to be touring with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. Larry has played in some of my all-time favorite bands, and I’m excited to hear what he brings to my songs as this tour unfolds. Teresa and I have a great vocal blend, as does she and Larry, and I’m looking forward to what happens when we introduce these longtime favorites of mine into my body of songs.”
Campbell and Williams get a 40-minute set as the opening act; they’ll be accompanied by Browne’s band. And they get a delightful tour experience. Campbell says about Browne, “The man is a pure gentleman and he walks the walk, and talks the talk.” Click here to read the full article
“Musician Larry Campbell plays many stringed instruments. Larry – a three time Grammy Award winning producer – has performed with numerous artists including Bob Dylan. Campbell is married to the talented singer/guitarist Teresa Williams. Together they make a formidable musical pair. Larry and Teresa are presently on tour as members of Jackson Browne’s band and they are also Jackson’s opening act.”
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams’ set at the Ascend Amphitheater demonstrated that together the two are reaching new heights as a musical tour de force to be reckoned with.” Click here to read the full review
“Teresa Williams and Larry Campbell played an impeccable first set. Browne met the duo while playing with the late Levon Helm, during Helm’s legendary ‘Rambles’ at his farm in Woodstock, N.Y.”
“Williams and Campbell were backed by Browne’s polished rhythm section (which also included Bob Glaub on bass, Mauricio Lewak on drums and Greg Leisz on guitar, lap steel and pedal steel).”
“For ‘Samson and Delilah,’ however, Williams sang accompanied only by Campbell’s machine-gun, finger-style acoustic guitar.”
“It was an effective pairing.”
Bruce Springsteen performs “Take It Easy” with Jackson Browne, Larry Campbell, & Teresa Williams live On September 22, 2015 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ.
“Campbell and Williams, backed by four of Browne’s band members, including hot shot guitarist McCallum, sparkled during their over-in-a-jiffy opening set.”
“The couple, married for 26 years, were in perfect harmony, vocally and in every other way.”
“They seemed to be having a blast, grinning and teasing each other. Their set featured a mix of country rock, classic folk, Louvin Brothers songs and a rousing spiritual.”
“They are the Emmylou and Gram of this era.”
“Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams highlights Campbell’s endearingly raw delivery and Williams’ Tennessee-tent-revival-trained howl as they tackle mournful folk ballads and waltzes (‘Down on My Knees,’ ‘Did You Love Me at All?’) and raw rhythm & blues (‘Bad Luck Charm,’ ‘Ain’t Nobody For Me’).”
‘After years of being mostly apart in our marriage, suddenly we’re working together all the time,’ says Williams.”
Enjoy this live performance of “Running On Empty” at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago on September 5th, with Larry Campbell and Greg Leisz trading licks.
Jackson Browne performs “Mama Couldn’t Be Persuaded”, a song by Warren Zevon, live at the Capitol Theatre on September 15th, 2015 with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams need no introduction.”
“The duo has not slipped by anyone who knows Americana, but their album is so good I’ll make an exception.”
“After nearly 30 years together and too-many-to-count live and recorded appearances, this duo has released a joyous record that exemplifies their lives and their importance. ”
“Campbell is, perhaps, the most grounded musician I have ever encountered and Williams’ vocals have an unequaled fierceness to them.”
“The album’s tunes are like water seeking its own level. Standouts include a Louvin Brothers tune, ‘You’re Running Wild,’ on which Levon Helm played one of his last tunes. Plus, Campbell, a longtime Louvins fan, wooed Williams with a mix tape of that duo’s songs. Think about that.”
“Local Motion Host Rita Ryan interviews Campbell and Williams as they celebrate the release of their first album together as a duo.”
“Ryan inspires a comfortable chat about the music that bridged that divide and bound them, and also kept them apart as they pursued separate careers—until now.”
“What is clear is that ‘Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams’, the debut album for the husband-and-wife duo, draws its sound and feel from deep domestic musical tradition.”
“The album seamlessly winds its way through the music of the American south in songs like the back-porch pickin’ ‘Everybody Loves You’ to jaunty rockabilly of ‘Bad Luck Charm’ and the Memphis soul of ‘Another One More Time.’”
