Out Now: ‘External Combustion,’ a New Album from Mike Campbell & the Dirty Knobs (Listen)


Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

External Combustion is a new record from Mike Campbell & the Dirty Knobs, the second full-length from the ensemble fronted by the heralded Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist/songwriter. The album was made available today, March 4.

It was previewed in recent weeks with a handful of tracks, including the gritty “Electric Gypsy,” with a video depicting Campbell wandering the desert alone before his band mates (guitarist Jason Sinay, bassist Lance Morrison and drummer Matt Laug) show up and the group begins some serious jamming:

Click here to pick up External Combustion on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up External Combustion on LP from our Rock Cellar Store

Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople fame turns up on “Dirty Job,” one of three collaborations on the record (the others are with Campbell’s Heartbreakers pal Benmont Tench and singer/songwriter Margo Price):

“The band became this spontaneous type of combustion—to borrow a word,” Campbell said of the new record’s studio sessions. “The longer we played, the more intuitive it got.”

The track listing:

1. Wicked Mind
2. Brigitte Bardot
3. Cheap Talk
4. External Combustion
5. Dirty Job (featuring Ian Hunter)
6. State Of Mind (Featuring Margo Price)
7. Lightning Boogie
8. Rat City
9. In This Lifetime
10. It Is Written
11. Electric Gypsy

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More on the album’s story:

Co-produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias (The Black Crowes, The Jayhawks), the 11-track album was recorded at Campbell’s home studio, Hocus Pocus Recorders in Los Angeles. External Combustion also features Margo Price and Ian Hunter as well as piano from fellow Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers founding member Benmont Tench on “Lightning Boogie.” Although Campbell wrote most of the songs on the new album within the past year, two of the tracks had been written in the 90’s, only to be rediscovered in Campbell’s extensive vault of unreleased compositions.

Stream it below.

Mike Campbell & the Dirty Knobs will promote the record with their first headlining tour — which itself has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, affording the group a unique perspective as it pertains to coming up with a set list:

“The band’s too good,” says Campbell as he prepares for the upcoming tour. “And now we have two albums to draw from when writing setlists.”

March 9—Tampa, FL—The Orpheum
March 11—Gainesville, FL—High Dive
March 12—Gainesville, FL— High Dive
March 15—Nashville, TN—Brooklyn Bowl
March 17—Philadelphia, PA—World Café Live
March 19—Boston, MA—Brighton Music Hall
March 20—Boston, MA—Brighton Music Hall
March 23—New York, NY—Brooklyn Bowl
March 25—Derry, NH—Tupelo Music Hall
March 26—Ridgefield, CT—Ridgefield Playhouse
March 28—Alexandria, VA—The Birchmere
March 30—Indianapolis, IN—The Hi Fi Lounge
March 31— Indianapolis, IN—The Hi Fi Lounge
April 2—Chicago, IL—Park West
April 4—Minneapolis, MN—Fine Line
April 15—San Francisco, CA—The Independent
April 16—San Francisco, CA—The Independent
April 19— Los Angeles, CA—Troubadour
April 20— Los Angeles, CA—Troubadour
April 23—Boulder, CO—Fox Theatre
April 24—Denver, CO—Bluebird Theater
April 26—Dallas, TX—Trees
April 28—Houston, TX—Warehouse Live Studio
April 30—Austin, TX—Antone’s
May 1—Austin, TX—Antone’s
June 2—Boise, ID—Ford Idaho Center Arena*
June 3—Portland, OR—Sunlight Supply Amphitheater*
June 4— George, WA—The Gorge Amphitheatre*
June 11—San Bernardino, CA—Glen Helen Amphitheater*
June 16—Bakersfield, CA—Mechanics Bank Arena*
June 17—Wheatland, CA—Toyota Amphitheatre*
June 18—Mountain View, CA—Shoreline Amphitheatre*
June 23—Salt Lake City, UT—USANA Amphitheatre*
June 24—Denver, CO—Pepsi Center*
June 25—Denver, CO—Pepsi Center*
July 23—Chicago, IL—Wrigley Field*
*w/ Chris Stapleton



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