REVIEW: Matt Campbell’s “Man With Everything” is Clever Turns of Phrase Marking His New Beginning


Matt Campbell’s recent move to Nashville brought about a new beginning for him musically. Though he’s pursued his musical path elsewhere in the country, at 41 years old, Campbell figured it was time to bring his talents to one of the centers of the musical world. In his words, he “… came to Nashville to be heard. If you have something to say, take it to the marketplace, take it to the town square.” And Campbell has displayed that he’s a force to be reckoned with in his newest release The Man With Everything (Flour Sack Cape Records).

Recorded and produced by Joseph Lekkas (Palm Ghost) at Greenland Studios in Inglewood, Tennessee, The Man With Everything features many talented instrumentalists. Campbell leads on vocals and guitar, with Jason Verstegen and Mike Wolf also contributing guitar parts. Asa Lane and Christian Hayden back Campbell up on drums, while John England and Brad Albin lock in on bass. Christopher Bauer and Andy Gibson play pedal steel, with Bauer on dobro too. Mark Fredson plays piano and organ, Robert Gay sits in on trumpet, and Keenan Wade fills in with mandolin. Lastly, Calvin Conway plays harmonica, whistle, and contributes vocals.

Campbell provides a refreshing dose of whim that is so often missing from music today. Songs like “The Night That I Found Jesus (Down at Robert’s Western World)” and Christmas in Nashville(spoiler: It’s Nashville Indiana) deliver clever turns of phrase and wordplay to his listeners. Campbell again plays with a common trope in “Trading Teardrops,” penning a tune about leaving while also turning it slightly askew. The sincerity in his voice displayed in “It’s Ours” and “Twice As Big” draws you in, readying you for a heartfelt personal story. His cover of the Bob Dylan classic “Simple Twist of Fate” may rival the cut on Blood on the Tracks in a different way — Campbell provides a new depth to this tune, making it deeply personal.

Campbell puts his best foot forward with his newest release in all aspects. The songwriting is more than solid, while the arrangements and performances are top notch. A first-rate new release from a talented troubadour. Get your copy at

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