The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

Young musician excels in blues brother band

January 13, 2016

It all started with receiving his first drum kit on Christmas morning. Normally kids get toys and treats from their parents that they grow out of, but at age eight, Evan ran down the stairs, looked under the tree, and began his music career.

The beginnings of a young musician

Sophomore Evan Campbell, is now 15 years old and is already meeting and opening for his favorite bands. He is traveling around the country and performing for thousands. Evan is in a band with his two brothers Colin (age 19) and Cameron (age 20) called Colin and the Shackletons.

Campbell’s mom Lisa Campbell explained, “Evan has two older brothers who are great musicians and those two brothers started a band. When the drummer would not show up for practice they would throw Evan behind the drums so they could practice, over time Evan became a magnificent drummer. They no longer have the old drummer, Evan took his place. Overtime Evan has continued to improve and has created his own beat,  rhythm and his own unique style.”

Beginning with small gigs at bars and restaurants, Colin and the Shackletons have worked there way to become more popular in the blues and rock music world. The original crowds, of just their parents, grew after getting their name out and playing countless small shows. Most people would not expect to go to a bar and see a 14 or 15 year old playing the drums, but being young and on stage does not phase Evan one bit.

“It’s not intimidating at all,” Evan said with a smile on his face. “ I don’t think about age at all. It’s like riding a bike; at first it’s scary, but then after awhile it comes natural.”

Evan was a competitive swimmer for eight years but he decided to quit and pursue his music career instead. He completely stopped sports but didn’t seem the least it regretful of his decision.  Instead he is just eager to see where else music takes him.

I love going to shows to see the boys; I’m always amazed and I’m always in awe of them. Some parents go to soccer fields, swimming pools or baseball fields but I go to fairs, bars and festivals,” Lisa explained.

One of Evan’s favorite shows was the Thunder Bay Blues festival in Canada. There was a crowd of over 14,000 people and Evan was opening for his all time favorite band, Rival Sons. He also has gotten to meet bands like The Wallflowers, Jimmy Vaughan, and the Spin Doctors. Recently the three brothers sold out Seventh street in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“I love getting to travel around the country and meeting new musicians. It’s like a job basically but it’s also my way of life,”Evan added excitedly.

Family creates musical chemistry

The family aspect is what makes this band so tight knit and interesting. The Campbells have a blues rock sound with their main roots coming from blues. His brother Colin sings and plays the guitar and Cameron is on bass. They work together and create their own original music.

“My family is usually easy going and we never really argue unless it’s about music. We fight over what key the next part of the song should be in and dumb stuff like that,” Evan explains. “Both of my parents support every decision we make but they are honest when something doesn’t sound right.”

Overcoming the distance

Recently the band has had to put things to a halt because of the distance between the three musicians. Cameron is attending college at the University of North Dakota and Colin goes to Western Washington University. With the band in all different parts of the country, they can only perform under certain circumstances.

“We’ve had shows where they have to fly back to Minnesota for a few days and we practice an hour before the show and then we perform,” Evan said.

Colin and the Shackletons have a new album coming out in December when everyone is home for Christmas and there was time to record at Flowers Studio. It is a mixture of pop rock and hard rock but they stay true to their blues roots.

“We are a blues rock group. Our music always comes back to our blues background,” Evan said showing pride in where he’s come from.

Campbell hopes to continue with the band for as long as possible. They aim to become bigger and more popular in the blues community and just with music in general.

“I don’t think the band is going to end any time soon,” Evan said hopefully. “ If we don’t end up getting big enough I want to go in sound producing or become a music producer. It’d be a cool job to have.”

Regardless where Evan or Colin and the Shackletons go in music, the memories of having a family band are unforgettable and the progress he has made so young is admirable. He is inspiration to other young musicians and is living proof that age doesn’t limit your ability to succeed.

“Performing is a rush and making music is an art. If you’re doing something you love don’t ever stop,” Evan added.


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