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Royce Campbell: All Ballads and a Bossa

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Last April, when Royce Campbell took part in a Smithsonian-sponsored tribute to Wes Montgomery in the nation’s capital, the veteran guitarist paused a moment to explain how much delight he derives from playing ballads. Lest anyone doubt it, his performances of “Body and Soul” and “Darn That Dream” offered eloquent testimony.

A companion to Campbell’s 2009 trio release All Standards … and a Blues, this quartet session combines well-known (and not-so-well-known) ballads with original pieces that have a similarly romantic or soulful bent. You won’t find the aforementioned pop favorites here, but there’s no shortage of sublime archtop guitar recitals, including haunting performances of “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” “I’m a Fool to Want You” and “A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing.”

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