Mike Campbell Returns With Dirty Knobs Album

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Mike Campbell (second from L) with The Dirty Knobs (Photo: Pamela Littky; used with permission)

The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell has released the debut album with his longtime side band, the Dirty Knobs. The album, Wreckless Abandon, was originally scheduled to arrive March 20 via BMG; it was finally released on Nov. 20. Their tour, also originally scheduled to begin last March, was delayed due to “some health issues” as well as the pandemic. It’s since been rescheduled to 2021. Campbell handles the bulk of the lead vocals; at times he sounds very much like his decades-long bandmate Tom Petty. Listen to several of the songs below.

Of one new song, written with Chris Stapleton, Campbell says, “‘Fuck That Guy’ is a simple song that could really be about anyone you know. The video is a bizarre and darkly humorous take on 2020. It’s been a hard year. It helps to just laugh. We shot the video just last month. Sometimes life ends up imitating art in almost unimaginable ways.” We all know “that guy.” The clip features a cameo from actor Jeff Garlin.

Watch the video for “F**k That Guy”

Doctors discovered Campbell’s undisclosed health issues on March 1. In a March 6 Facebook post, he wrote, “while fully treatable, [the health issues] need to be addressed before going out on tour. The good news, well really it’s great news, is that I’m going to be just fine.”

Fans that purchased tickets to the original dates but are unable to make the new date, can obtain a refund at their point of purchase.

Listen to “Southern Boy”

The celebrated guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, has been playing with the Dirty Knobs for well over a decade. The original announcement of the album and tour made no mention of any upcoming plans with Fleetwood Mac, whom Campbell joined for their extensive 2018-2019 tour.

In additional to Campbell, the Dirty Knobs are Jason Sinay on guitar and vocals, Lance Morrison on bass, and Matt Laug on drums.

Listen to the ballad, “Anna Lee”

On October 23, Campbell and fellow Heartbreaker, Benmont Tench, played several songs for the Tom Petty 70th Birthday Bash.

Watch their performance

The album was produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias (the Black Crowes, the Jayhawks), with all songs written by Campbell. It features further contributions from fellow Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers founding member Benmont Tench as well as Stapleton, the Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist. Klaus Voormann, who is well known for doing the cover art for the Beatles’ Revolver, created the album artwork.

Listen to “Pistol Packin’ Mama”

The album’s title track, with Campbell’s familiar guitar sound, was released on Jan. 13.

Watch the video for the title track of Wreckless Abandon

Of the project, Campbell, who turned 70 on Feb. 1, explains, “The Dirty Knobs first got together almost 15 years ago but Wreckless Abandon is our first album and occasion to tour. Over the years, the Knobs became an outlet for me to play some of the other songs I was writing and to keep the creative juices flowing in between working on albums and tours with Tom and the Heartbreakers.”

Watch the video for “Irish Girl”

After Petty’s death in 2017, one week after completing the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour, Campbell knew the only way to heal some of the pain was to throw himself wholeheartedly back into his music.

“Losing Tom was earth-shattering for me. It was a total shock,” Campbell continues. “It had felt like we would be playing together forever. For a while it was hard to imagine playing in my own band again, let alone one where I’m the frontman. Tom was always my beacon. But everything I’ve been doing since Tom passed, including this album with the Dirty Knobs, is in the spirit of honoring what we did together.”

Related: Our recap of the Heartbreakers’ final concert

Wreckless Abandon Track Listing
1. Wreckless Abandon
2. Pistol Packin’ Mama (feat. Chris Stapleton)
3. Sugar
4. Southern Boy
5. I Still Love You
6. Irish Girl
7. F**k That Guy
8. Don’t Knock the Boogie
9. Don’t Wait
10. Anna Lee
11. Aw Honey
12. Loaded Gun
13. Don’t Knock the Boogie (Coda)

Watch the trailer for Wreckless Abandon

Mike Campbell and the Dirty Knobs 2021 Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)

Opening For Chris Stapleton
Jun 05 – San Bernardino, CA – Glen Helen Amphitheater
Jun 10 – Nampa, ID – Arena at Ford Idaho Center
Jun 11 – Ridgefield, WA – Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
Jun 12 – George, WA – Gorge Amphitheatre
Jun 17 – Bakersfield, CA – Mechanics Bank Theater
Jun 18 – Wheatland, CA – Toyota Amphitheatre
Jun 19 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
Jun 24 – West Valley City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
Jun 25 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
Jun 26 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
Jul 17 – Chicago, IL – Wrigley Field

The Dirty Knobs
Sep 08 — Tampa, FL — The Orpheum
Sep 10 — Gainesville, FL — High Dive
Sep 11 — Gainesville, FL — High Dive
Sep 14 — Nashville, TN — Brooklyn Bowl
Sep 15 — Alexandria, VA — Birchmere
Sep 18 — Asbury Park, NJ – Sea. Hear. Now Festival
Sep 19 — Asbury Park, NJ – Sea. Hear. Now Festival
Sep 21 — Brooklyn, NY — Brooklyn Bowl
Sep 23 — Allston, MA — Brighton Music Hall
Sep 24 — Allston, MA — Brighton Music Hall
Sep 26 — Derry, NH — Tupelo Music Hall
Sep 28 — Ridgefield CT — Ridgefield Playhouse
Sep 30 — Philadelphia, PA — World Café Live
Oct 02 — Indianapolis, IN — The Hi Fi
Oct 03 — Indianapolis, IN — The Hi Fi
Oct 06 — Chicago, IL — Park West
Oct 07 — Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Hall
Oct 15 — San Francisco, CA — The Independent
Oct 16 — San Francisco, CA — The Independent
Oct 19 — Los Angeles, CA — The Troubadour
Oct 20 — Los Angeles, CA — The Troubadour
Oct 23 — Boulder, CO — Fox Theatre
Oct 24 — Denver, CO — Bluebird Theatre
Oct 26 — Dallas, TX — Blue Light
Oct 28 — Houston, TX — Warehouse Live
Oct 30 — Austin, TX — Antone’s
Oct 31 — Austin, TX — Antone’s
Nov 02 — New Orleans, LA – One-Eyed Jacks

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5 Comments so far

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  1. Luis
    #1 Luis 14 January, 2020, 11:12

    Amazing to hear his voice; is so similar to Tom Petty’s. Great music and band.

    Reply this comment
  2. Kevin
    #2 Kevin 15 January, 2020, 03:50

    Tom petty was one of a kind, miss him bad! God Bless you Mike Cambell, this is great!

    Reply this comment
  3. dkin
    #3 dkin 15 March, 2020, 11:00

    Tom’s spirit and can see Mikes influences in past music , great to hear The Heart of the Heartbreakers making new music. Great music

    Reply this comment
  4. Junebug
    #4 Junebug 23 November, 2020, 05:40

    Excellent record from a true Master…

    Reply this comment
  5. BJones
    #5 BJones 23 November, 2020, 21:25

    Super album! Really like Aw Honey!

    Reply this comment

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