Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell’s side band The Dirty Knobs releases debut, ‘Wreckless Abandon’

The Dirty Knobs, the band fronted by founding Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, release their debut album, Wreckless Abandon, today.

The group treads similar sonic ground as Petty & the Heartbreakers, with influences including 1960s British rock, The Byrds, heavy blues and Southern boogie.

That being said, Campbell tells ABC Audio that he made a concerted effort to create songs that didn’t mimic the music of his late friend and band mate.

“[Tom and I] grew up in the same area, have the same inflections,” Mike notes. “And I noticed that, so I tried, and I think successfully, to filter a lot of that out and try to find my own voice. Of course, some of it comes out ’cause it’s in my DNA.”

Regarding how The Dirty Knobs differ from The Heartbreakers, Campbell says, “It’s a four-piece band. There’s no keyboards, just two guitars, bass and drums, and we turn the guitars up a little bit to fill out the sound…So it’s a little more over-amped maybe.”

Wreckless Abandon includes guest contributions from country star Chris Stapleton, Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, and Sir Douglas Quintet keyboardist Augie Meyers.

In celebration of the album’s release, a special performance The Dirty Knobs filmed without an audience recently at the famed Los Angeles-area venue The Troubadour will be streamed tonight at 8 p.m. ET on, and will be available for viewing on-demand through November 30. The event is free, although viewers are encouraged to donate to NIVA, which supports independent music venues hurting financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campbell says of the event, “You can see the band played the record live. We [also] did a couple of Heartbreakers songs, some covers, and it came out really good.”

Here’s Wreckless Abandon’s track list:

“Wreckless Abandon”
“Pistol Packin’ Mama” — featuring Chris Stapleton
“Southern Boy”
“I Still Love You”
“Irish Girl”
“F*** That Guy”
“Don’t Knock the Boogie”
“Don’t Wait”
“Anna Lee”
“Aw Honey”
“Loaded Gun”
“Don’t Knock the Boogie (Coda)”

By Matt Friedlander
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