“Larry Campbell has been onstage for some of the greatest rock & roll moments of the past 30 years, as Bob Dylan’s sideman from 1997-2004, and as Levon Helm’s bandleader and co-writer during the drummer’s late-career comeback.”
“Now, Campbell is stepping into the spotlight, along with his wife, Teresa Williams.”
“What is Dylan really like? “Mercurial,” Campbell says. “I mean, it’s in all the books about him, and you know, it’s all true. You can hang with him and everything — it’s like hanging with anybody else, and then it’s not. I mean, he’s a very complex guy – all the good and all the bad that goes along with that. There were huge, high moments with that tour and there were low, low moments with that tour. “Those eight years were a great experience,” adds Campbell. “It’s something I will never regret doing, it. You know, the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones were pretty much the Holy Trinity when I was growing up, and you can’t discount his vitality as an artist.”
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams’ debut album on Red House Records, titled ‘Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams’, is now available via Amazon in Vinyl format, mastered at Sterling Sound NYC, with artwork adapted for large-format.
“Having performed with everyone from Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Keith Richards to Paul Simon and Mavis Staples, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams breakout with their self-titled debut album.”
“A scorching collection of roots-rock songs featuring 8 originals and 3 covers, including one song performed with the great Levon Helm before his passing.”
“Produced by Campbell, ‘Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams’ distills everything into a potent, infectious blend of Americana style and timeless soul, offered with a relaxed generosity that can only come from rich experience.”
“…the self-titled project has the tight, in-the-pocket feel of seasoned operators baptized in the nectar of country, rock, blues and R&B.”
“Obscure covers and standards abound (like the almost spooky ‘Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning’), multi-instrumental melodies are the norm and Campbell and Williams’ bold-yet-nuanced vocal blend is worthy of its own review.”
“Helm even plays drums on one track, a pleading cover of the Louvin Brothers’ ‘You’re Running Wild,’ recorded during a session for one of his final albums.
“Delivered with an expert’s appreciation for the traditions of American music, the project shines a long-overdue spotlight on two of the MVPs behind the greats.”
“During the last decade of his life, Levon Helm — the irrepressible drummer, singer and mandolinist best known for his tenure in the Band — routinely held court at his barn studio in Woodstock, N.Y. The Midnight Ramble, his regular get-together there, featured a trusted corps of musicians and frequent drop-ins by famous guests. A prized pilgrimage for fans of American roots music, it has kept going, off and on, since Mr. Helm died in 2012.”
“One track, the country chestnut ‘You’re Running Wild,’ features Mr. Helm on drums, exerting his subtle forward pull.”
“It’s a more countrified album, with the two singers, partners by marriage, often harmonizing in a rough blend.”
“Things work best when Ms. Williams takes the lead — as on “Midnight Highway,” a gem of bittersweet longing, written with Julie Miller.”
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams are the first couple of roots Americana.”
“Campbell is a multi-instrumentalist musical director and producer of three Grammy-winning albums for the Band’s late Levon Helm.”
“He toured for seven years with Bob Dylan and with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, among other career highlights. Williams is a powerful singer from Peckerwood Point, Tenn., who originated the role of Sara Carter for the musical about the Carter Family, Keep on the Sunny Side.”
“Twenty-seven years after they wed under a tree her great-great-grandmother planted in a yard on the road to Shiloh, they’ve finally released their first album — a self-titled offering getting rave reviews.”
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams opens with the warm and funky ‘Surrender to Love’ and never loses its infectious way through eight originals and three well-chosen covers.” Click here to read the full review via the Isthmus
“…a pure distillation of blues, country, and gospel traditions and a serious contender for the title of this year’s best Americana album.”
“Hearing this collection, countless Americana fans will understandably wonder why we have waited so long for this duo to commit themselves to record.”
“But the more interesting question in my mind is: What’s next?”
“Here on their self-titled debut, Campbell and Williams are at their quintessential best, featuring eight originals and three choice covers. Making appearances on the album are Amy Helm, Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne, Justin Guip, Byron Isaacs, and even Levon Helm himself on the Louvin Brothers classic ‘You’re Running Wild,’ recorded before he passed in 2012.”
