Craig Campbell Sets Date For 'Passionate Class Of '89' Album

The album will hit April 19 on Grindstone Recordings.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Craig Campbell Sets Date For 'Passionate Class Of '89' Album
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Last year was an ambitious time of music for country hitmaker Craig Campbell, releasing the 16-song The Lost Files: Exhibit A and the 17-song Exhibit B, the second of which landed on the first ballot of the ACM Awards.

Today, he announced one of the most passionate projects of his career, Class of '89. The six songs represent the core influences who helped mold his desire to pursue a career as an artist and songwriter. The album will hit April 19 on Grindstone Recordings.

“I have been dreaming of recording this album for as long as I can remember,” said Craig. “These songs are some of the reasons I fell in love with country music in the first place. Every song on this album has a story, and each one of those stories shaped me into the country singer I am today. There will never be anyone that can do these songs as good as the originals, but at the very least I hope I made them proud.”

“Killin' Time” kicks off the collection. “Killin' Time was the first album (cassette) I ever bought with my own money. That album changed my life!” 

“'Too Cold At Home' is a song we played every show. That song became a staple for us, and the fans got to where they expected us to play it.”

“'Bluest Eyes In Texas' is another song that the band loved to play. If there was a song that we looked forward to playing every night, it was this one. It allowed us all to shine in our own musical way but also as a great country band.”

“'On The Other Hand' was the first song my wife ever heard me sing. She didn't even really know me at the time but she says that's the moment I landed on her radar!”

“'Be My Baby Tonight' was the song I sang when I won my first singing contest. You could say that singing that song was the moment I knew I wanted to be on stage every chance I got.”

“'Anymore' is simply my favorite song of all time, and Travis Tritt is also on the list of my favorite singers of all time. I wanted to showcase the song and it just felt right to do it stripped down, just me and the piano.”

In a move unique in the Nashville music scene, Craig enlisted his friends to hunker down in the studio to record all of the tracks. “These are guys I spent years with on the road. When it came time to go into the studio, I knew there was no other band that could play these songs the way I wanted better than my boys. Thank you David Black, Shawn, Aaron, David Karns, Jamie, Tyler and David Spires!”

The Class of ‘89 album cover was a photo taken by a local photographer in Craig's home town of Lyons, Georgia after he won his first talent show singing “Be My Baby Tonight.” The photo is the perfect representation of where he was when all of this music came into his life.

Craig dug deep into his catalog of songs recorded during two label deals and gems he cut for his own label, when he released The Lost Files: Exhibit A in February and Exhibit B in August. “I was thrilled to see Exhibit B on the first ACM Awards ballot, but most of all I was just happy to get all of these songs out for everyone to hear.” 

In 2022, Craig and his wife Mindy opened Grindstone Cowboy in their adopted home town of Eagleville, TN. The coffee shop, restaurant and music venue has become a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike and received Ruthies Awards for best “Local Coffee Shop” and “Live Music/Concert Venue.” They are currently building out their second location in Shelbyville, TN.

The 9th Annual Craig Campbell Celebrity Cornhole Challenge was held during CMA Fest week and raised over $27,000 the Kenny Campbell Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Craig to honor his father who lost his battle with Colorectal Cancer at age 36. 

About Craig Campbell:

In a world fueled by the smoke and mirror act of overnight success, Campbell has long been admired for his patience and persistence on the road less traveled. A consistent balancing act of traditional values and modern industry trends, Campbell is also considered by many to be one of the most talented yet under the radar stars, across all genres.

The Lyons, Georgia native grew up playing his mother's piano and singing in church. He took a job as a corrections officer in his hometown after high school, but music never left his side. He started a band and played local and national bar gigs. When the guitar player quit, Campbell took that as a sign to chase his dreams all the way to Nashville. 

Starting in 2002, the young hopeful spent the next several years paying his dues as a demo singer by day and Lower Broadway gigger by night. He connected with fellow South Georgia native Luke Bryan and started touring as his keyboard player. A year and a half long keyboard stint with Tracy Byrd soon followed, and he took over as bandleader down at The Stage on Tuesday nights on his non-touring days. His smooth chops and hot blooded stage presence caught the eye of industry execs and in 2009, Campbell signed his first record deal.

His debut single, “Family Man,” hit the Billboard top 15 in 2011. “Outta My Head” cracked the top 15, and catchy tune “Fish” garnered more than 10 million demand streams. His 2014 breakout hit “Keep Them Kisses Comin'” was on its way up the charts when Campbell got the unexpected news that his label had closed. He and his devoted team continued to press radio stations around the country, so much so that the single ended an impressive run well inside the Top 10, which is unheard of for a song with no financial backing.

A deal with Red Bow Records, a division of the Broken Bow umbrella, yielded the top 40 “Tomorrow Tonight” followed by his most poignant and well-known work to date, “Outskirts of Heaven.” “Outskirts” showcased Campbell's vulnerability and deep-rooted faith and was praised by Rolling Stone and Taste of Country, among others.

The impact of “Outskirts” prompted media appearances and memorable performances at nationally televised NFL games, the TODAY show, CMA Fest, and the Grand Ole Opry, the latter of which he has made over 50 appearances to date. And in a full circle moment, he reunited with buddy Luke Bryan on his 2017 Huntin', Fishin', and Lovin' Every Day Tour.

In the summer of 2018, Campbell released his first new music in five years with his “See You Try” EP on Broken Bow. The title track became an instant crowd pleaser with its confident, flirty lyrics and boot stompin' melody. The EP also found a home for both an electric and acoustic version of “Outskirts of Heaven.” Campbell and Broken Bow mutually parted ways in August of 2018. After a two-year break, he launched Grindstone Records and has been busy recording and releasing his own music as well as signing other artists to his label.

Craig and his wife Mindy accomplished a longtime dream of opening Grindstone Cowboy in their home of Eagleville last year. The coffee shop, restaurant and music venue has become a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike and won Ruthies Awards (Rutherford County, TN) for best "Local Coffee Shop" and "Live Music/Concert Venue."

The 9th Annual Craig Campbell Celebrity Cornhole Challenge was held during CMA Fest 2023 week and raised over $27,000 the Kenny Campbell Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Craig to honor his father who lost his battle with Colorectal Cancer at age 36.