the Campaign
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the Campaign

Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"the Campaign can rock the crowd."

The Campaign can rock the crowd.

There was a huge crowd recently at the downtown Dallas nightclub Liquid Lounge. The fans were screaming and impatient. But the entertainment wasn't one of Dallas' regular local bands.

The band was The Campaign, and it was only their seventh show.

Together for only six months, The Campaign already has a following of nearly 4,000 fans. In any business this is considered a triumph, but it's especially true in the music business, which is based solely on judgment and opinion.

The band considers itself a "super-cool pop" band, according to Tyler Wood, lead singer and keyboardist. Drummer Blaine Crews calls the group a "rock band with a lot of funk."

However, when one thinks of rock music, electric guitars immediately come to mind. But the band has gone against the grain and plays without one.

This trio of drums, bass and keys really has no need for a guitar player, according to the group.

"It makes us stand out," Wood said.

"Not to toot my own horn, but you really need a key player that plays rhythm and lead if you aren't going to have a guitar player," Wood said.

Wood, Crews and Paul Jenkins all met about seven months ago. Wood had been living in Austin for a year while pursuing a solo career. Growing tired of the Austin scene and feeling down about his music career, Wood was ready to come back to Fort Worth. Fortunately, he was told by a musician in Austin about a stand-up drummer living there.

Crews was immediately interested in the project, as he had just broken up with a band he had played with for several years. Crews automatically thought of Jenkins as someone to include on this project.

"I consider him one of the best bassists in the metroplex," he said.

The two both played as hired musicians in local bands and kept in contact with each other.

Now that the group is complete, The Campaign practices a couple of nights during the week at Wood's home in Fort Worth.
Each member came from different music experiences and styles, but they connected instantly. They had different ideas for the band, but all agreed on one thing.

"We want to be a band everybody talks about," Wood said. "Entertainers that never fail to bring it every time."

Although the band would love for music to be its source of income, the members each have day jobs to make a living. Woods works for an oil company, Crews works at a restaurant, and Jenkins works for a building company.

The band has since played a few times as The Campaign, gaining more fans with each show. They have played venues such as Aardvark, Poor David's Pub, The Cavern and Liquid Lounge.

"They have such high energy," said Hal Abney, a new Campaign fan who has attended two shows. "Every song has a great feel to it."

The Campaign members agree that Wood's piano skills hold the band together. Wood has been playing piano since he was 5, primarily learning classical music. After growing tired of the classical training, he wanted to learn to play bluesy, funky tunes. His teacher did not know how to teach those genres of music, so Wood taught himself.

Wood, 23, has now written a few dozen songs, all of which the band plays at shows. He usually comes up with an idea for a song and brings it to the rest of the group.

Wood said he only needs to give them the gist of a song, and Crews and Jenkins fill in the rest.

"These guys are good," Wood said.

At each show, the band hands out free demos with five songs. The Campaign wants people to listen to them and are confident enough that people will enjoy the demo so much that they will keep coming back to their shows.

Mike Pisterzi, producer and owner of Dallas recording studio Maximedia Productions, said he would love to meet the guys.

"Wood has a great voice and their writing is solid," he said.

"They have great harmonies."

However, Pisterzi, who used to be a rocker himself, thinks the band could use a guitar player. The band has been back and forth with the idea, but for now they think they are distinctive as a trio, Wood said.

The Campaign is not jumping at every opportunity that is thrown to them. The group is not only trying to make wise decisions, but also to have fun doing their live act and building up a strong fan base.

"We want to be pop stars, but not anything like what pop stars are today," Wood said.

The band has not faced any major setbacks so far in its career. But like any band, the members have learned to listen to each other and recognize each has their own opinion.

"We are all very strong-willed, and pretty opinionated. We butt heads, but at the end of the day we can all come to agreement about whatever it is we have been arguing about," Jenkins said.

The Campaign is a band that loves what it does. The band members aren't looking to become the next cookie-cutter pop band; they are looking to bring music back to honesty and heart.

"They just look like they are having so much fun up there, and that makes them even better to watch," SMU student Allison Catalani said.

Overall, The Campaign is excited about what lies ahead. The Campaign will open for Texas musician Bob Schneider on March 22 at Poor David's Pub in Dallas. - Tyler Guthrie, Contributing Writer,

"Vox Populi"

Three veteran scenesters have joined forces to wage a Campaign against the dirty side of "pop."

Separating the men from the boys, one three-part harmony at a time:
The blue-eyed piano-pop soul trio The Campaign isn't even a year old, but drummer-vocalist Blaine Crews, lead singer-keyboardist Tyler Wood, and bassist-vocalist Paul Jenkins already have a performance motto.

"We try to be showmen," said the 22-year-old Crews, a Harlingen native and ex-Austin scenester. "We have three goals: We want to sound as good as we can, we want to act as ridiculous as we can, and we want the audience to leave feeling happy."

