Jim Campilongo PRESS    




Melinda Whitehouse, AMG

While many live recordings try to reproduce the "live experience" with crowd noise and long improvisations, this one strives to demonstrate what it is that Campilongo does best. Campilongo proves his ability as a composer with the sweet, reserved genius of "Lipton Tea" and the plaintive country ballad "Molly Harvey." ... With only the occasional smattering of applause or Campilongo's soft "thank you" to betray its live status, this record stands as an original, definitive Campilongo effort.


Michael Ross, No Depression

September 10, 2001: Jim Campilongo at the Knitting Factory, New York City

"The next day the world would change forever, but on this Monday night San Franciscan Jim Campilongo's brand of Jimmy Bryant meets Thelonious Monk music had its New York debut in the subterranean Old Office room of Manhattan's Knitting Factory. [...] The Knitting Factory is known for presenting edgy, arty, avant music that defies genre. Jim Campilongo's art is firmly rooted in tradition but derives its edge from sheer, uncompromising Personality, with a capital "P". It doesn't try to be dissonant, though it sometimes is. It doesn't try to be ironic or clever. In fact, it doesn't try to be anything except passionate and moving, at which it admirably succeeds..."

Billboard Magazine
June 13, 98 - Spotlight Review: Table for One

"... A bridge between the big sky and the big city, "Table For One" is Americana at its most touching "

Billboard Magazine
Jazz Sounds are on the upbeat in the Bay Area

"... A walking encyclopedia of the guitar ...Campilongo writes evocative original material along with reinventing such smoky favorites as "Harlem Nocturne'"

Adam Levy

Guitar Player Magazine
July 98 - Review of "Table For One"

"Campilongo has created a collection of alternately moody and catchy instrumentals showcasing his darkly romantic melodicism and absolutely pristine tone ... Campilongo tips his hat now and then in the direction of Roy Buchanan, which is fine. Coming from Campilongo, it's a heartfelt tribute, not a forgery."

Adam Levy
July 97 - Review of "Loose"

"Campilongo's death-defying 6-string antics bring a Joe Maphis-on-acid twist to alternative country ... blistering Tele licks, woozy breakdowns, and eerie B-movie textures attain critical mass in these cowboy-jazz instrumentals. Jim's dizzying solos and are delightfully unpredictable, and the stratospheric interplay between him and pedal steeler Joe Goldmark is a sound not soon forgotten. Got the déjà vu country blues? The Cats will cure 'em pronto."

Stereophile Magazine
October 97

4 STARS "... Masters of slick-as-a-card-trick exchanges and somber lyricism, these guys neatly sidestep the pitfalls that entrap many non jazz instrumentalists. Campilongo's originals possess strong themes and avoid homogeneity. There's no wasted space in these tunes ...And what solos! Campilongo - the guitarist in the NHT room at Stereophile's Hi-Fi '97 - is a strenuously progressive improviser whose sonically adventurous playing is informed by jazz, blues, and experimental sensibilities ...Campilongo and the Cats may have one foot firmly planted in the past, but with 'Loose' they've taken one more powerful stride forward."

Steve Stolder
(For the complete review see Oct '97 Sterophile, Page 265. )

Guitar Shop Magazine
Review of "Jim Campilongo and the 10 Gallon Cats"

"San Francisco picker Jim Campilongo is reviving the spirit of classic country-jazz, albeit with a delightfully skewed '90's approach . . . Campilongo possesses slick flatpicking chops and a great Tele tone . . .No question this disc is a must for Teleheads and starving country-jazzers alike".

Vintage Guitar Magazine
June '97 - Spotlight

"LOOSE features 11 exceptionally eclectic tunes (nine of which were written by Jim C.) and a whole lot of sonic variety ... on behalf of all eclectic instrumental music fans, I'd like to personally thank Jim, Joe and the great rhythm section of Chris Kee (bass) and Ken Owen (drums) for their wonderfully eclectic tastes and continuing to make quality music in one of today's most (unfortunately) commercially under appreciated genres."

