Jim Campilongo

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Jim Campilongo
Background information
Born (1958-07-08)July 8, 1958
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Genres Alternative country, rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Labels Blue Hen
Associated acts The Little Willies
Website www.jimcampilongo.com
Notable instruments
Custom Campilongo Signature Fender Telecaster

Jim Campilongo (born July 8, 1958) is an American guitarist from San Francisco and a member of The Little Willies, featuring Norah Jones.

Campilongo plays a Fender Custom Shop Campilongo Signature Fender Telecaster. He employs a hybrid right-hand technique that involves the use of both a plectrum and his fingers. He holds a mandolin pick between his thumb and forefinger while plucking with his middle and third fingers.

His music has appeared on national television commercials. He is also a teacher and a contributing editor to Guitar Player magazine.

Musical career[edit]

Campilongo was born in South San Francisco.[1] When he was nine, he discovered The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix courtesy of his two sisters. He became interested in improvisation, saying in one interview, "I knew I liked improvisation and long musical journeys...so I used to buy albums based exclusively on how long the tracks were...That's how I discovered John Coltrane Live in Japan, John McLaughlin Devotion, a couple of different Cream albums."[2]

Campilongo's career began in the mid 1970s when he studied guitar in San Francisco with Bunnie Gregoire, who taught the pre-teen to embrace everything from George Van Eps to John Denver. His first instrument was purchased with Green Stamps. During high school he played with his friend and drummer Ken Owen and at 17 began performing with local bands.[3] One of Campilongo's greatest influences at the time was blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.[2]

His recording career started in San Francisco in 1996 when he formed the band Jim Campilongo and the 10 Gallon Cats.[4] After several years, he left the group and recorded Table for One in 1998.

In 2002, he moved to New York City and formed his Electric Trio, which toured Europe and Scandinavia and recorded the album American Hips on Blue Hen Records.[4] In 2003 he formed the group The Little Willies with Norah Jones, Richard Julian, Lee Alexander, and Dan Rieser.

He has performed or recorded with Adam Levy, Al Anderson, Bright Eyes, Cake, Charlie Hunter, Chris Cheek, David Rawlings, Gillian Welch, J. J. Cale, Julia Darling, Leah Siegel, Marilyn Carino, Martha Wainwright, Nels Cline, Peter Rowan, Steve Cardenas, Sunny Ozell, and Teddy Thompson.

Campilongo released the critically acclaimed Orange in 2010. In January 2011, Campilongo was nominated for The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards under the Instrumental Song category for "Awful Pretty, Pretty Awful".[5]

His album Dream Dictionary (2014) features Chris Morrissey (bass) and Josh Dion (drums). Other notable contributions comes from Steve Cardenas, who plays on two acoustic numbers, and Norah Jones, who sings on the album's only vocal number, "Here I Am" by Ray Charles. The album is produced by Andy Tommasi.


  • 1996 Jim Campilongo & the 10 Gallon Cats, with 10 Gallon Cats
  • 1997 Loose, with 10 Gallon Cats
  • 1998 Table for One, Jim Campilongo Band
  • 2000 Heavy, with 10 Gallon Cats
  • 2000 Live at the DuNord, Jim Campilongo Band
  • 2003 American Hips, Jim Campilongo Electric Trio
  • 2006 Heaven is Creepy, Jim Campilongo Electric Trio
  • 2010 Orange
  • 2014 Dream Dictionary
  • 2015 Last Night, This Morning, with Honeyfingers