A unique and welcome presence on the Fort music front, The Campaign usually fulfills its live-stage promises. Bass player Jenkins, 31, a former Louisiana State University football player, is the cool, stage-strolling straight man, while Crews and 24-year-old Wood, a Fort Worth native, provide much of the manic vibe, which is ironic considering that their instruments leave the duo little room to maneuver. Watching The Campaign perform live, you might wonder how Blaine can stay mounted to the skins, so powerful and kinetic is his stickwork. And Wood — a raspy-voiced, lilting crooner who's not too cool to say he loves Billy Joel and Elton John — sometimes just kicks his bench out from under him and leans into his Yamaha keys, cooing and belting as if he has only a couple-a seconds before turning back into a young white boy from an old black man.

"We're never satisfied with a performance," Crews said. "When we're driving back in the car afterwards, we're always nitpicking and saying, 'How could we have done that better?' "

The Campaign got started last July via sheer serendipity. Indeed, the band almost never happened. Two years ago, Crews was living in Austin and playing in a band that had just signed a deal with a Los Angeles management company, when the lead singer decided to move in the direction of marriage and family. After the break-up, Crews, seriously bummed and uncertain about his music career, moved here, where his parents live. At around the same time, Wood, who's been playing piano since grade school, moved from Fort Worth to Austin to try and establish himself in the music capital as a solo artist. Wood began casting around for a drummer to back him up. An acquaintance suggested Crews, and the two, Crews said, "just played off each other instantly" — so much so that Wood moved back to Fort Worth to continue his career here. Jenkins found them through another acquaintance and brought his love of the 1970s peak of disco/funk with him. Part of what makes The Campaign so unusual — and its members so simpatico — is the one other thing they all do well in addition to playing.

"We can all sing," Crews said. "[Wood] is the lead, definitely, but the three-part harmonies are a centerpiece of our sound. As far as we're concerned, harmonies are what separate the men from the boys in any band that cares about good music."

Although he doesn't reject the label altogether, Crews thinks that pop is "a dirty word": It implies corporate fabrication, market-driven musicmaking, boy-band roboticism, and so on. Crews feels that The Campaign aspires to pop as in "popular," earning acclaim because they're conscientious craftsmen of infectious melodies and danceable rhythms. He admits to going through a punk/thrash phase as a teen in which, he said, he would've thought a band like The Campaign was silly. "But that was out of immaturity," he said. "That came from not caring if people knew how to play their instruments well."

Crews doesn't come across as cocky, just enthusiastic and sincere and very hyped about the future. The Campaign is currently completing its debut e.p., due in July. Their jaunty, literate, keyboard-heavy music is indeed a little out there, even for North Texas, which is why Crews and company are aggressively pursuing connections with other bands. The Campaign is also considering adding a guitarist. (Crews invites interested, able parties to contact him at But the decision to move forward on adding a fourth Campaigner has been a difficult one.

"We have argued back and forth over this," he said. "We've started to feel like we've hit a ceiling, and we listen to our recordings and think, 'A guitar part would really fill that out, make it bigger.' But on the other hand, we have so much chemistry that it's going to be hard for another person to step in and click. We'll know [they jibe] when we meet them. - Jimmy Fowler, FW Weekly

"Ft. Worth Weekly"

Remember Camino? That awesome local piano-based rock band that managed to navigate the treacherous territory between Steely Dan (cool) and Coldplay (not cool)? Well, they live on, sort of, in new Fort Worth trio The Campaign. But where Camino was sort of monochromatic — beautiful and emotionally heavy, no doubt, but occasionally same-y and not in a good way — The Campaign, comprising Blaine Crews (drums, vocals), Tyler Wood (piano, vocals), and Paul Jenkins (bass, vocals), is soulful and colorful. After the band's performance at The Aardvark this Fri. with Radiant (featured in the story to the left), they will begin recording their debut e.p. For more, see

-fwweekly - hearsay

"On the March"

On the March
With a stellar new EP in pocket, The Campaign can mount a pianistic-rocking run at the Big Time.


After forming in mid-2006, the pop-soul outfit The Campaign quickly earned a reputation for both novelty and sheer professionalism. First there was the oddity factor. Lead vocalist Tyler Wood on keyboards, Paul Jenkins on bass, and Blaine Crews made for a piano-driven trio with nary a guitar within earshot. But anyone who caught the threesome at their best witnessed guys who were wildly kinetic, able to deliver fierce funkalicious grooves and sweet three-part harmonies while reveling in cheerful onstage antics.

The Campaign released its second, eponymous EP earlier this year, and the change in style was, well, noteworthy. Some six months earlier guitarist Clayton Fike was added to the lineup. His precise, shimmery fretwork — as deliciously close to ’80s New Wave as any Killers’ song has gotten — dominates three of the five tunes on the disc, all produced by local genius Will Hunt. Wood, who’s distinguished himself as a stellar practitioner of blue-eyed soul, lets his voice relax and recline in spacey multi-tracks. The Campaign is pleasurably sleek, contemporary, and radio-ready, proving that this quartet sounds at ease in unexpected territory. But does it signal a definitive new direction?

“No,” said 25-year-old Wood simply, with a raspy laugh. “My philosophy has always been, a good song is a good song. I don’t think our strength was only due to my keyboard playing.” In fact, he said, quite the opposite: “Having a great guitarist like [Fike] opens up the possibilities of what we can play. It’s always been important for us never to get trapped in one sonic vein.”