“The other borrowed tunes, Rev. Gary Davis’s ‘Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning’ and the Grateful Dead’s ‘Attics of My Life,’ point to the breadth of inspiration at the duo’s disposal. The eleven tracks that comprise this recording are simply a drop in the bucket of what could be to come.” Click here to read the full review
“Few new releases in any contemporary genre carry the distinguished credentials of Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams. The former was Bob Dylan’s lead guitarist from 1997 to 2004 before going on to assume similar duties in the last stable lineup of Phil Lesh and Friends from 2007 to 2008. Campbell then went on to work with the late Levon Helm at his barn studio/venue, primarily at first as guitarist/vocalist, then eventually as bandleader and producer. For her part, Williams was a frequent lead and backup singer in the Grateful Dead bassist’s ensemble while contributing vocals to ‘The American Beauty Project’, a tribute to the iconic band’s seminal studio album.” Click here to read the full review
“Williams is a no-nonsense singer, able to kick up some dirt and then take it to church.”
“Guests like Little Feat pianist Bill Payne, vocalist Amy Helm and her father Levon on drums for one track make the sound full and built with fire.”
“Choosing the Grateful Dead’s ‘Attics of My Life,’ with Amy Helm also singing, as the closing cut is as sweet and soothing a goodbye to San Francisco’s finest as could be imagined. This circle remains about as unbroken as you can get. Hallelujah.”
“For years, Larry Campbell has been one of the most in-demand musicians and producers in roots-rock, backing up Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson and many more.”
“His wife, country and blues singer Teresa Williams, has worked with Emmylou Harris and Mavis Staples.”
“Now, the couple are moving from the background into the spotlight with their new, self-titled album, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.”
“Gorgeously recorded and mixed, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams is 44 minutes of roots music gold.”
“The new original songs stand side by side with their classic counterparts.”
“These inspiring performances are made possible because of the lifetime of collaborative experience — in everyday life as well as in music — this pair put into them.”
“This is a righteous collection of originals and covers that ranges from classic stellar duet country to Americana, rural gospel, and blues with a lot of space in between.”
“American roots fans take note, this album will still sound as fresh and bracing in a decade as it does now.”
Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams’ debut self-titled album is now available on Red House Records!
For reviews, concert updates, videos, and all the latest news, stay tuned to LarryAndTeresa.com
‘There are eleven songs on the album, and probably one hundred and eleven that we thought about putting on,’ says Campbell, who wrote eight of the tracks that were eventually chosen. ‘At least in my head, there is a cohesion to these songs, with elements of Teresa’s rural upbringing and my New York City upbringing.’
Among the highlights: the romantic ‘If You Loved Me At All,’ the amusingly droll ‘Bad Luck Charm,’ the country-poppy ‘Surrender to Love,’ the sad ballad ‘You’re Running Wild,’ (with drums by Helm, in one of his last recordings before his death, in 2012), and the astonishing cover of Rev. Gary Davis’s ‘Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning.’
Williams’s fervent, insistent warning of the coming Judgment Day withholds nothing, and should become part of the official soundtrack for any apocalypse that may be on the way.” Click here to read the full review
“Now, after all these years, they’ve released their debut album as a duo. ”
“They brought a killer backing band, including Byron Isaacs on bass, Justin Guip on drums, and Bill Payne of Little Feat fame on piano, for a Sunday Breakfast session in Studio A.”
“They performed three songs from the album, including a version of ‘Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning’ that almost literally set the studio ablaze.”
“This is sort of the heart of what Teresa and I are about,” Campbell said during a recent telephone interview with the Journal.
“It’s a distillation of everything that both us have experienced, as performers, throughout our careers.”
“I feel like all of our musical experiences have been distilled into this project.”
“A rootsy collection of 11 original and cover tunes, the album finds the couple harmonizing on tunes like the Rev. Gary Davis’s rousing gospel number, ‘Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning’ and a hymn-like rendition of the Grateful Dead’s ‘Attics Of My Life.’”
“The drums of the late Levon Helm are heard on the Louvin Brothers’ classic, ‘You’re Running Wild,’ recorded in 2009 during sessions for ‘Electric Dirt’, one of three Grammy-winning albums that the couple made with Mr. Helm. That collaboration inspired their decision to record their own album together.”
