By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
DUNNVILLE—Local musician Chad Charles Campbell is well on his way toward completing his first official full-length album. One of the songs to be featured, titled I Think He Knew, is a touching tribute to Campbell’s childhood friend and NHL hopeful Daniel Minor of Lowbanks, who passed tragically last year following a battle with drug addiction.
“Daniel Minor was a great guy with a bright smile and a huge heart. He coached kids and always went out of his way to help. He always held a special place in my heart because the little guy who used to look up at me in the driveway went on to do amazing things in hockey and in life,” said Campbell, reminiscing about his friend. “I would often joke that I taught him everything he knew, but secretly hoped I made a positive impact on his life. Daniel reminded me of a younger version of myself. He was a loving father, passionate coach/hockey player, and wonderful friend. The news of his passing hit me hard because it made me wonder if there was something I could have done to help him. That night was an emotional and sleepless night. I wrote I Think He Knew in a matter of hours; it just poured out of me.”
Campbell said that in addition to paying tribute to his friend, he hopes the song will help shed light on the issues of addiction and mental health, which he says are often stigmatized: “Greater awareness and support systems are desperately needed. My wish is for this song to resonate with people and inspire them to reach out to someone who may be struggling.”
The video for the song was filmed on the Lakeshore Road driveway in Lowbanks where Campbell and Minor used to play hockey. It features former pro hockey player and recovered addict Brady Leavold, along with Minor’s son and wife.
“I purposefully had my son wearing a replica of the same vintage jersey I gave to Daniel when he was just a kid. It meant a lot to shoot the video back where I grew up…. I hope that somehow Dan knows I had the opportunity to play hockey with his son in the driveway with mine.”
Campbell said that Leavold reached out to him back in March to praise the song: “He believed strongly in the message and told me he would promote the song as much as possible. Brady was more than willing to be part of the video and was very grateful for the opportunity to relay his message about drug misuse and to honour Daniel at the same time. You may notice many of the people in the video were wearing Puck Support attire as well.”
Puck Support, founded by Leavold, is a foundation dedicated to providing support to those in the hockey world dealing with mental health and addiction struggles.
Campbell plans to donate a portion of the song’s sales to charity: “I believe we need more systems in place to help those who are impacted by drug misuse, both the individuals addicted as well as their friends and family…. I am still in the process of deciding which charities will benefit from the proceeds of this song in particular. I am also in the beginning stages of starting my own charity that will offer support with the road to recovery.”
Campbell said working on his new album has been a challenge, but a rewarding one: “The most difficult part so far has been choosing the best songs from my collection to include on my album…. I am in the studio multiple times each week with the intention of releasing a new song every five weeks, with a full LP completed by the end of the year. Ideas for lyrics and chord progressions are in my mind steady, but every song starts in my heart, inspired by someone or something from my life.”
Campbell’s music is available on all major streaming platforms, including iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer. To view the video for I Think He Knew, in addition to Campbell’s other videos, visit his YouTube. For more, visit rightarmrightarmrightarm.com.