Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
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About Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams are partners in music and in life, a husband and wife who work together as a duo as well as accompanying some legendary names in American music. Larry Campbell was born in New York City in 1955, and grew up in a family with eclectic tastes in music. Seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 turned young Campbell into a rock fan, and two years later he began learning how to play his father's guitar. Like many young music fans of the era, Campbell's enthusiasm for bands like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds led him back to American blues and roots music, and he developed a passion for artists like Doc Watson, the Rev. Gary Davis, and Hank Williams. Once he mastered the guitar, Campbell learned to play mandolin, bouzouki, violin, lap steel, banjo, and other stringed instruments. In high school, Campbell joined a country-rock band called Cottonmouth, and after graduating, he briefly lived and worked in Los Angeles, where he joined the backing band of country artist Ben Marney. After returning to New York, he fell in with noted East Coast folk musicians Happy Traum and Artie Traum, and he later found a steady gig as part of the house band at New York City's country and roots music venue the Lone Star Cafe. In time, Campbell became an in-demand sideman, who worked with the likes of Paul Simon, Judy Collins, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, and Rosanne Cash.
In 1986, Campbell was asked to play pedal steel for a concert at New York's Bottom Line club featuring a singer and actress from Tennessee named Teresa Williams. Williams grew up on a farm in West Tennessee that had been worked by seven generations of her family. Williams was raised with a passion for folk and vintage country music, and while she came to New York City to pursue a career in acting, she didn't turn her back on her love of singing. She worked with the bands Southern Comfort and Swing Fever, and played Sara Carter in a stage production about the life of the pioneering country ensemble the Carter Family. Williams also gained a reputation as a gifted backing vocalist, and worked with Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris, Hot Tuna, Jackson Browne, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir. Williams and Campbell soon hit it off after working together, and the two married in 1988, in addition to collaborating on a variety of musical projects. In 1997, Campbell joined Bob Dylan's backing band as a guitarist, spending eight years on the road as part of Dylan's "Never Ending Tour." After leaving Dylan's band in 2005, Campbell began working with another icon of American music, Levon Helm of the Band. Campbell became musical director for Helm's band and his series of "Midnight Ramble" concerts held at the converted barn and recording studio on Helm's Woodstock, New York estate. Williams also joined Levon's band, contributing vocals and acoustic guitar, and both Larry and Teresa participated in the recording of Levon's critically acclaimed 2007 album Dirt Farmer, as well as its 2009 follow-up, Electric Dirt. In 2015, after decades of working on other people's projects, Campbell and Williams finally made their official debut with the album Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, issued by Red House Records. In 2017, the duo released their second album, Contraband Love. ~ Mark Deming
- New York, NY