CODY CAMPBELL - WANDERING BOY
Wandering Boy – Cody Campbell
Released December, 2022 on codycampbellmusic - Cody Campbell (codycampbellmusic.com)
Reviewed January 2023
Musicians on the album:
Piano/Keyboards/Vocals - Cody Campbell
Drums - Benji Bohannon
Drums - Chester Thompson
Drums - Jon Radford
Drums - Justin Amaral
Drums - Kasey Todd
Bass - Ashleigh Caudill
Bass - Dennis Crouch
Bass - PJ George
Bass - Roger Spencer
Accordion - Jeff Taylor
Saxophone - Josh Kline
Guitar - Andy Reiss
Guitar/Banjo - Casey Campbell
Guitar - Logan Oakley
Guitar - Mark Thornton
Guitar - Thomas Bryan Eaton
Guitar - Zach White
Pedal Steel Guitar - Eddy Dunlap
Pedal Steel Guitar - Steve Helm
Fiddle - Clayton Campbell
Fiddle/Mandolin - Josh Coffey
This album is an interesting mix of Country, Western Swing and Jazz. Eleven of the 14 tracks are written by Cody. The exceptions being “I’m A Believer” (Neil Diamond), “She's Gone Gone Gone” (Willie Nelson) and “The last Word In Lonesome Is Me” (Roger Miller).
Track by Track Review
I'm A Believer – a slow version of this Neil Diamond/Monkees classic with a nice jazzy country feel to gently ease you into the album.
She's Gone Gone Gone – getting more into the C&W style this is a mid-tempo version of the song that was originally a hit in the 60’s for Lefty Frizzell. The backing vocals and musical arrangements work well together to give it a nice vintage feel.
Puddin' On The Wits – not so much a track as an interlude this is a rather moody piano instrumental that lasts just one minute and thirteen seconds.
Minorstroll – this jazz instrumental features Jeff Taylor (accordion), Josh Kline (sax), Andy Reiss (guitar), Dennis Crouch (bass), Justin Amaral (drums), and Cody on piano and organ. Some great playing from all of them.
The Breakfast Song – a slow, western swing track almost guaranteed to put you in the mood for what is supposed to be the most important meal of the day!
The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me – Another reworking of a C&W hit from the ‘60s. I prefer this more pared-down version to the rather sugary overproduced hit by Eddie Arnold.
Big Beeswax – Cody’s keyboard skills come to the fore on this jazzy instrumental that should get your toes tapping.
Von Cujo – this track reminds me a bit of Floyd Crammer, the C&W legendary piano player. Some nice pedal steel guitar along with Cody’s work on the ivorys make this a very pleasant country instrumental.
Old Friend – another C&W track although it does get jazzy in places to put into the western swing genre. Really nice playing backing Cody’s rather laid back vocal style.
Kentucky Goshdarn – some rather funky bass playing at the start set the mood for this jazzy instrumental.
Craylude – just one minute and four seconds and rather sombre organ playing and humming.
Wandering Boy – the title track that is a another very nice jazz instrumental that from some reason reminds me of “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz in that it has a light summery feel to it.
Bass Explosion Bounce – back to western swing for the penultimate track. I wish they had added a proper ending to it.
Canine In B – I cannot think of many songs that mention a dog’s bowel movements! Having said that, I like this rather amusing tribute to having a dog as a pet and companion set to a C&W backing.
There is no doubt this is an album of good songs, well produced with some very talented musicians playing wonderful music. The mix of styles surprised me initially and I hope it doesn’t deter people from buying it as the more I played the album the more I liked it.
Jailhouse John Alexander