Derral Campbell

Late Night Blues Host

"Good Rockin' Derral" Campbell was raised in Eureka California, where a high school teacher pointed out the 12-bar structure of the Blues as it was employed in the Surf hit, "Wipeout." Later, he attended a 1966 show at the Fillmore Auditorium that featured an appearance by Junior Wells, Buddy Guy & Otis Spann. Counting the 12-bar Blues to these Chicago Blues giants set the hook, and a life in the Blues was begun.

After a 15-year career as a logger, Derral went back to Humboldt State University with the goal of becoming a Blues DJ. By 1986 he was hosting The Rhythm Roundup on KHSU-FM, and retained that show for a few more years after beginning The Q-92 Blues Revue on commercial station KRED-FM in 1991. When that station's format switched to Country, he moved the Blues Revue to KXGO-FM where he stayed until his move to Redding in 2003. Derral began hosting Rollin' the Blues on JPR's Rhythm & News Service in 2004, soon joining Paul Howell alternating weekends on Late Night Blues.

When he’s not spinning discs at JPR or writing for the Jefferson Monthly, Derral can be found playing sax in The Blues Rollers, hiking in the northstate wilderness with his camera to take shots for his yearly nature calendar, and supplying the JPR Redding studios with the bounty from his vegetable garden.

There’s a kind of vitality I feel on the coast. It must be the nearness of the sea, something about ions or charged particles. And it extends to music; during a Eureka visit in 1983 I caught the legendary Roomful of Blues at a great venue and immediately began to plan a return to Humboldt County. In the next 20 years I witnessed an explosion of music in the area. 

In 2014, it became the Southern Oregon Music Festival. Before that it was the Medford Jazz Festival. When it began in 1989 it was called the Medford Jazz Jubilee. They had eight bands perform that year, and the community exploded in a celebration that has continued for 27 years. Like the Redwood Coast Jazz Festivals in Eureka, CA, the Southern Oregon Music Festival has evolved from the traditional, Dixieland jazz that was the foundation of the first fests, to include all forms of jazz, swing, blues, zydeco, R&B, rockabilly and funk.

Everlasting Blues

Apr 1, 2015

While the mainstream culture of America explores new trends in various genres of music, following the evolution of hip-hop, pop and the folk/singer-songwriter styles, blues-related music chugs along with modest markets and a narrow niche. Here are some of the best blues recordings I’ve heard lately.

I Say What I Mean by Jim Liban & The Joel Paterson Trio, Ventrella Records – Jim Liban has played blues harmonica for almost 50 years, based in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. He came to San Francisco in the late 60’s, where I saw him in a band called A.B.Skhy. 


Jul 1, 2014

Ralph J. Gleason was the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jazz and Rock critic in the 1960s, and I learned a lot from his columns. At the end of his thrice-weekly observations and reviews, he’d run a list 

of upcoming shows in the Bay Area. The bands seemed fascinating; names like Grateful Dead or Country Joe and the Fish signaled something fresh going on. The longest name was Charlie Musselwhite’s South Side Sound System, and I wondered what kind of music the man with the odd name made, and where in San Francisco was the South Side. Daly City?

Feasting On Blues

Aug 29, 2013

  The diversity of "Blues" music continues to reveal itself in 2013, as new releases within the genre highlight a variety of styles and approaches.