Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams – All This Time

by | Mar 6, 2024 | 0 comments

Release Date: April 5, 2024 Royal Potato Family

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams new record All This Time, is a tapestry of life experiences, musical collaborations, and a testament to their long-standing relationship. Over the course of their four album discography, Larry Campbell has become comfortable slipping into his well worn work boots of stellar songwriting. Whereas his instrumental prowess on several musical instruments has never been in question, he has ascended to a place where his storytelling has equaled his instrumental talents.

Having a partner and vocalist on the level of Teresa Williams has provided Campbell’s songwriting with an alternative view both emotionally and sonically. Teresa’s upbringing was filled with songs, stories, and gatherings where she cultivated her deep well of talents. Using her distinct narrator’s voice, she elicits a multitude of emotions; expressing longing, anticipation, desire, or even the good time holler of a singing bar maid.

The couple has been making the only music they know how to for the last forty years. Their cooperative efforts have resulted in an honest portrayal of their love of music and for each other. Together, they are eager musical crows, soaring the landscape while collecting pieces of song, snatches of melody, and memories that they can make sing.

Larry’s ample time spent in studios and on the road while supporting a multitude of artists has allowed him to dip his practiced hands into a cache of influence. Whatever a song requires to communicate effectively, Campbell has the ability to source the perfect sonics for it. A buttery pedal steel line that cries, a plucky mandolin that smokes, or a chicken picked Telecaster line that can make you dance.

Larry and Teresa rely on their dependable and steady rhythm section of Justin Guip (drums) and Brandon Morrison (bass) to construct the groove. Guip also recorded and mixed the record at his studio. Additionally, a number of Campbell and Williams friends join in on the creativity with Little Feat’s Bill Payne on piano and organ, Brian Mitchell adding accordion, and Levon Helm making a surprise appearance on a cover of George Jones, “That’s All It Took.”

The opening track of the record, “Desert Island Dreams,” flows on a Larry Campbell guitar line that eddies throughout the song before spilling over into a glorious solo spot. The verse’s that surround the central guitar line take it easy and celebrate the longing for escape. The breezy cut leaves sand in your shoes and is a lofty introduction to the rest of side one.

The next song, “All This Time,” the title track of the album, is addictive. Campbell’s mandolin scrubs the song into a churning froth. He strings along a groovy modal guitar line throughout the habit forming melody that is matched perfectly by Bill Payne’s slick organ break.

“Ride With Me” follows with a smooth saloon drift that reveals open plains and possibilities along the relationship trail. A close embrace on the dance floor and a deep dive into the eyes of another. “The Way You Make Me Feel,” is the following result, and is a funky and fun jump groove. The playing is full of personality while laughter and off mic asides are sprinkled throughout the song. Larry’s guitar solo pops with melodic sensibility and quirky licks. The descending dual vocal line at the end of each verse hits the target perfectly.

“I Think About You,” closes side one and sways like a spring dress on the clothesline. Teresa’s wistful vocals glisten and when joined in harmony with Larry, it’s enough to make any singing classic country couple blush. Played like a matched pair, “That’s All It Took,” opens side two and features Levon Helm on the skins. Their reading of the George Jones cover nestles perfectly in place and spotlights Teresa’s captivating country voice as well as Campbell’s blue pedal steel work.

The sparse narrative “A Little Better,” finds Campbell taking over the conversational lead vocals and also picking the gentle mandolin. Brian Mitchell adds breathy accordion lines behind Campbell’s growing up story.

A cover of Julie Miller’s “I Love You,” follows and spotlights the kind of stunning guitar playing that made Larry his name. Wondering if the circle will remain unbroken is never in doubt with this bluesy declaration of affinity. A big reading of a tune with hard changes and climactic vocals.

Photo By: Greg Roth

Showing that they can do it all, and do it well, the next track opens on a wire-brushed guitar riff and strikes a spark into a edgy blues. “We Done Earned it,” spotlights Larry and Teresa swapping vocals back and forth before intertwining in a matter of fact collaboration.

The final song on the record is Jessie Colin Young’s, “Pretty and the Fair,” played and sung as if enveloped by the scent of sun warmed earth and the delicacy of spring flowers. Campbell’s pedal steel paints the lush landscape of an epic that concludes the record with a hope and promise of something new waiting to be born.

All This Time is a record that harvests the bounty of Larry and Teresa’s beautiful life of music making. It runs the gamut from swinging country, to gritty R & B, and pastoral psychedelia. Acoustic or electric, ballad or boogie, it’s a record made for people who love great songs and love each other. At this point in their careers Larry and Teresa are like a lock and key. Campbell knows how songs are built and Teresa knows how they are sung; together they focus on what they do best. If you are on a search for everything that’s good about music it can be discovered inside the cover of the new Larry and Teresa album All This Time.

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