Larry Campbell & Teresa Wiliams
Southland Ballroom, Raleigh
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Justin Guip and Jeff Hill came to the Southland Ballroom in Raleigh on Saturday. They made it look too easy. By the time the final notes rang out from the group’s encore of The Band’s “Chest Fever,” it felt like the 90-minute set had lasted for but a flash. The group was tight. The song selections were thoughtful. The technical prowess seemed effortless.
The group, touring on the recently released self-titled Campbell and Williams project, played a handful of numbers off the disc, including the Judy Miller co-write “Midnight Highway” and the delightfully perfect and lonesome “Did You Love Me At All.” On both songs, Williams showcased her vocal might, thanks to her warm Tennessee drawl. In an unexpected treat, Campbell performed a solo instrumental number, “Blind Mary.” Campbell, having family in the Greensboro area as well as ties to North Carolina Heritage Award winner Bobby Hicks, expressed his love for the Doc Watson style of flat-picking and followed that with a Hicks number, “Texas Crapshooter.” Campbell transferred the fiddle tune to acoustic guitar and blazed through the rendition with ease. Toward the end of the set, bassist Jeff Hill joined Campbell and Williams for a perfect three-part harmonies on the Grateful Dead’s “Attics of My Life.”
I had seen the duo many times with the Levon Helm Band. By the end of this show, I had the same sense of musical fulfillment and wanted to see and hear more. As I discussed with the duo before the performance, their intent was to continue Helm’s legacy by performing meaningful and joyous music. They did that and more.
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, “Midnight Highway”
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, “Texas Crapshooter”