Meet Pete Campos. Asked about his role in keeping the trains running on time for live music at both the Rev Room and Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack, he claims to be “just a small part of the rock ’n’ roll machine,” but something tells me the venue owners, sound engineers and bands Campos has worked with over the years to create memorable live music might say otherwise. Campos, who hails from the outskirts of a one-stoplight town called Mangham, La., put together a 24-track guest playlist, “The One with the Songs,” for the Arkansas Times late last year. (It’s had a long hibernation, but we think it still holds up.)
Here’s that playlist with selected commentary from Campos, and a few questions we threw his way to get a peek into what it’s like to work logistics for two of Little Rock’s foremost live music venues.
What’s the best thing about your work?
I love that every day is different. I consider myself very fortunate to constantly be around music and getting to meet so many awesome people, be they band members, crew or other concert attendees. I’ve met a ton of remarkable humans over the past 8-plus years.
What’s the worst thing about your work?
When there are more than two bands I really want to see playing on the same night. Truly the worst. #firstworldproblems.
Three bands/artists you’d jump for joy to see perform in (or return to) Little Rock?
Graveyard, Dr. Dog, Murder by Death.
Diamond Rugs, “Tell Me Why.” Behind Mad Season and The Traveling Wilburys, Diamond Rugs is one of my favorite supergroups. I also realized I cannot listen to this band and walk at the same time. My body is trying to walk, but inside my soul lives Elaine Benes.
Elise Davis, “Man.” She’s slaying it right now. I really love this album. Elise’s voice gets right into you. Another badass woman who tells it like it is.
J.P. Harris, “When I Quit Drinking.” I’ve been a fan of this guy since I caught him and his band The Tough Choices at Stickyz several years back. I might have a Nashville problem. I’m a huge fan of all the guys keeping traditional country music alive. It’s important. See: Joshua Hedley.
The Clash, “Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad.” St. Joe, forever.
Colter Wall, “Fraulein.” The first time I heard Colter, I thought I was listening to some grizzled old dude. Not even. My mind was blown. That voice. I chose this song not only to mention Colter, but also because it’s a Townes Van Zandt song and it features Tyler Childers. Listen to all these people; they are The Truth.
Chris Isaak, “There She Goes.” I love a good voice. I was working at Best Buy when this album dropped. I wore it out like a good music department employee should. I miss that job. The ’90s ruled.
JD McPherson, “North Side Gal.” If there’s one act I am going to go out of my way to see this year, it’s this guy. He’s been around for a little bit and I’m glad to see him getting a lot more exposure.
Bobbie Gentry, “Fancy.” Reba’s take was stellar, but here is where that came from.
Bully, “Trying.” File under: Nashville Awesome.
Silver Jews, “Suffering Jukebox.” Worth mentioning because we are allegedly getting new music and because Adam Faucett turned me onto this. I obviously love Adam more but this is pretty good. I wish I’d written this song.