Wood spent years toiling as a solo singer-songwriter in Austin before coming to Fort Worth to head The Campaign in its three-man version. Wood, Jenkins, and Crews had debated adding a guitarist since the band’s inception. The novelty of relying exclusively on keyboards became as much a hindrance as a calling card — a good deal of piano-phobia still exists among music lovers who insist that you can’t really rawk without an axe in the mix.

Still, The Campaign has hardly put the ivories in mothballs. Wood points to a contemplative rocker on the new CD called “Taking My Chances,” in which his rhythm piano work rises to the fore. He remains the primary songwriter, and every tune he pens gets worked out at the keys. Woods’ simple, authentic lyrics remain an essential ingredient of The Campaign.

“I’m the opposite of abstract in my songwriting,” he said. “I like to have one message in every song that people can relate to. That’s why I like country music lyrics. The songwriter picks a cliché and then plays with it by writing around it. I’m happy to write a song that’s just about a guy who’s afraid to approach a girl in a club.”

As far as the apparent smoothing out of his trademark “white boy turned blue” vocals, Wood said that it’s all a matter of balance. He reveres singers like whiskey-throated U.K. superstar James Morrison and bearded soul-folkie Ray Lamontagne. But Wood said he’s grown weary of sounding like he’s merely doing a “soul singer” impersonation with his own vocals. “I think — I hope — that as I’ve started to mature, I’ve realized that I didn’t want to overdo that gruff, swoony quality,” he said. “It’ll always be there in different songs we play,” but right now one of The Campaign’s major goals is to demonstrate its stylistic versatility.

National exposure is also at the top of the band’s 2009 to-do list. The Campaign’s manager has been tirelessly circulating the band’s CD to the usual suspects: A&R reps for corporate and indie labels, song publishers, tour promoters, you name it. Earlier this year the guys expanded their touring horizons around the state and outside of it, headlining shows in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Wood has enough faith in The Campaign’s live chops that he’s willing to play for anyone who can provide a widely seen showcase. He knows the group is not easily labeled, but he likes the term “groove band” — their top priority is always the hook, the killer lick, the instantly memorable chorus.

Wood also is one of the few young musicians around who has something good to say about major labels. Horror stories are legion about alleged mistreatment of Super-Talented Local Band by Uncaring Corporate Suits, but Wood said: “I’m a little mystified by this anti-label bias. I mean, c’mon, the music industry is a business like any other business. It’s unfair, like life is unfair. Bands that suck can get promotions, and bands that’re great can get fired. But if you’re signed by a label, and they put out a bunch of money, then they want a return on their investment.”

For him, the U.K. band Travis and the Austin singer-songwriter Bob Schneider are examples of what artists can accomplish after rocky relationships with their own labels. “If you have one or two songs that people like, and then you’re cut loose, people will still come out to see you,” he said. “If you can build your own following with the live shows, then you’ll have a career regardless.”

Although he wouldn’t reject living the life of a Coldplay member, Wood said The Campaigners are not gunning to be global pop celebs. Earning a comfortable living making full-time music would be just fine with them. “If we can get that first opening slot on a tour with a national band, I really think we can hook ’em,” he said.

Email this Article... - Fort Worth Weekly

"Sweetest Things of 2008"

December 31, 2008
Lady Eve
New Year’s Eve Playlist

Ready to ring in 2009?

Spin this record, baby.

“The New Year,” by Death Cab for Cutie
(For those of you who consider NYE just another night.)

“Love Lockdown,” by Kanye West
(For steamy moments between you and your — fingers crossed — midnight kiss.)

“Naive,” by The Kooks
(You and your BFF still haven’t made up. Settle it on the dance floor.)

“The Easy Way,” by The Campaign
(Because we’re all looking for ways to cut corners.)

“Dancing with Myself,” by Billy Idol
(For those who prefer to fly solo — on and off the dance floor.)

“Your English Is Good,” by Tokyo Police Club
(After a whirlwind of an election year, it’s good to laugh about it a little.)

“Lucky,” by Jason Mraz (featuring Colbie Caillat)
(You fell in love in 2008. Now shout it from the rooftops.)

“The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance,” by Vampire Weekend
(After tonight’s antics, you know tomorrow won’t be pretty.)

“Human,” by The Killers
(Because tonight we’re dancers.)

“You Don’t Know Me,” by Ben Folds (featuring Regina Spektor)
(To the one you dated in 2008 that still leaves you dazed and confused.)

“Revelry,” by Kings of Leon
(For saying goodnight and good luck.)

- Daily Candy


the Campaign demo - 2007
the Campaign EP - 2008



To this end, Paul Jenkins, Clayton Fike, Blaine Crews, and Tyler Wood play their respective instruments, stopping at nothing to create an effective, musical, melodic, and original experience. With melodic vocals and harmonies, and mastered performances from each player, each song is an instrument of it's own. Stylistically, the Campaign harkens back to a time when artists didn't have to be constrained by one regurgitated form. Their style, having only one identifiable common thread. Each song is an attempt to create catchy lovable , soul inspired music, and the Campaign hopes you agree.