Craig Campbell: ‘I Don’t Have a Plan B’
Craig Campbell hasn't released an album since 2013's Never Regret, his sophomore record with Bigger Picture Music Group, which folded one year later. Since signing with Red Bow Records in late 2014, Campbell has shared two singles, "Tomorrow Tonight" and "Outskirts of Heaven," and continues to wait until the time is right to release his next album.
"I’ve been working on a new album for the past four years," Campbell tells The Boot. He's been building relationships, and those connections have given Campbell access to a new wealth of material to potentially record.
"We’ve been able to pick new songs, write new songs; I feel like I’ve been granted access to some of the really good songs," Campbell says. "I’m not saying that I didn’t have access to those songs early on, but it just seems like I’ve made some really good relationships over the past few years, that I can call certain songwriters up and say, ‘If you’ve got a great song, will you send it to me before you send it to Blake [Shelton]? Please?’ -- that kind of thing. And I’ve written some really good songs."
Despite his former label folding and the many years in between records, Campbell remains undeterred. Besides, music is his only plan.
"I don’t have a Plan B, and that’s how I’ve lived my career from Day One," Campbell admits. "I feel like if you have a Plan B, then there’s always the idea, ‘If this doesn’t work out …’ It has to work out; it has to. My dream was to be able to sing and play music and put food on the table."
This summer, Campbell will be spending time out on the road opening for Luke Bryan, at several of Bryan's Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day Tour stops. Those shows will be a reunion of sorts: Campbell worked for the country superstar early in his career.
"I used to play piano for Luke, years ago," Campbell says. "This will be my first big major tour; I was out with Randy Houser about a year and a half ago, but this will be my first arena / stadium situation. There is not word in the dictionary to describe how excited we are; it’s a dream come true."
I don’t have a Plan B, and that’s how I’ve lived my career from Day One ... My dream was to be able to sing and play music and put food on the table.
Campbell also has another big event on the calendar: his annual Craig Campbell Celebrity Cornhole Challenge. Now in its fifth year, the event -- held during the CMA Music Fesival -- is a way to honor Campbell's late father, who passed away from colon cancer when he was just 36 years old.
"We raise money and awareness for colorectal cancer, specifically with [the] organization Fight Colorectal Cancer," Campbell explains. "It’s a lot of fun: We get to throw bags, drink beer; we sing and play songs and raise a lot of money. Specifically, I chose cornhole just because it’s something you don’t have to be a professional [at], and it’s a lot of fun; you can do it in your backyard, and we get fans involved."
Each year, Campbell invites several artists, as well as an occasional famous athlete, to participate in his Celebrity Cornhole Challenge. In addition to the money raised, the singer wants to make others aware of the need to get screened for the potentially fatal disease.
"My dad was 36 years old when he died with colon cancer. When I was old enough to realize what caused his death, I started digging and asking questions, because I didn’t want it to happen to me, for many reasons, especially after I became a dad," Campbell shares. "I didn’t know my dad that well, because he died when I was a kid. I don’t want my kids to have to deal with that ... It’s easy: Get screened. Colon cancer is very preventable, as long as you catch it soon enough."
Fans can keep up with Campbell's goings-on on his official website.
New Albums Coming in 2017