“Teresa Williams is a powerhouse country, blues, gospel and honky-tonk singer who hails from a speck on the map in west Tennessee known as Peckerwood Point.” Click here to read the full album review via The Wall Street Journal
“You left City Winery that night full of gospel visions, words of love, and wondering both what the heck it feels like to have the freeze down in your knees — and how Campbell can make a guitar sound like that, no matter how many times you’ve heard him do it before.”
“When WERE they going to get together? An ironic question, to be sure.”
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have been married for decades, though separated for most of that time by their careers. But, starting in the mid-2000s, they made grand music with Levon Helm. ”
“You’ve probably been been wondering where the bloody hell this disc was for years — it was perfectly obvious it was going to be made. But when?”
“Then into your hands comes this stunning, visually beautiful disc.”
“…you can feel the love between them; it is that strong in the photos.”
“As to the 11 songs on the disc, Campbell wrote six and co-wrote two.”
“Each one has the power to move you, to get you up and paying attention.”
“This is a beautiful disc that is way too long overdue.”
“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams are here this morning! They’ve been ‘Part of the Imus Family For 30 Years’. Which is a Euphemism for ‘Larry knew the Boss ‘Back in the Day’… which is the Euphemism for the time when the I-Man was still ‘Imbibing’…which is the Euphemism for his keeping Russian Potato Farmers in Business.” Larry and Teresa performed four songs on Fox’s ‘Imus In The Morning’.
Click on each title to watch the videos:
“With plenty to say about their debut album and upcoming tour, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams talk about their music, working with Levon Helm and how the married duo keeps everything ‘honest'”.
“Pollstar spoke with the couple last week via a three-way phone conversation with multi-instrumentalist Campbell in Woodstock, N.Y., and singer/guitarist Williams in her parent’s backyard in Tennessee.”
“Although the geographical distance between the two artists was considerable, they talked, laughed and discussed their musical experiences as if they were in the same room. Coming across as two people completely in sync with each other, often one would often begin a sentence only to have the other finish it.” Read the full interview here
Larry Campbell Shares Memories of Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh, Hot Tuna, Paul Simon and More.
“There are some really iconic moments in my travels, when I find myself on stage playing certain tunes with certain people and I just think ‘How the hell did I get here?’ I remember a particularly good show with Bob Dylan where the set was paced really well and he was right on and everything was doing good. Huge crowd right there with us. And at the end of the show, we did, for the first time that I played with him, a version of ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.’ You know, this song, when I was a kid, this song was everywhere. It was the anthem of my exposure of the modern folk movement that was going on at that time.” Click here to read the full interview
“After years of working on other artists’ albums and tours, duo Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have their own album in the works along with a hefty set of dates to support it.”
“But striking out on their own as a duo wasn’t the first thing that crossed their minds, mainly because their talents were in demand by other artists.”
“Campbell’s history includes an enormous amount of session work as well as eight years on Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour. Williams’ many accomplishments include originating the role of Sara Carter in the musical “Keep On the Sunny Side.”
“Over the years the two have worked with several top-tier artists, including Emmylou Harris, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Phil Lesh, Little Feat and Hot Tuna.” Read the full article here
Jackson Browne : “I’m thrilled to be touring with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.”
“We played together at Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble a few years ago, and I’ve been waiting for the chance to play with them again ever since.”
“Larry has played in some of my all-time favorite bands, and I’m excited to hear what he brings to my songs as this tour unfolds. Teresa and I have a great vocal blend, as does she and Larry, and I’m looking forward to what happens when we introduce these longtime favorites of mine into my body of songs.”
Jackson Browne has announced a lengthy fall tour with supporting act Larry Campbell and Teresea Williams. Browne and the husband-and-wife duo will get started at the Ravinia Festival outside of Chicago before making their way through the East Coast, South and Southwest over the course of the next two months.
The outing includes a few festival appearances, as well as two-night runs at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY and the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ.
Stay tuned for news, videos, and updates from the road. Visit our tour page to buy tickets
“Larry Campbell seems to me to be one of the most multi-talented string players imaginable. And he plays them elegantly. Married to singer Teresa Williams, Campbell and his wife make a most picturesque duo and couple onstage. They are connected by more than just the music. And it shows.”
