Just when it seemed that all the traditional forms of american music were identified,
the soaring, moaning, and driving sound of "sacred steel" guitars surfaced
in the mid-1990s. American roots music was forever changed, as was the whole concept
of what could be played on the steel guitar, an instrument most often identified
with the plaintive strains of country music.
The Campbell Brothers were the first sacred steel group to tour extensively.
They bring the burning, soulful music of the house of god holiness-pentecostal
church to the public - music that stayed hidden within the walls of house of
god churches for six decades. Chuck, Phil and Darick grew up playing for fiery
and cathartic services conducted by their father, Bishop Charles E. Campbell.
They developed their musical abilities playing for holy dancers, backing up
congregants who sing spontaneously from the pews, and helping preachers take
congregations to spiritual ecstasy. For years they paid their dues and honed
their musical skills by playing for large church assemblies all over the eastern
U.S., often driving all night to get home in time to report to their day jobs
on monday morning. Phil's son Carlton grew up drumming in church and made his
recording debut before he was fourteen.
The Campbells are recognized by their peers and a growing public as some of
the finest House of God musicians and are valued as articulate ambassadors of
sacred steel music. The band features three of the hottest lead musicians found
in gospel music today. Darick coaxes a voice from his lap-steel that seems to
speak to the very core of one's soul. As a rhythm guitarist, Phil never fails
to create a groove that moves. When he solos, his leads are always inventive
In 2004, Chuck was awarded the national heritage fellowship by the national
endowment for the arts - our nation's highest honor for traditional artists
- for his role in integrating the pedal-steel guitar into house of god music.
in doing so, he freed the instrument from the shackles of country music. Pedal-steel
prodigy Robert Randolph has rapidly risen to popularity playing a secularized
variant of sacred steel music that is heavily influenced by chuck's technique
and equipment set-up. His first steel guitar was a christmas gift from Chuck.
The music on this album is directly rooted in spirited House of God worship
services, during which brothers, sisters and saints testify, cry, dance and
shout. Services may last three, four, or even five hours if that is how long
the spirit moves the congregation. The Campbell Brothers bring that energy to
us as they give old tunes fresh and exciting arrangements and serve up tasty
new tunes which are simultaneously rooted in tradition and seasoned with funk,
blues, r&b and jazz.
Sacred steel by The Campbell Brothers. Can you feel it?