Bill Camplin | Dylan Project One

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cafecarpe.com

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United States - Wisconsin

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Dylan Project One

by Bill Camplin

"...the proverbial best singer nobody's ever heard of, even though he's known in folk music circles as the guy with the sweet pipes and the droll wit who runs Café Carpe, one of the nation's best small venues for touring singer-songwriters."
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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1. Senor
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4:09 album only
2. The Times They Are A-Changin'
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4:01 album only
3. Percy's Song
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6:01 album only
4. Girl of the North Country
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4:16 album only
5. All I Really Want to Do
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4:08 album only
6. She Belongs to Me
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3:59 album only
7. Boots of Spanish Leather
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6:26 album only
8. Mr. Tambourine Man
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9:29 album only
9. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
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3:58 album only
10. If Not for You
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4:16 album only
11. One Too Many Mornings
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3:34 album only
12. Desolation Row
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11:53 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
[Following is a review of this CD by Kevin Lynch of the Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin. It ran in August of 2003.]

 "Years ago in her seminal "Rock Encyclopedia", Lillian Roxon observed that Bob Dylan's work is a 'continuing autobiography of this country - its music, its confusions, the failure of its dreams.' By now, that outward-inward view has been encrusted with the blood, betrayal and delusion of America's long, strange trip since the 60s.

Now comes Bill Camplin to wipe away the windshield with the clarity of his penetrating mind and quicksilver voice. His intrepid new CD of Dylan songs, "Project One," releases archetypal matter imbedded in your psyche and our cultural fabric. The CD provides a sort of double vision - Dylan's viewpoint as seen though Camplin's. At 56, Camplin is no Dylan wanna-be. He's a mature singer-songwriter who has long lived in Fort Atkinson, a city almost the same size as Dylan's hometown, Hibbing, Minnesota.

Accordingly, this solo CD performance returns us to the heartland pulse of young Bob Zimmerman, the solitary singer who electrified the world before he ever plugged in. We're reminded of how human and open to experience was Dylan, who today seems more a craggy icon than a man (even if he does borrow from uncredited poetry). Camplin brings extraordinary talent and commitment to the first of a three-CD exploration of Dylan's oeuvre. This 12-song disc will be followed by "Project Two," a two-CD set (which will include "Like A Rolling Stone," "Tangled Up in Blue," "Visions of Johanna," "Tomorrow is a Long Time" and others).

In my mind, Camplin is the proverbial best singer nobody's ever heard of, even though he's known in folk music circles as the guy with the sweet pipes and the droll wit who runs Café Carpe, one of the nation's best small venues for touring singer-songwriters.

Dylan's voice can be keening, tender, even disdainful. By contrast, Camplin's can hover over a heartbeat or swell like a river, but it turns each of these texts into a set-yerself-down story.

The second cut, "The Times They are A-Changin'" is one of the hardest Dylan songs to sing today. The times did change as Dylan envisioned, then they turned back, sending us staggering into the present - hot and cold running wars, dissolving civil rights. Camplin's tone ranges from defiant to plaintive. He especially rails at "senators and congressmen" to realize "there's battle outside and it's a ragin'." His country-style inflections seem to speak for ordinary folk who may feel their American Dream betrayed, even if they don't let on.

Camplin seems born to sing Dylan's intimate songs, particularly "Boots of Spanish Leather" "Girl From the North Country" and "One Too Many Mornings," which all speak of love and loss with an eloquence as natural as a long, deep sigh.

On the stunning "Girl From the North Country," listen to him sing "please see for me if her hair still rolls down her breast." The voice, fragile and forthright, allows the love he still harbors to begin seeping into the atmosphere.
Camplin injects a startling vividness into "Boots," one of Dylan's most imaginative creations. The result is uncanny, with the dimension and arc of a novella. Recall, this is a dialog of lovers - separated by the Atlantic Ocean - rendered as passages from their letters. Camplin actually employs male and female voices - no falsetto, no contrivance, only deft phrasing and his two-plus octave vocal range. Frankly, I've never heard a solo performer pull off such a feat. We hear the lovers' bond slowly loosen over the years - in the course of a six and-a-half minute song.

The CD ends with "Desolation Row" and Camplin relates this grit-real nightmare with an almost reportorial restraint, which feels about right. He lets Dylan's startling images and his own dynamic shading tell the story and carry the listener home. By then you've traveled Dylan's weird and wonderful highway, and seen it all anew."


Reviews


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Jeffrey Foucault

Saving it up for Friday night.
When I think of where the real music comes from, I picture Bill Camplin in the back room of the Café Carpe at 3 a.m., with a white thumb-pick and a glass of port, bent over his old 28 with his eyes shut tight, playing ‘Spanish is the Loving Tongue’ by Ian Tyson. Bill Camplin is simply one of the best song interpreters I've ever heard.

Mike McCormack

Dylan that Mr. Zimmerman would enjoy.
It's difficult to do Dylan as well as Dylan. Many have tried, but only seem to change the voice performing. This CD remains true to the meanings behind the songs and re-interprets them both with tone, inflection, and a true understanding and obvious respect for the artist covered. Terrific production. Understated and reflective. Loved every track. Thank you Bill.

Pat Walsh

A Precious Gift
Bill Camplin brings an insightful Bill Camplin dimension to the songs of Bob Dylan, as he intreprets Dylan songs with heartbreaking love and respect and gives them to the listener as a precious gift . Thank you Bill!

David Boettcher

Always been a Bill Camplin fan
Would really like to see his early work on CD. January in particular!

Stan Johnson

Dylan Revealed--this may be a cover but it's no cover-up
Many have tried to cover a Dylan song but few really ever succeed. Dylan, of course, is his own best interpreter. But perhaps not since Joan Baez brought her special relationship with Dylan to bear on the heartbreaking Any Day Now album in 1968 has an artist captured, if not the soul of Dylan, then certainly his spirit, as well as does Bill Camplin. In Bob Dylan Project One there is honesty, affection and admiration a-plenty. But there is also the recognition that a true artist brings his or her own life experience to the performance and makes the old new again. I look forward to Project Two.

peter mulvey

A lifetime of care and craft lets Camplin inhabit each song
When an interpreter of song, of tone and gravity, of soulfulness like Mr. Camplin decides to chew over work of this depth and breadth, it'll take many listens to get yourself wrapped around it. But the record is also readily accessible, owing probably to the intimacy of the format: Bill's voice, Bill's guitar, finit. The first track alone is a gem, and there's more and then more. So here: get this record, get a bottle of Sandeman port, get a twilit porch, and just let it go into the night.

dean stevens

My God, What a Marvellous Piece of Work
Here is Bill Camplin, nothing but his voice and guitar, both sounding as amazingly crystal clear and beautiful, taking on the timeless songs of Bob Dylan. This is one of the most beautiful recordings I've ever come upon. I've listened to it over and over, and will continue to. I can hardly wait for the subsequent volumes.

The folk world seems to place an enormous premium on original work from the pen of the singer, and doesn't acknowledge the enormous possibilities of interpretation. They call them "covers". I hate that term. This CD could truly dispel that attitude. Here is the consummate interpreter of timeless material, at the top of his creative powers. Bill Camplin!! Yeah!! Dean Stevens

olivia

loved the cd
I loved the cd - a person has to have a certain heart and spirit to sing Dylan.