Robert Campbell and Cailin Green could have taken the easy road. In their 50s, they lived a comfortable life in Maple Ridge, rich with friends and family. But the couple decided their journey needed a new path, so they left everything behind to follow their passion late in life.
As long-time residents in the community, the couple had spent countless hours devoting their spare time helping enhance to local art scene and community as a whole. Campbell had helped organize the Maple Ridge Jazz and Blues Festival, as well as working with Meadow Ridge Rotary.
But the couple’s desire to spend more time on the craft of song writing and performing still beckoned. It was a calling that ended up taking them across the country, landing comfortably in the music rich East Coast community of Dartmouth, N.S. three years ago.
Now, three albums later, Campbell and Green make their way back to Maple Ridge May 15 for a one-night performance at Westacres in promotion of their latest CD, When One Door Closes.
Campbell says the journey has been rewarding, as they are making inroads in the music industry with their excellent musicianship and song writing. He said he and Green are digging deep into their life experience to share strong stories, offering a zest for life, and using their marital humour in both their song writing and performances.
Campbell said their new album is a result of their significant life changes, as they attempt to find their musical and artistic voices.
“It wasn’t easy” remarks Green. “We literally started over, choosing to follow our passion for music. We gave up a lot to do this.”
But the risk was worth it, he says. The culture of music is rich in the East Coast, where many a kitchen turns into a stage most Saturday nights, laughs Campbell.
He said it’s also strengthened their song writing skills.
“Change opens doors. It opens your eyes to where you are in life and where you want to go. So as songwriters, we’ve been growing, becoming more cohesive and developing our own style, which I think really comes through on our last CD,” said Campbell.
He said age also plays a role in the evolution of their music.
“Time turns precious when one turns 50. You begin to rethink why you’re doing what you’re doing and if that’s really what you want from life.”
He said the move east wasn’t some grand plan, but more of an opportunity of chance. They had been looking for a house to buy in Maple Ridge, but couldn’t find what they were looking for. A pair of invites from friends out east planted the seed and one visit helped the move grow.
“We though to ourselves, ‘why not now?’” said Campbell. “Everything just kind of lined up.”
With the help of funding through a successful Kickstarter campaign, Campbell and Green said they have pulled out all the stops with the help of producer, Jamie Robinson, and have created, without a doubt, their best work to date.
Campbell describes it as a contemporary folk/pop style from ballad to upbeat with a touch of blues, country and light rock. He said their songs range from happy to powerful to poignant.
Campbell said they are excited to be coming home to Maple Ridge for their show at Westacres.
“We may have moved out east, but we didn’t close the door on Maple Ridge. We still have plenty of friends and family here and nowadays, with social media, you’re never that far away. It will be nice to play here. We’re really looking forward to it.”