Music Continues as Campbell’s Second Pastime

by Abby Ferguson

Ever since a young age, Transylvania’s head baseball coach, Chris Campbell, has enjoyed playing music. After teaching himself how to play the guitar his first year of college, it took up all of his time when he wasn’t playing baseball or studying. As a result of this passion, he is a member of the Chris Campbell Band.

The band consists of Campbell (vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass guitar and piano), Christopher Jeffy (bass guitar), Jason England (guitar) and Justin Fisher (drums and percussion). The band has been together for almost a decade and plays different styles of music including folk, rock and jazz.

“I’ve always liked music,” said Campbell. “My parents bought me a guitar right before I went to college. I guess they could see that I wasn’t going to be in the house to annoy them with it anymore, so they hit me with it on the way out the door.”

In 2001, Campbell graduated from college and decided to continue playing music.

“After college was over I thought, ‘Man, I know a lot of songs and I’ve written some, so I might as well see if I could play somewhere.’ I played some open mics and got a couple gigs and it escalated from there,” said Campbell.

Also in 2001, Campbell saw some local bands, liked some of the members and decided to ask them to join his.

“Chris saw me and John (Rucker, the band’s original drummer) playing in another group there and pulled us aside, told us he’s got some songs he’s written and would we like some more work,” said Jeffy. “As a musician, the answer is nearly always ‘yes’ to that question. We played Chris’ demo when we got home and it was really interesting stuff.”

After playing with this group for about a year and a half, the drummer moved to Michigan. From there they added a new guitar player and have been playing together since mid-2004.

Even with the changes over the years, the guys have remained “great friends” and “have shared a lot of experiences together,” according to Fisher.

From 2003 to 2006 the band played a lot of shows at the Dame, Cheapside and any other venue in Lexington that had music. During this time they opened for national touring acts like the Goo Goo Dolls and Corey Smith while also headlining their own shows.

The band’s name came about because no one could agree on anything else.

“I played a lot of solo shows, so my name was in the paper a lot because in The Weekender it would say who’s playing and my name would already be there, so we just tacked band on the end of it,” said Campbell.

Campbell sees music as more than just playing an instrument or singing.

“It’s kind of like playing on a team in that you have a bunch of different people doing different things but are all in it for the same goal,” said Campbell. “There’s a really cool sense of community, a kind of fellowship when you’re on the same page as everyone else who’s playing music.”

Campbell also recognizes there is a personal side to music.

“Music is really personal and it can be an introspective thing to do because I can sit at home and play guitar by myself and not worry about anybody else listening to it, and it is therapy in itself,” said Campbell.

Campbell sees music as having two heads.

“It’s therapeutic as something you can do on your own and kind of get your own feelings and emotions out,” Campbell said, “and it’s also something you can get together with other people and express that through a medium that’s not spoken because it’s just there.”

“We play music to have fun and maybe that’s why it works so well,” said Jeffy.

“Being in a band really allows me to relax and be creative, which is a great way to stay balanced,” said Campbell. “I don’t see myself ever stopping playing music, and I think as long as my guys are still around and interested in playing, we’ll keep playing.”

As soon as the cover art is finished, the band is releasing its second CD and hopes to have it on iTunes in the next month and a half.


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