Brun Campbell is sometimes referred to as Scott Joplin’s disciple, and made the claim, incorrectly, as Joplin’s only white student. In truth, Campbell’s style was rather more coarse than Joplin’s and is probably our best chance to hear barrelhouse music as it existed at the turn of the 20th century. Although his pieces were generally referred to as rags, there are blues elements in many of them including blue notes and 12-bar blues structures.
Brun Campbell made recordings later in life, most of which are on Brun Campbell, Joplin’s Disciple from the Delmark label.
Campbell copyrighted several piano scores in the 1940s, though none were published. His best known rags were recorded but not written down. Fortunately, for us his entire catalog of piano solos has been transcribed and put into a portfolio, along with a reprint of one score, Barrelhouse Rag, by ragtime expert Richard Egan. Visit Richard Egan’s Discography and Publications page to order a copy.