This is actually a two part review with a kick at the end. It was around this time last year that country hit maker, Craig Campbell was in Vegas to perform at Stoney's Rockin' Country. I missed that show but was determined to not miss him this time around. To put it mildly, it was well worth a late night out.
This good ole' down home boy grew up playing his mother’s piano and singing in church. His road to where he is today has been paved with many different avenues after arriving in Nashville. Craig was a demo singer by day and Lower Broadway gigger by night, when he was eventually connected to a soon to be signed artist who needed a keyboard player. He and fellow South Georgia native Luke Bryan hit it off and Campbell got the job. A year and a half long keyboard stint with Tracy Byrd soon followed. But there was more to come.
Craig's first single, the sentimental ballad “Family Man”, hit the top 15 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart in 2011. “Outta My Head” also cracked the top 15, while the catchy tune “Fish” garnered more than 10 million on demand streams. My favorite song, “Outskirts Of Heaven” took on a life of its own, showcasing his vulnerability and deep rooted faith. The uplifting and remarkably personal ballad was praised by Rolling Stone and Taste of Country, among others.
The above mentioned hits were on full display on Friday night, September 9th once Craig hit the stage at local venue, Stoney's Rockin' Country. The crowd was into every song and he made sure to keep them engaged with fun hits, a ballad or two, along with sharing his keyboard skills performing some Merle Haggard and Garth Brooks. A good sign for me of an artists fan base is when they can sing back or along with every song they hear at any given show, and no one disappointed Friday night.
Craig has a varied style of hits and for me and his fans he never misses his mark. OH, and did I mention? He has one of the biggest and welcoming smiles in country music as well as some pretty smooth dance moves. His band members are beyond talented and Craig very proudly let them showcase their skills. I hope before the year is gone I get another chance to catch one of his shows, but for now, I am still reeling from this last one and will hang on to it till the next one. To keep up with Craig go to: https://www.craigcampbell.tv
I mentioned the venue at the beginning and I wanted to invite you in and give a little insight into Stoney's. Located just south of the Vegas strip in Town Square is where the Country music lives. They offer an intimate LIVE MUSIC experience with national touring Country acts as well as many up and coming artists. Their stage has been graced by Montgomery Gentry, Ashley McBride, Stephanie Quayle, Michael Ray, Ray Fulcher to name just a few. There are drink specials and the line dancing lessons and dancing in general is a show in itself. So if ever in town and want a good ole' fun place to chill, have some eats and a drink or two, check out what's going on at https://stoneysrockincountry.com
Now the kicker: A young couple sat with me on Friday and after chatting found out it was their first date and first time at Stoney's. He was into rock and she enjoyed all types of music. When Craig was done I asked them what they thought, the reply was., "He was great, we enjoyed it a lot and will be checking out more of his music." They also said they will be returning to Stoney's. So all in all Friday night was a BIG win for Craig, the venue, the couple and myself. Now let's do it again and sooner than later.