Billboard Magazine calls Jim Campilongo, an American treasure, an accolade this guitarist's artistry and influential career has richly earned him.
With seven albums of original material and guest appearances on dozens of recordings; from the Bammie-winner's contribution on Cake's million-selling Prolonging the Magic to (most recently) doing lead guitar duties with Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson and The Little Willies, his band with Norah Jones, He's also had repeat appearances on David Letterman, Conan O'Brien and been interviewed on many major radio shows. Campilongo is also a published guitar teacher and contributing editor for Guitar Player Magazine. Campilongo's virtuosity and originality has inspired a generation of guitar players. His songwriting uses a palette of the best in Blues, Country, Jazz and Rock with a sensitivity and wit that has also earned him the broad fan base most instrumental guitarist never enjoy.
Campilongo's career began in the mid 1970s when he studied guitar in his native San Francisco with the eccentric Bunnie Gregoire, who taught the pre-teen to embrace everything from George Van Eps to John Denver. Campilongo recalls, Before Bunnie I used to just randomly buy records if there weren't that many songs on them, I didn't care who the artist was. A banner day would be discovering a double album that only had two songs on it. So I ended up with John Coltrane Live in Japan and John McLaughlin's Devotion with Larry Young on organ. I listened to those records until they melted and I still do to this day (on CD). Eventually, I found Roy Buchanan's first album and all bets were off, I was going to be a guitar player. Jim's first instrument was purchased with Green Stamps.