“Teresa Williams is married to Larry Campbell and together they form a formidable force in harmony and music. Williams has the voice of a soaring songbird and is the one female voice I can imagine competing with Grace Slick’s. The Tuna crowd absolutely loved Williams and her mister, Larry Campbell.”
“Teresa Williams never thought she would be part of a married-couple musical duo, but then the Tennessee-born singer and guitarist wasn’t so sure she’d be part of a married couple, either.”
“Now Williams and husband Larry Campbell, both veteran musicians, are preparing their self-titled debut together, which includes the song ‘Surrender to Love.'”
“The track premieres today on Speakeasy. It’s a slinky tune with a vintage-style Muscle Shoals soul groove and as Campbell and Williams sing close harmonies about giving in to inescapable attraction.”
“As it happens, there’s more than a little autobiography involved.”
Larry & Teresa are thrilled to announce they are now represented by High Road Touring, which books their friends Emmylou Harris, Hayes Carll, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miller and many other great performers.
“Opening the show with his wife-powerhouse vocalist Teresa Williams and the rhythm section, Campbell pulled double-duty, rippin’ it up on Johnny Cash’s ‘Big River’ and his own country waltz ‘Midnight Highway,’ as well as an exquisite solo guitar instrumental rendition of Turlough O’Carolan’s melancholy Celtic ballad ‘Blind Mary.'”
“And when Williams unleashed her vocal cords at full blast on the gospel nuggets ‘If I Had My Way (Samson & Delilah)’ and ‘Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,’ they nearly stole the show from the headliners.”
Highlights: Campbell – “Blind Mary”; Williams – “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning”
“Larry Campbell, three-time Grammy winning producer and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Americana Music Association for his work as an instrumentalist, still has the $12.95 Sears & Roebuck guitar on which he taught himself to play.
‘I’ve certainly graduated from there,’ he says – pointing to the Stefan Sobell acoustic guitar acquired in the ’70s while on tour with Bob Dylan in England and the Linda Manzer baritone acoustic guitar purchased while on tour with K.D. Lang in Canada in the mid-’90s – although his Martins are his workhorses of choice.
‘I’m enamored with well-made guitars and in awe of the people who make them.'”
“Anyone who’s seen and heard the duo perform, in other settings or, most famously, alongside Levon Helm at one of the late drummer’s celebrated Midnight Rambles, will tell you: It couldn’t have gone any other way.”
“Campbell, the Stratocaster-wielding embodiment of tall, dark, and handsome; Williams, the angelically gorgeous blonde vision with a heart-melting voice to match; their shared pure sound flowing together like two sparkling mountain streams.”
“If there’s a First Couple of Roots Americana, it’s this one.”
“We met at a gig of Teresa’s at [New York nightclub] the Bottom Line in 1986,” says Campbell, the multi-instrumentalist well known for his time as Bob Dylan’s guitarist.
“She’d been looking for a pedal steel player to play these country songs she’d demoed for a showcase set, and a friend had suggested me for the gig.”
Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter Larry Campbell and singer-guitarist Teresa Williams’ acclaimed eponymous 2015 debut, released after seven years of playing in Levon Helm’s band – and frequent guesting with Phil Lesh, Little Feat, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, brought to the stage the crackling creative energy of a decades-long offstage union. A whirlwind of touring and promo followed, and when the dust cleared, the duo was ready to do it all again. Which brings us to Contraband Love, a riskier slice of Americana.
Larry, who produced Contraband Love, says, “I wanted this record to be a progression, bigger than the first one. That’s all I knew. I wanted the songwriting to be deeper, the arrangements more interesting, the performances more dynamic. Specifically how to get there, I didn’t know. I did know the songs were different. The subject matter was darker than anything else I’ve written.”
“More painful!” Teresa says, and laughs.
“Yeah,” Larry says with a smile. “I’m proud of our debut, but I felt like the songs were lighter than what I’m capable of doing. As a songwriter, I aspire to a sense of uniqueness: this is a great song and it could only have been written by me. I want to get there. It’s a journey, a goal, a pursuit. The mechanics of that pursuit are figuring out what you need to do to surpass your last body of work.”
