On February 9 2021, my wife Alicia and I welcomed Gabriel George Campbell into the world, so this is my first official one of these. We're entirely overwhelmed with all the emotions and joy that come with this in such a beautiful way. Gabe is the most amazing thing that's ever happened to us and we're grateful for a happy, healthy new addition to our still new little family. But naturally, there's a story to be had...
29 weeks into the pregnancy, even though Gabe was growing healthily inside, Alicia was diagnosed with a serious condition called Vasa Previa (Google it man). The resulting prescribed treatment involved her moving into Pennsylvania Hospital to be under close monitoring for the following 5 weeks, and then having a planned C section at 34 weeks. This was both an amazing blessing in that this condition gone undiagnosed is one of the leading causes of still births worldwide, but also a bummer in that she had spent the previous several months reading and listening to everything she could get her hands on about birthing, and she had proudly landed on the decision to have a totally natural birth. This was now totally off the table.
In addition to all that, she'd be spending over a month alone in a hospital room in the middle of Philadelphia winter, in the middle of a global pandemic. Only I was allowed to visit, and even though she did end up with her own room throughout her stay, that meant that she was stuck in a room, mostly alone for over a month. Although they eventually gave her the OK to step outside now and then and say a quick hi to our boxer dog Fran, and I brought her by often. But it was a long month. My wife is one of the strongest people I've ever met and she plowed through this whole thing with deep breaths and smiles. Hell, she even figured out that taking 16 full laps around the hallway on her floor was equivlent to walking a mile, so she did that 3 times every day to keep the blood moving and keep the baby healthy.
As always, all I had to do was follow her lead and we both stayed strong and postive and got through it with the help of our amazing families and friends, and the amazing staff at Pennsy. And thanks to iPhones, we got a ton of the whole experience (argulably more than we should have ;) on video.
For a few years now I've had a song kicking around called "My Hope" that I've been playing live but never really recorded. It's morphed a few times, but was always lyrically just kind a list of the things that I hope that good people can have in life. Kids were always in mind when I'd play/sing it, and when we found out Alicia was pregnant, I realized the reason I never recorded it was becuase it was supposed to be for my kid. So I made a few changes to the lyrics and then called on my wonderfully brilliant artist/producer Bay Area based friend Scott Mickelson (Google him man) to help me bring it to life from opposite sides of the country. We worked on parts and arrangements via Zoom for a bit, and I eventually sent him a single Cigar Box Guitar track (holla to Deepseed Guitars), a few vocal tracks, and he did the rest.
When the song was all done, Alicia and I decided to take footage from our Gabe-related journey and make it the official video for my first release in what has been a few years now.
My Hope for you is that you will discover everything the world needs you to be.
And not just the things that only serve the others, but what your heart has cried for so loudly.
My Hope for you is when you're starting over, that it can feel like something bold and new.
And not like the things so cumbersome and cluttered that you decided not to take with you.
My Hope for you is that you'll be forgiven, and learn to forgive when it's on you.
Because not everyone will mean to hurt the others.
Sometimes they can't help it, they just do.
My Hope is that you're hopeful when the gray sky swallows every bit up of the blue.
And the storms that wash away all the old lies leave at your feet something you can use.
And it won't be now
And you won't know how
But somehow you can do anything if you believe.
I'm me because of you.
My Hope is that you give someone a reason to wake from sleep when they're too tired to.
Because we're just moving one foot, then the other through the world that we were born into.
released June 20, 2021
Produced, engineered and mixed by Scott Mickelson
Mastered by John Mailoux
Jeff Campbell - Vocals, Cigar Box Guitar
Scott Mickelson - Bass, Keys, Programming, Acoustic Guitars
Frank Reina - Drums
(c) 2021 JeffCampbellMusic ASCAP
Jeff Campbell’s onstage experiences have taken him to coast to coast countless times and found him sharing stages with John
Mayer, members of Counting Crows, The Grateful Dead, and opening for Train. His 2013 EP Release, “In Spite of Everything”, produced by 6x Grammy Winner John Shanks, premiered at #1 on the iTunes rock EPs and singles charts, following a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!...more