Hearing Shannon — A Pet Rock Star Repository

The other day my colleague Sarah Apetrei called the attention of our Theology Faculty to the the fact that our hard-working, thoughtful Graduate Studies Administrator Nick Fowler (Sarah identified him as ‘Nick “Growler” Fowler’ but I don’t know if that’s an official nickname) is touring Norway as bass player in Gaz Coombes’s back-up band (keep an eye open for him in these appearances on Jools Holland’s Late night BBC show). No one seriously accuses Theology Faculties of being the centre of coolness, but I’ve worked among (and just plain ‘met’ incidentally) some impressive musicians, from my Disseminary pal Trevor at Seabury (and Tripp there also) to Doug at Glasgow and now Nick here at Oxford; and Margaret had a connection with Thomas Joseph White of the Hillybilly Thomists when she was at Duke).

That reminded me that I was listening to one of my favourite singer-songwriter cuts a while ago, when I though I’d look up her home page to see whether I’d scoured it for all her recordings. Shannon Campbell had let her web presence lapse, alas, but the Wayback Machine has a long memory and I was pleased to see her music archive is preserved in digital amber. Better still, the Archive preserves all the lyrics and backstories she supplied.

My favourite is probably also her best-known recording, ‘Dreaming of Violets’ (with Scott Andrew LePera); her cover of ‘Landslide’ is strong, too, and there are a lot of other recordings here (many that I hadn’t downloaded before). I’m going ahead to download them all, so that if the Archive ever succumbs to entropy, there will be at least a chance that my copies will have survived — so you can ask me if you have any trouble downloading them from Wayback. I promised Shannon to download all I can to save them and pass them along to as many people as I could — she’s a lovely friend, and I’m very happy and proud to call attention to her work.

So listen to and ask others to listen to ‘Dreaming of Violets’; there are tons of recordings that have gotten more attention with less finesse, and it would be a great thing for Shannon to see a fresh wave of people enjoying her gifts again. Download, pass ’em along, and thank you, Shannon!

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