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WXXI-TV to air shows featuring John Cole, Darick Campbell

John Cole, right, performs with Joe Beard.
John Cole, right, performs with Joe Beard.

Two episodes from WXXI’s local music series "OnStage" will be re-broadcast over the next two Sundays in recognition of two local musicians who passed away in recent weeks, John Cole and Darick Campbell.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, WXXI-TV will present Joe Beard and the John Cole Band. While the hourlong show, originally broadcast in 2008, was largely a showcase for Beard, Cole and his band frequently backed the local blues icon, and Cole and his guitar playing are prominently featured.

Then at 3 p.m. May 24, an hourlong showing of "OnStage" will feature the 2007 performance of sacred-steel group The Campbell Brothers, built around the nucleus of Philip Campbell on electric guitar, Chuck Campbell on pedal steel and Darick Campbell on lap steel.

The blues singer and guitarist Cole died April 23. Campbell died earlier this week in Atlanta, where he lived.

Cole was born in Alabama and moved to western New York in 1956 after having played with blues and soul luminaries such as O.V. Wright, even turning down an offer to join James Brown’s band. Cole began playing with Beard in 1981, and put together the John Cole Blues Band in 1992, which featured his guitar and vocals.

Darick Campbell.
Credit The Campbell Brothers
Darick Campbell.

The Campbell Brothers, who grew up on Ripley Street in the shadow of their Rochester church on North Goodman Street, emerged from Rochester as music-festival favorites around the world. The group’s energetic live shows reflected the band’s role in services at the House of God Church, Keith Dominion, in Rush, but over time increasingly incorporated blues, soul, jazz and rock into its sound.

During its two-year run, "OnStage" presented 41 performances of mostly local musicians and some acts from the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Jeff Spevak is WXXI’s Arts & Life editor and reporter. He can be reached at

Jeff Spevak has been a Rochester arts reporter for nearly three decades, with seven first-place finishes in the Associated Press New York State Features Writing Awards while working for the Democrat and Chronicle.