The Don Campbell Band Stewart Smith Photography

Last week I was chatting with Steve Romanoff of Schooner Fare and this time around it’s one of that group’s biggest fans: Don Campbell. This talented singer-songwriter-guitarist was put on my radar by the late Herb Ludwig back in the early ’90s when he was opening for Ludwig’s trio, Devonsquare, at the Universalist/Unitarian Church in Portland, and ever since that night I’ve chatted with him every chance I get. I am a huge fan of his honey-smooth, tenor voice, which is reminiscent of the late Dan Fogelberg … in fact, Campbell was endorsed by the Fogelberg Association of Peoria. His double CD release “Kites To Fly — Celebrating The Music of Dan Fogelberg” led to his “An Evening of Dan Fogelberg Music” tour, which he took all around the country. I reached him at his home in Scarborough earlier this month to learn more about his “A Don Campbell Christmas” show, which he and his Don Campbell Band will be bringing to the Snow Pond Center for the Performing Arts in Sidney on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Q: Now, you’re coming up to Sidney’s Snow Pond Center for the Performing Arts for a show, correct?
Campbell: Yes, a beautiful place. They have a beautiful stage, beautiful auditorium and at Christmastime they have, at least the last time I played there, a lot of outdoor firepits where people could have cider and cocoa, there were horse-drawn sleighs, as well.

Q: So, it sounds like you’ve performed there before.
Campbell: We’ve done a couple of Christmas concerts up there — it’s really fun.

Q: Do you do Christmas concerts in other parts of the state?
Campbell: I do. I have two Christmas CDs out, “Don Campbell Christmas, Volume 1” and “Don Campbell Christmas, Volume 2,” and it’s 70% classics and 30% Christmas songs that I’ve written. We really love to get the audience singing along, it’s really family oriented and it’s great to see kids with their grandparents. I look forward to Christmas concerts every year; these are songs we do for about six weeks and then we shelve them for 10-and-a-half months. But we love dusting off the old classic Christmas songs and playing them, celebrating the time of year.

Q: How far afield do you go with these seasonal shows?
Campbell: Mostly within a two-hour radius — there’s plenty of work to do within the two-hour radius of Portland.

Q: You spoke of writing your own Christmas songs.
Campbell: The last song of my “… Christmas, Volume 2” CD is a song I wrote for an organization called Wreaths Across America … I wrote a song for them called “The Snow at Arlington” which we do at all of our Christmas concerts so that we can celebrate our veterans. I often perform for that convoy which leaves Harrington, Maine, with tractor trailer trucks filled with hand-made Christmas wreaths. They stop along the way to celebrate our veterans and their families, and to educate young people to respect and honor that freedom that we have that allows us to enjoy these concerts. I usually perform the song at least one of the stops on the convoy from Harrington down to Arlington, Virginia.


Q: When we were setting this interview up, you mentioned that you were performing for the people coming off the cruise ships?
Campbell: Yes, for 14 years I’ve been hired by the City of Portland to just be a musical greeter — a musical ambassador to welcome people to Portland. I perform at the halfway spot out on the pier. The people from these cruise ships have quite a long walk so I perform to kind of break up their walk a little bit. It’s really fun. I’ve met people from all over the world. Two weeks ago I played for a ship directly from Germany and another ship directly from England; the people were just fantastic, and it’s amazing to see how impressed they are with Portland.

Q: Now musically speaking, are you working on something new?
Campbell: Yes, I just released a song this past week on all the radio stations and I did an interview on WCSH’s 207 show, the song is called “(Golden Arches) Table Of The Brave.” When I travel around the country, whether I’m in Michigan or Florida or Massachusetts or New Hampshire, I have a habit of going into McDonalds in the morning and getting an Egg McMuffin and a Diet Coke. And one morning I looked over in the corner and I saw a table of veterans just sitting and having coffee — that song is really about sitting down and listening to them. Yesterday I performed at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough because Veterans Day is Saturday, and we did a photo shoot and Channel 6 WCSH was there filming my performance with them.

Q: Other than that song, are you working on an album, or do you even make albums any more?
Campbell: You know, that’s a good question. I’ve released 14 CDs over the years … my friends from Schooner Fare had a recording studio where I recorded my first CD in 1991. I have my own recording studio where I pretty much record singles now … we still sell CDs at our concerts but CDs are kind of going the way of steamships, I’m sorry to say. So now I’m kind of writing and recording songs that are inspired by a certain thing, and I’m just releasing singles now, and they can be found on all streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music and at my website,

Q: Is there anything, Don that you would like me to pass on to the folks reading this article?
Campbell: Yeah, if people are looking for a nice musical escape, come join us, we like to perform for an audience not at an audience, so if you’d like to enjoy some holiday music, Snow Pond Center for the Performing Arts is a beautiful venue to go to with your family because they really turn up that Hallmark-feeling of Christmas.

Lucky Clark, a 2018 “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award winner, has spent more than 50 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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