More blues news – Owen Campbell

Owen Campbell spoke to La Trobe ahead of this weekend’s blues festival.

By La Trobe Writers in Action student JOSH NEWHAM

Owen Campbell says for better or worse, he’s always been a nomad.

Although he now calls Sydney home, he travels extensively for his music. Like, really extensively.

The last time I saw Owen was around the time he appeared on Australia’s Got Talent and blew the country away. He was just about to leave for the Himalayan Blues Festival in Kathmandu.

Despite the lack of a “local scene” created by this lust for travel, Owen says he’s excited to be returning to the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival “’cause it feels like coming home”.

“I love it,” he says “It’s a real community-spirited event. Last time I arrived to a really warm welcome from the locals, and it felt like meeting old friends.”

Owen recalls the skill of the region’s young talent in the Young Blues Guitarist Competition on his last Bendigo visit.  “I was back stage when it was being run and man, there are some seriously great young guitarists in Bendigo, they blew me away,” he says.

Owen admits a particular affection for regional festivals. “I love regional shows, there’s always a bit more of a buzz in the air,” he says. “I think they’re very important, too. Especially for the younger generations.”

Speaking of Bendigo more specifically, he says, “I really got a sense of pride from all the volunteers and organisers there. I think it’s a really great thing for a society to band together and create little moments of magic like a festival. On so many levels, across all ages, it’s a fantastic thing.”

Owen promises he’ll be bringing “everything and more” to the local festival this year, including some new, unheard, material. “I’ve just recorded a new album in Memphis, which won’t be released till next year but I’ll be testing out a lot of new material. Beware!”

See Owen live at The Capital on Friday, November 6 and at the Exchange Concert on the Boardwalk Saturday 7.

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