by John Tarpley
His vocal mastery overshadows his brilliance on guitar, his indiscretions have overshadowed his vital place in pop music history and the fact he's a living legend has obscured the fact that Glen Campbell is, simply, something of a genius. If you've ever had any doubt — and if you'll pardon my latent record-store geek screaming at you — please, please get to a record store (or here for $6) to pick up "Wichita Lineman," his essential 1968 album that sidles the boy from Delight, Ark., next to French chanson territory and my pick for the greatest album ever made by an Arkansan. That album alone should give him a lifetime pass to the Brilliant Musicians Circle. But if you dig into his oeuvre, it's hard to dodge pieces of countrypolitan gold like 1978's "Basic" or endearingly catchy curiosities like "It's the World Gone Crazy," his synthy shot at '80s cred that's due for a rediscovery. The septuagenarian is keeping at it, turning his skill at interpreting songs to classics by The Velvet Underground ("These Days") and new standards by Green Day ("Good Riddance," believe it or not). But with the Rhinestone Cowboy nowadays preferring to fine-tune his golf game rather than tour, this show marks a rare homecoming appearance for Campbell. I, for one, wouldn't dream of missing it. And with this being the holidays, I predict a few choice picks from his Christmas albums sprinkled in the setlist.
UPDATE: UCA tells us that all of the 1,200 tickets for the show are sold out as of Tuesday. Wow. Go, Glen.