Well, rock n roll’s best kept secret is out! Within the last couple months, The Dirty Knobs have released their first original single “Wreckless Abandon” — the title track to their debut album set to be released March 20th — and announced a national tour that sold out in literal minutes. People are finally catching on to the magic that is The Dirty Knobs although this band has actually been around for nearly 15 years! So, who are these Dirty Knobs? Lead singer and founder of the band is none other than Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Fleetwood Mac guitarist Mike Campbell.
Mike started the band well over a decade ago as just a fun side project to let his creative juices flow while touring and working with The Heartbreakers. After some time to heal from the shocking passing of his musical life partner, Tom Petty, and an incredibly successful tour with Fleetwood Mac, Mike is ready to focus all his energy on The Knobs. And, he couldn’t ask for a better band of brothers to take on this journey! The Dirty Knobs are comprised of guitarist Jason Sinay (aka, Ape), bassist Lance Morrison (aka, Crawdaddy), drummer Matt Laug (aka, Swampfox) — all who have had impressive musical careers — and, of course, lead singer and guitarist, Mike Campbell (aka Gator).
A big part of what makes Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs so special is their compassion for people and animals.
We were fortunate enough to catch the Knobs for two sold out nights at The sOhO in Santa Barbara on January 24th and 25th to celebrate the monumental hotel’s 25th Anniversary. The original show sold out so quickly that they had to add a second night just to accommodate the demand for this band! Both nights The Dirty Knobs rocked the crowd with electrifying guitar solos, funky baselines, songs from their upcoming album, such as “Pistol Packin Mama”, “F*ck That Guy” and “Sugar”… to name a few, while paying tribute to Tom Petty by covering songs that him and Mike wrote together. You never really know what to expect at a Knobs show; the band loosely follows their set list by adding in guitar solos where they feel it or even asking the crowd for special requests.
A big part of what makes Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs so special is their compassion for people and animals. In 2008, Mike and his wife Marcie started a program called Rock The Dogs, run through Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund, to help raise money to save dogs who need surgery or have other medical issues. Once healed, the goal is to match these dogs up with people — sometimes even Veterans — who need companionship. Along with fans’ generous donations, The Dirty Knobs auction their merchandise and other items to raise money for the cause.
The Dirty Knobs are truly the whole package! If you’re a fan of some good old-fashioned rock n roll, do not sleep on this band! The Dirty Knobs are most likely coming to a city near you soon. Check the tour dates below and be on the lookout for their debut album, Wreckless Abandon, available on all platforms March 20th!
Photography by Gia Krietzberg