Jim Hilmar

SF Bay Guardian
Feb 96 - Review of "Loose" in Arts & Entertainment "

On this superb debut, the Bay Area's Jim Campilongo ... provides enough playfulness for the scenemakers, guitar pyrotechnics for the six-string idolaters, and sheer musical bite and delight for everyone else."

Derek Richardson
May 21, 97

"Over the past few years, self-effacing picker Jim Campilongo and his pedal steel foil have worked their way to the head of the (instrumental guitar music) class by updating and personalizing the country and western swing legacies of such rock-eclipsed masters as Jimmy Bryant, Speedy West, Eldon Shamblin, Leon McCauliffe, Tom Brumley, Don Rich, and Lloyd Green ... "

Derek Richardson

August 98 - Review of "Table for One" in Arts & Entertainment "Campilongo redefines country as the landscape of his own soul ... In brief, it's the sort of Americana guitar jazz that will sound familiar to fans of Bill Frisell, supremely lyrical and slightly bent but without Frisellian forays into feedback and noise. 'Table for One' is, more importantly, a deeply felt expression of Campilongo's innermost muse ... And by the ending with a reflective reading of 'This Old Man' accented by acoustic bass, brushes, and wistful accordion, Campilongo shows that his concept of roots music has more to do with sentiment than geography".

Derek Richardson

San Francisco Chronicle "LOOSE" ... combines the band's typical wackiness with a new, haunting depth ... a dizzy mix of roadhouse swing, eerie ballads, and hillbilly rock ... an exhilarating range of musical dispositions, from festive to penetrating, and is perfect for any turntable in any mood.


Dave Ford
San Francisco Examiner

January 97 - "CATCH 'EM WHILE YOU CAN" "JIM CAMPILONGO, a guitarist so extraordinary that music magazines beg for transcriptions of his cowboy-jazz riffs..."

Jane Ganahl
SF Weekly Live Review

"Campilongo's western swing orientation is a launching pad for some of the city's most adventurous musicianship. . . Campilongo channels the versatility of Chet Atkins and the tone and volume of hotshot blues player Roy Buchanan into guitar lines that speak".

BAM Magazine
April 5, 96 - Live Review

Wrenching his Tele, scratching out Hank Garland and Speedy West licks with total ease and beauty, ripping out a version of "Harlem Nocturne" (with the late Danny Gatton looking down and smiling, no doubt) and rolling out every Roy Nichols/Don Rich/Grady Martin lick ever recorded. I was totally won over! I didn't pick up my own guitar for a week . . . A primer for those who've burned out on the limited repertoires of country rockers, this is a bit of homemade arcane that will dazzle your socks off".

Johnny Angel (Austin)
March 98 - Band to Watch

" 'Loose' is filled with well-crafted songs, psychedelic guitar work, and complex harmonies. "

Country Standard Time Magazine

"Campilongo has certainly done his homework... 'Loose' richly deserves a place up there with the work of the Hellecasters in the pantheon of hot country guitar records of the '90's. "

Jon Johnson
Gavin Report (America's most Trusted Name in Radio)

May 16, 97 - 'Loose' named "Record to Watch" and "Chartbound" "... I can't say enough good things about San Francisco's own Jim Campilongo and Joe Goldmark ... (Loose is) not only a record to watch, but one to play and play again. Campilongo and company set their strings afire on tune after tune. Loosen up and get on this one."

Americana Columnist Rob Bleetstein
Hi-Fi Reviews July 98

"[Campilongo] has chops galore and ideas to match. He attacks swing licks with a down-home raunch and sense of humor ..."
January 97

"The CATs' first CD knocked off our proverbial socks, and we're real hot on their brand new release, "Loose" (Blue Hen Records). Imagine Western Swing with a hint of sassy jazz, an updated 90s feel, and you'll be on the right track for this talented group."

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