Royce Campbell: I Want to Be Happy


I Want to Be Happy


Royce Campbell (guitar)


Get Happy (Foxhaven FX 70022)

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Royce Campbell (guitar), Joe Kennedy (violin),

Paul Langosch (bass)


Composed by Vincent Youmans


Recorded: Sandy Spring, MD, 2005


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

Get Happy was the final recording of music educator and swing violinist Joe Kennedy. The CD's "happy" theme was conceived by producer/guitarist Campbell because he believed uplifting music of this type best represented what Kennedy's playing had always been about. Campbell also felt that Kennedy's career had been under-recorded. When Kennedy passed away shortly after these sessions, the CD became both a historical document and a tribute to him.

This track is a departure from the basic bow-to-string swing violin. Kennedy, Campbell and Langosch surely swing on this lighthearted number. But Kennedy's playing is all pizzicato. The swing accents are found in his note-bending and sustain. There is only so much of that you can get from plucking away on such short strings. But if you can do it the way he did, you could do anything and probably teach it pretty good too.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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