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Music: Glen Campbell

By Steve Rosen · July 8th, 2009 · CityBeat Recommends
The “comeback album” or “career reinvention” disc has become almost a rite of passage for older musicians, especially those who first scored with Boomers and now want to inject some hip currency into their repertoire.

When it works, as it did with Johnny Cash’s rootsy American Recordings series, it can be among the artist’s best work ever. When it doesn’t … well, has anybody heard from Pat Boone since 1997’s hilariously disastrous In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy?

One of the better such albums came out last year — Meet Glen Campbell. On this album, the now-73-year-old Campbell returned to Capitol Records, home for his iconic, Jimmy Webb-penned 1960s hits like “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Where’s the Playground, Susie” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” (And in the mid 1970s, still on Capitol, he recorded a couple huge non-Webb hits, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”)

With producer Julian Raymond, Campbell and a taut supporting band interpreted 10 songs by the likes of Travis, Green Day, Foo Fighters, U2, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne … even the Velvet Underground’s “Jesus.” And he did it while sounding like Campbell, with his boyishly gentle, clear Country Pop tenor finding the melodic sweetness in each song.

Still, those are some pretty edgy Rock and Alt acts for Campbell to be covering.

“I just smoothed them out,” he says, chuckling during an interview from his Los Angeles home. “I saw some bumps in the road and smoothed them out.”

Campbell performs Saturday at the Belterra Casino Resort & Spa in Vevay, Ind. Read Steve Rosen's interview with Campbell and get show details here.



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