Craig Campbell - "Family Man"
By: Matt Bjorke
If ever there was a song that was made for these tough economic times it is Craig Campbell’s debut single “Family Man.” The song starts off with visual lyrics like “I've been working as a temp at the local factory, I hope they hire me on full time, ‘cause I’ve got shoes to buy and mouths to feed.” If anyone’s been out of work for any period of time and has had to take on jobs like the one chronicled in the first verse of “Family Man,” they’ll certainly relate to why Craig Campbell works as hard as he does: for his family.
The second verse which discusses a buy here, pay here truck also touches right down main street as many more people in America can’t afford to or have enough credit to buy a car from anywhere but such local car dealerships. It’s not the thing we want to do (status symbols and all) but it’s what we need to do to get from home to work and back and the song says that Campbell’s narrator does these things because that’s what’s ‘the fire in my drive home…the living, breathing reason that I am…A Family Man.”
The lyrics of the song - which was co-written by Craig Campbell himself - are meat and potatoes country music and Keith Stegall’s production matches the lyrics with tender, beautiful production that frames each lyric in a wall of contemporary country sounds that isn’t too different from the approach he takes with Alan Jackson’s albums. This is a neo-traditional country song from a talented singer who also happens to be a talented songwriter in his own right. If some radio stations can get past the ‘depressing’ nature of the first couple verses and realize that this song fits right in the pocket of their demographic, they’ll realize that “Family Man” is a fantastic debut single with the kind of sharp songwriting that builds solid careers.