Bob Campbell,
(independent, 2005)

There's nothing pretentious about Bob Campbell's Ditchflowers. It could be just a few good friends getting together to play songs they like for their own enjoyment.

Not a thing wrong with that. The best part is, they've invited us to listen in. And it's a pleasant experience.

Campbell and company celebrate everyday life in the 13 original songs on this CD, and it's like poetry with their deft handling. "Never Too Old" says life is brief and very fragile, so do that which makes you happy. "Change in the Weather" encourages you to clean up your own backyard, maintain hope for a better tomorrow and dance whenever possible. And in "Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket," he regrets that he "ain't saved a dime/in quite a long time,/guess I'll never see Disneyland."

There are reminders of other artists on this album -- Marty Robbins and Gordon Lightfoot, for instance. But, mostly, it's Bob Campbell, good old boy from the Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, playing for fun with his buddies. Campbell's singing and guitar strumming is backed up by Zak Cohen on guitar, mandolin and percussion; Freda Eckstein and Steve McKinnon on bass; Sam Torrance on flute; Andy Ruszel on mandolin; and Jolene White and Ron Carter lending a hand on vocals.

by John R. Lindermuth
13 May 2006