As guest

  • The Know, "The Know" – Nutone (1987)
  • Po Go Bo, "Po Go Bo" – Nutone (1987)
  • Katt, "Katt" – Nutone (1987)
  • Click Dark, "President's Breakfast" – (1988)
  • Komotion International Various Artists (1989)
  • Wilson Gil and the Willful Sinners, "Gunstore, Liquourstore Project" – (1992)
  • Looters, "Imago Mundi" – Monster Music (1992)
  • Stephen Yerkey, "Confidence, Man" – Heyday (1995)
  • Preacher Boy and The Natural Blues, "Preacher Boy & The Natural Blues" – Blind Pig (1995)
  • Preacher Boy and The Natural Blues, "Gutters and Pews" – Blind Pig (1996)
  • Joe Goldmark, "Steelin' the Beatles" – Lo–ball (1997)
  • "Treasures Left Behind: Remembering Kate Wolf" – Various Artists — Red House (1998)
  • Jim Greer, "Rover Songs" – Fortune (1998)
  • San Francisco Song Cycle, Vol. 1 Various Artists Olde West (1998)
  • Cake, "Prolonging the Magic" – Capricorn (1998)
  • "Stranger Than Fiction" – Various Artists Oglio (1999)
  • Joe Goldmark, "All Hat No Cattle" – Hmg (1999)
  • "Full Tan" – Vol. 1 Various Artists Fonit Cetra (1999)
  • "Fortune Cookies" – Various Artists Fortune (2000)
  • Kurt Stevenson and Kate Maher — Pentecostal Bouffant Record, "Songs for Camp and Tabernacle" – 2001
  • Joe Goldmark, "Strong Like Bull but Sensitive Like Squirrel" – Hmg (2001)
  • Ann Dyer, "When I Close My Eyes" – Sunnyside 2001 as writer, "Sarah"
  • Sonya Greta, "Vigilante Arcade" – (2003)
  • Mudville, "The Glory of Man Is Not in Vogue" – (2004)
  • Michael Shelly, "Goodbye Cheater" – confidentialrecordings 2005
  • Julian Summerhill, "The Hologram Cowboys Lay Down With Their Horses" – 2005
  • David Gleason, "Just Fall to Pieces" – Well Worn (2005)
  • Steve Yerkey, "metaneonatureboy" – Echo (2005)
  • "Feber 2 New York" New York Compilation — Amigo Music (2005)
  • Wild Animus (Audiobook) – Too Far (2006)
  • Richard Julian, "Manhattan" – Blue Note (2006)
  • April Cope, "Petals Fall" – Limelight (2006)
  • Mudville, "Iris Nova" – (2006)
  • Sasha Dobson "Modern Romance" Secret Sun (2006) as writer, "Cold to Colder"
  • The Little Willies, The Little Willies – Milking Bull/EMI (2006)
  • Chiara Civello "The Space Between" Universal 2007 co–writer "L Train"
  • Brandi Shearer, "Close to Dark" – Amoeba (2007) (sideman and co–Writer "Swampland" )
  • Sean Walsh "American Music" Eyeball (2007)
  • Teddy Thompson "Upfront and Down Low" Verve (2007)
  • Two Foot Yard "Borrowed Arms" Yard Work (2008)
  • Martha Wainwright "I Know You're Married.." Rounder (2008)
  • Marika Hughes "The Simplest Thing" (Sideman and Writer) "Pepper" DD (2010)
  • Howard Fishman "The World will Be Different" guitar on "Summer Rain" on Autumn Monkey Farm (2010)
  • Norah Jones Featuring Norah Jones Little Willies guitar on "Love Me" Blue Note (2010)
  • Jo Williamson "Be the Man" Joscream (2011)
  • Nick Casey "Can't Reason Through Love" guitar on "Bandages" (2011)
  • Sun Rise "Sun Rise" Jim Campilongo Band on "This Old Man" Starbucks Coffee Company (2011)
  • Rosita Kess, "Northern Sky" Dauphine (2011)
  • Stuffy Shmitt, "Industrial Love", Guitar on "Dumb it Down" – Realistic (2012)
  • Bryan Nebel, "Bringing Myself Home" (2012)
  • The Little Willies, "For The Good Times" – Milking Bull/EMI (2012)
  • So Brown, "Point Legere" – So Brown (2013)
  • Norah Jones, "The Vinyl Collection" Box Set on "Sweet Dreams" – Blue Note (2013)
  • Lichis – "Modo Avion" on "Horas De Vuelo" and "Tan Felices" Carne de Cancion (2014)
  • Compilation, "The Loner 2 – Tribute to Jeff Beck" track "I'm Helen Keller and You're a Waffle Iron" ESC (2014)


External links[edit]