By Lacy Hardee
Look out ladies, rising country star Craig Campbell is coming to town.
Campbell, known for his 2010 debut single “Family Man” and current hit “Fish,” will perform during this year’s 32nd Annual Loris Bog-Off Festival, one of the area’s longest running community events.
The festival is a week-long community celebration held in downtown Loris with a main event held the third Saturday in October each year.
The festival will kick off with movie night Monday, Oct. 10 at the Loris Nature Park. Tuesday night is the popular game night with bingo and a spaghetti supper at the Center for Health and Fitness. Thursday night is a night of dining and dancing during “Dancin’ in the Moonlight.” ‘
This year’s main event, which falls on Oct. 15, will feature a parade, a Chicken Bog Cook-Off, more than 200 vendors with arts and crafts, kids activities and live music from local acts as well as a headlining performance by Cambpell.
Campbell a Georgia native who has been playing music since childhood, won contests sponsored by True Value Hardware at age 15 and again at 18. In the mid-2000s, he played as the pianist in country star Tracy Byrd's road band, and during his tenure with Byrd, Campbell married Mindy Ellis, also a singer, and started a family, which now includes two daughters, Preslee and Kinni.
The song “Family Man,” which waxes poetic about the merits of family — which Campbell calls the source of his emotional strength and the reason he wakes up in the morning — debuted at number 60 on the Hot Country Songs charts around this time last year.
In April, Campbell released his eponymous debut album with Bigger Picture Music Group and has received generally good reviews.
The album blends Campbell’s masculine, no-nonsense vocal style with solid, salt-of-the-earth songs about America’s working class and a classic sense of wordplay. It’s a timeless sound, one that links him directly to Travis Tritt and Alan Jackson, who likewise built their style on such predecessors as George Jones and Hank Williams Jr.
“It’s traditional, back-to-basics, true country music,” Campbell says. “It’s what I am. I can’t be anything else.”
As if releasing his first album wasn’t enough to keep him smiling, Campbell also hit the road in May with Willie Nelson for the 2011 Country Throwdown Tour, also featuring Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real among others.