Craig Campbell: A Country Music Workhorse Who Doesn’t Get The Love He Deserves


You know those artists you used to love, who used to crank out hit after hit and you were sure they were going to be a huge superstar?

For me that’s Craig Campbell.

Craig is insanely underrated for how much good music he’s put out. And there for awhile it seemed like he was going to be unstoppable, starting with his debut single (and one of the best songs of 2010), “Family Man.”

From there, Craig had a consistent string of hits with songs like “Fish,” “Outta My Head,” and the song that saw the most radio success, “Keep Them Kisses Comin’.”

But unfortunately, like so many others, Craig seems to have been a victim of poor timing and circumstances out of his control.

Just 5 months after “Keep Them Kisses Comin'” was released to radio, and as the single was still climbing the charts, Craig’s label announced that they were closing. But Craig kept pushing his single himself – calling radio stations and personally asking them to continue to play his music.

And that’s always been Craig’s style: He’s one of the most hardworking artists you’re going to find in the country music industry. If you come to Nashville, chances are you’ll have a chance to see Craig Campbell play somewhere while you’re here.

Whether he’s playing at the Ryman Auditorium or at a smaller local venue like the Nashville Palace, or playing outside of a small family store for a crowd smaller than you’ll see on some party buses on Lower Broadway, Craig is one of the most persistent artists you’re going to find – especially in an industry that seems to reward the flash-in-the-pan success that comes from TikTok artists and viral hits.

But Craig is somebody who deserves to play in front of much bigger crowds than he generally plays to.

Craig’s music is real-deal traditional country music that somehow still manages to walk the fine line to stay radio friendly – even if it’s not played on the radio.

There’s the tenderhearted tribute to his daughter with “When She Grows Up” from his 2013 album Never Regret.

And then on the opposite end of the spectrum there are songs like one of Craig’s latest releases, “Good Things Come To Those Who Drink.”

But through it all there there are common threads: Mainly Craig’s incredible vocals and stone-cold country sound.

And that’s all before we even get to what I think is the best song in his catalog: His 2016 single, “Outskirts of Heaven.”

As a country music fan, it’s hard not to get frustrated when you see wannabe-pop stars blowing up in country music because they’re able to get views on TikTok, yet guys like Craig Campbell, who grind it out day in and day out playing real deal country music wherever they can struggle to get to the success they deserve.

But at the same time, it’s guys like Craig who refuse to go along with the trends just to have a radio hit who remind me that country music is still in good hands.

Even if you have to look a little harder to find their music than you should have to.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock