Interviews gaslight1_resized

Published on March 22nd, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with Gaslight Street frontman Campbell Brown

Metronome Charleston‘s weekly Punch List puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, and vices. This week, singer/guitarist, songwriter, and bandleader Campbell Brown of soul-rock act Gaslight Street responds.

1. What is your favorite local hang and why?

“I think those can change a lot, but it has always consistently been the Pour House. Alex [Harris] has been giving myself and every musician in town or out of town a great place to play and meet other like-minded freaks. That place is just really good for the soul.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…

“Everyone is smiling on stage and off. Well, there’s always that one pissed-off dude in the corner because you didn’t play ‘Wagon Wheel’ … don’t worry, bro, we’re learning it. But, yeah, it’s a feeling that stays with you for a couple of days or longer sometimes — and most of the time it’s free.”

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?

“The Sol Driven Train show at the Charleston Music Hall last month. Man, those guys put on a great show! It’s very inspiring to see what they have done in this town and just about every other one too. This town is full of bands and musicians alike that are accomplishing so much on a grand scale. It’s pretty damn cool what’s going on around here right now.”


Gaslight Street (L to R): Stratton Moore, Noelle Pietras, Whitt Algar, Ben Kinser, and Campbell Brown (photo by Stratton Lawrence)

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.

“Roots music … man, just don’t know what else to say.”

5. What’s your theme song?

“‘Why Is It So Hard’ by Charles Bradley. It’s a song that resonated with me immediately and just kind of reminds me to be honest with the way you feel and not worry about what else may try to bring you down. It makes my hair stand on its ends.”

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?

“My amp. It’s a heavy SOB, but that keeps people from taking it I think. Anyway, it’s a Mark IV Mesa Boogie head and 2×12 speaker cab, 85 Watts, four 6L6 tubes, and a bunch of nerdy shit that I haven’t figured out yet. It’s dirty, clean, nasty — whatever you want her to be.”

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?

“Ray Charles’ debut Ray Charles. I feel like I was able to turn a new leaf after listening to this album for the first time. His vocal abilities really captured my attention, and I sort of went to school on it. His phrasing and vocal control and his ability to cut straight through to your soul were like nothing I’d ever heard before, and it still moves me today.”


8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?

“My last Bill Murray sighting at the Tattooed Moose … another great place.”

9. What’s your poison?

“Whiskey and Hot Tamales. I usually go whiskey on the rocks. Woodford is my brand of choice. And I’m an equal sucker for the candy Hot Tamales. I’m not sure I’ve tried them at the same time.”

10. In 10 years, I will be…


For nearly five years, Campbell Brown has led local rock/roots group Gaslight Street through all sorts of Southern soul, electric blues-rock, and Americana. The band’s current lineup features Brown on lead vocals and guitar with backing from singer Noelle Pietras, keyboardist Whitt Algar, drummer Stratton Moore, bassist Ben Kinser, and (their most recent addition) guitarist Dan Wright. Their latest studio collection is titled Idle Speed.

Gaslight Street performs at the Brick on Fri. March 22 at 8 p.m. and Loggerhead’s on Folly Beach on Sat. March 30 at 10 p.m. The band also headlines the seasonal kick-off event of Irvin-House Vineyards’ “Sippin’ Saturdays” on Wadmalaw Island on Sat. March 30 at 12 p.m. The winery will serve up food from Lowcountry Creole for locals and visitors. Admission os free. Wine may be purchased by the glass or bottle and enjoyed outside.

Visit for more. Top photo by Stratton Lawrence.



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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