May 21, 2021
Our home was always filled with a melody. My Dad would string along a tune on his fiddle and my Mom would add in her in her own ditty as she took a seat at her piano. It was natural for me to pursue music.
I worked for a few years selling real estate, later in the insurance field and at one point tended bar at a floating restaurant, but when my gigs picked up, I decided to chase my music career full time.
My parents were my first inspiration, and I was ambitious to create music like Dan Fogelberg. There were a few bands in Portland who I’d also looked to for creative innovation: Schooner Fare and Devonsquare.
My band and I got our start opening for other musicians which allowed us the opportunity to borrow their audience for a half hour. We toured around the country and eventually moved to Nashville. My band and I did shows on Broadway, but when we won $50,000 at the Grand Ole Opry we also opened for well-known names like Carrie Underwood and Willie Nelson.
After my Dad passed away, I moved back to Maine to be near my Mom. That presented some unique opportunities. I will never forget when my band and I showed up in a rented Winnebago to open for Keith Urban at Gillette Stadium. It was pretty comical to see all of the competing lavish tour buses, but it really didn’t matter because everyone there was so inviting and we got to meet and enjoy the company of some incredible musicians.
Performing is exciting and emotional. I like to get to know the audience, playing for them rather than at them. It’s fun to involve them in the backstory of the music and tell them what inspired it. I play with fantastic musicians and we’re all the best of friends, we even hang out when we aren’t practicing or performing. A lot of times you’ll find bands struggle with ego battles, but there’s none of that for us. I’m lucky I’ve found wonderful people to play with.
This past year required a lot of deep breaths and focus. I am often guided by goodness and by my parents to always take the high road. I’m really looking forward to being around people again as we kick off our summer tours. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the flatbed with the band, taking it all in again and simply enjoying every moment.
- Don Campbell, Singer/Songwriter
Clamfest kicks off on May 22nd at the Clambake at 4PM. For the full summer schedule, please visit: doncampbellmusic.com