Although it was not his conscious intent, three of the eight tunes Campbell penned for Contraband Love deal either obliquely or directly with various emotions surrounding addiction. For the blues rocking “Three Days in A Row,” he authoritatively delves into the crucial first seventy-two hours directly following an addict going cold turkey in an effort to get clean. “I was thinking about the things I’ve quit in my life,” he says. “The last time was cigarettes. I remembered the dreams I had in withdrawal.” Vintage-sounding country nugget “Save Me from Myself” (featuring Little Feat’s Bill Payne on piano) explores a troubled soul’s heartrending knowledge that they are hard to love. “I’ve certainly felt both sides of that situation,” Larry says, “and observed it many times.” Delicate waltz “Contraband Love,” a captivating vocal showcase for Teresa, takes on the other side of the story, when a parent (or spouse, or friend, etc.) realizes their only recourse for dealing with an addict is merely to stand “with arms wide open.” Of this remarkable piece, Larry says, “That melody would not leave me alone. It’s one of the more unique songs I’ve ever written.”
“Larry’s writing this stuff,” Teresa says, “and we’re naming off all the people in our lives who are currently going through this (addiction and loss) with a loved one, not to mention the family members and friends we’ve lost in the past from this affliction. That may have driven him. One of my oldest, most intimate friends – a functioning substance abuser since he was a teenager – died on the street in New York while we were in the studio. We dedicated the album to him.”
“The stuff of loss resonates,” Larry says.
Musically, Contraband Love revisits the Americana textures of the duo’s debut, deftly channeling Memphis, Chicago, the Delta, and Appalachia with equal assurance. Larry’s world-famous guitar work – scorching here, funky there, stellar always – punctuates the proceedings with riveting emotion, often like a third voice weighing in on a myriad of emotional states.
The barnburner leadoff single, “Hit and Run Driver,” is a harrowing-but-rocking survivor’s tale, showcasing longtime drummer and engineer/mixer Justin Guip.
To leaven out the darker tunes, Larry and Teresa added a recording of the reassuring Carl Perkins country classic “Turn Around,” with old friend and mentor Levon Helm, captured on drums shortly before his passing. Jaunty folk blues “My Sweetie Went Away,” features new bass player Jesse Murphy doubling on tuba for a distinctly New Orleans feel; traditional gutbucket country blues “Delta Slide,” is spiced with irresistible, harmonized yodeling.
“Stylistically, there’s a lot of different things going on,” Larry says. “So the sequencing was difficult. But I think I got it right.”
Indeed. Contraband Love stands as a new, bolder chapter in a story that arose triumphantly joyous from loss. “When Levon died,” Teresa says, “that put Larry into high gear. He’d already had his head set about making a record, but then it felt like a train took off! We just said, ‘life is short.’”
Another motivator for creating Contraband Love was the experience of taking the Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams show out on the road, as a duo, with a band, and opening for Jackson Browne (who loaned them his band). “It felt fabulous and fantastic,” Larry says. “After I met Teresa (in the mid 80s), I’d be out with Bob Dylan [Larry toured with the Nobel laureate for eight years] and something was missing. I gotta gig, and it’s what I always wanted, but it’s not my stuff, and it’s not with the person I want to be with. And then, when we got a taste of being a performing duo at the Rambles with Levon, the idea that we could expand on that was completely alluring.
“So virtually everything we’ve done musically since I left Dylan’s band, we’ve been asked to do together: Levon, Phil and Friends, Jorma and Jack, Little Feat; we’ve done it all as a unit, a duo, and it’s great. It’s rewarding on a lot of levels. The way I see it, when Teresa and I are together, doing our material for people who come to see us, then everything I ever wanted out of life is pretty well complete.”
Red House Records
Angie Carlson, Director of Publicity
Red House Records, Inc.
P: (651) 644 4161 – F: (651) 644 4248
Mark McKenna, Bandshell Artist Mgmt.
(845) 332 3257
Al Marano, High Road Touring
(North & South America, Asia, Australia)
P: (415) 332 9292 – F: (415) 332 4692