by Robert Bell
What do Glen Campbell, Paul Westerberg, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard have in common? They're all featured, in one way or another, in Campbell's latest video, "Ghost on the Canvas." The tune — penned by Westerberg, who appears in the video — is also the name of Campbell's final album. In June, Campbell announced he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and that the album and tour would be his last.
"Ghost on the Canvas" follows the lead of 2008's "Meet Glen Campbell," which found the Delight native covering an unlikely array of material, including tunes by The Velvet Underground, The Replacements and The Foo Fighters. The new album includes numbers written by Westerberg, Jakob Dylan and Robert Pollard (in case you're curious, Campbell's version of "Hold on Hope" is every bit as saccharine and cloying as GbV's original head-scratcher).
The title tune is suitably dramatic, with big, weepy strings and production that echoes Campbell's classic late '60s and early '70s pop-country majesty. It includes a guitar line that, to these ears, recalls a slow version of Fred Neil's classic "Everybody's Talkin.'" In addition to the trippy paint-swirl patterns and vintage gear are three of Campbell's children — Cal, Ashley and Shannon Webb Campbell. Westerberg is the artist creating the ink portraits of the country giants.
If you want to see Campbell perform live, you'd better get your tickets soon. He's playing two dates at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Nov. 30 and Dec. 5, with two dates at Branson's Tri-Lakes Center sandwiched in between, on Dec. 2 and 3.
The video is after the jump.