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Cirque Du Soleil
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Patricia Barber
(Blue Note)
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Cirque Du Soleil
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Jim Pearce
“Why I Haven't Got You”
Prairie Dog Ballet
(Oak Avenue Publishing)
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Andy Timmons Band
“Gone (9/11/01)”
(Favored Nations)
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Ralph Towner
Time Line
(ECM Records)
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Anoushka Shankar

Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
Amos Lee
(Blue Note)

Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
(Electric Roots)
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"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Rising Stars [Issue #9]
Shelley Cambbell: It's A North American Thing
By Lynne Bronstein
Blue Ridge Reveille (CD Nettwerk)

Listening to Blue Ridge Reveille, Shelley Campbell’s debut on Nettwerk Records, you’d swear it had been recorded in Nashville back in the old days, with real truck-stop cowboy sidemen. But Shelley’s Canadian, and the album was, in fact, recorded in her living room with the accompaniment of several country-style colleagues from her adopted hometown of Vancouver.

The musicians and singers heard doing songs like “Typical Truckstop,” “New Year’s Eve at the Legion,” and “Porch Swing” include Vancouver band members Jon Wood of Bughouse Jr, Ken Beattie of Radiogram, Nicole Steen of Coal, and a gruff-voiced fellow named Bucephus King. (Shelley describes him as “a cross between Tom Waits and John Hyatt”.) They’re part of a loose aggregation of musicians called RANCH (Roots Allied Community Network Hosts,) which Shelley founded. “It’s kind of an umbrella where we can all get together and share each other’s ideas, jam, and promote each other’s shows.”

Shelley Campbell grew up in Ontario, with a conflicted background - her father’s missionary work both introduced her to Native American culture, which is still a musical influence, and to Christian beliefs, which resulted in her doing a stint at an evangelical college in Virginia. “Once I got there, I felt completely alienated,” she says. “I looked like a gypsy/flapper which made me definitely not fit in.” She left the college and went “on the road” Kerouac-style, pursuing her lifelong dream of writing songs and learning about truck stops from real experience.

When asked why so many Canadian artists seem to have a “thing” for American roots music, Shelley replies: “I would consider it ‘North Americana.’” She explains that immigrants from mainland Europe, Scotland, Ireland, and England settled in both the American states and Canada, bringing with them a mixture of musical traditions. “It developed into a sort of hybrid of the old folk ballads mixing with different cultures wherever it went in America and Canada.

“There’s all kinds of people but we’ve had similar journeys in trying to find our place and our music has been something that’s bound us together.”

Blue Ridge Reveille

It's A North American Thing Shelley Cambbell Blue Ridge Reveille

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