Singing Sensations

Whitney, David Campbell
to perform at J.C. fair

They recently opened for country star Sara Evans;
to open for Lady Antebellum

(July 2014) – It is that time of year. The increased temperature and longer daylight hours fading into steamy summer nights provides the best backdrop for a county fair. Delighted cries ring out from riders on the Tilt a Whirl and the Gravitron; smells of cotton candy, funnel cakes, and fried fish sandwiches entice visitors to leave any plans to eat healthy at the entrance gate. The pop of balloons and the clink of the rings on glass bottle tops speak the promise of winning a giant prize with just one more attempt.


Photo provided

Southern Indiana natives Whitney and David Campbell have seen their singing careers take off.

This year the roar and the crash of the Jefferson County 4-H fair’s Demolition Derby will be replaced with the voices of three of country music’s rising stars at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10. For the first time, music lovers will take their seats in the grandstand to enjoy a concert that brings local musicians home again to perform for their family, friends and area fans. 
It all begins when Madison, Ind., native, Mathew Barringer, 24, takes the stage. Barringer moved from the area to Nashville, Tenn., in 2013. In that short time, he has completed an album titled, “Outcast,” with one single called “Blood on These Hands,” now available for download. The song has been given multiple five star reviews on iTunes since it was released in December 2013. 
Barringer began his music career as a child when he would play in church with his grandparents, Claude and Sandy Phillips, and their band, The Gospelites. He eventually grew to love country music as well as gospel and cites Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney as early influences on his career. Since moving to Nashville, Barringer has opened for numerous artists, most notably Kid Rock.


Photo provided

Madison, Ind.,
native Matthew Barringer will sing at the Jefferson County Fair. He recently opened for Kid Rock.

Barringer says he “learned a lot from that show,” such as how to take the pressure of playing for a huge crowd and channel that pressure into energy so that he can perform to the best of his ability. “I’m blessed to be able to make a living traveling around and playing music,” Barringer says about life on the road. He adds that it is even more special to him when he is able to return to his hometown to play shows for his friends and family.
Bar manager of the local VFW Post 1969, Crystal McHargue, says Barringer always draws a crowd. In fact, McHargue adds that Barringer has played the largest shows at the VFW “in over 80 years.”
Taking the stage after Barringer is country music duo David and Whitney Campbell, originally from Seymour, Ind., and Hanover, Ind., respectively. The Campbells are also living in Nashville, Tenn., full time and recently opened for country music star Sara Evans. Eddie Ray of radio station Q103.1 in Louisville, Ky., described the Campbells as a “fun couple who bring a lot of energy to the stage.” Ray plays host to a show called “The Next New Country with Eddie Ray” and met the couple through the station. 
Both of the Campbells began their musical careers at a young age. During David’s childhood, his father, Dave Campbell, played guitar and sang with a local band and still performs at the Ross Country Jamboree in Scottsburg, Ind. David said that at one time he rebelled against his country background and began to play pop music as well. “I always knew I could return,” he says about his country music background. David laughingly says that he feels this rebellious nature is what drew him and Whitney together since she was a “Southwestern High School Rebel.”
Whitney began singing in church at age 11. Encouraged by the Rev. Vickie Perkins, Whitney soon realized that singing was what she wanted to do with her life. She says she would like to use any success she and her husband achieve in order to help people – especially those with special needs. Whitney says her younger sister, Katy “Katybug” Hamilton, 20, who has special needs, is a source of inspiration to her and David.
“She loves to see us perform,” she says with affection. “She listens to us with her hand over her heart.”
The Campbells were already fully booked when asked to perform at the Jefferson County Fair, however, they knew immediately that they had to make the date work. The duo is excited to perform some songs that they have been working on for their upcoming album. They are especially eager to play a song titled, “Back Home,” for the local crowd. The song is about always remembering one’s roots, Whitney says. “Without roots, a tree doesn’t continue to grow, it falls!”
The Campbells can be seen frequently at various Tin Roof bar locations. Tin roof is a “live music joint” with locations all over the nation. On July 24, the couple will are scheduled to open for Lady Antebellum at the Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, Ind.

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