Eddie C. Campbell | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Eddie C. Campbell 

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In the 60s and through most of the 70s Eddie C. Campbell was one of the west side's most popular and flamboyant blues entertainers. With a style anchored in a driving in-the-pocket shuffle groove, in live performance Campbell fused hard-core west-side traditionalism with a delightfully anarchic sense of fun--his good-humored reworkings of novelties like Willie Mabon's "Poison Ivy" set the stage for his proto-P-Funk posturing on original compositions like his trademark "King of the Jungle." After all that, he was likely to drive everything home with a rollicking,, straight-ahead workout on Hank Ballard's "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go." Since moving to Europe some years ago Campbell has expanded both his talents (he's reacquainted himself with the acoustic guitar) and his reputation (he's toured the continent in dramatic productions). Meanwhile, back home he's been somewhat forgotten, and that's a pity. If anything, he and his music have become more dependable since he became an expatriate, and while his flights of unpredictability can still veer into chaos, his shows are as entertaining--and occasionally explosive--as they we're 20 or 30 years ago. Saturday, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Powell.

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