Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Bronco Roads

Riding Shotgun in the West with New Mexico’s Entertainment Icon


Two old friends got together last month and finally! The Paper. gets to tell you what they talked about. Stacy Dean Campbell made a trip back home to New Mexico last month from Nashville to hang out with his friend T Brock Fuller in the town of Bernalillo. The trip spurred an avalanche of ideas on the direction Campbell’s two-time Emmy Award winning series, Bronco Roads will take in 2024.  

The Paper. spoke with Campbell and his friend Fuller, a consultant and member of the Lodgers Tax Advisory Board, about their vision for the television series Bronco Roads. As host of the series, Campbell cruises America’s roads hunting down its history, music and cultural tales. While in the preproduction phase, they were holding their cards close and what we talked about was under wraps, but with Campbell’s recent PR announcement finally out, our gag order is off and here’s the insider’s scoop on his visit. 

Campbell’s co-star in the series, a cherished 1974 Ford Bronco, didn’t make the trip to New Mexico. However, looking for inspiration, Campbell and Fuller still drove the Land of Enchantment’s roads, brainstormed, followed leads, talked to a lot of economic development people, and checked out Silva’s historic saloon, in Bernalillo. Who is Campbell and what did he and his friend Brock come up with for kickstarting Bronco Roads next year? 

A Man of Many Talents Comes Home Again

Singer/songwriter, storyteller, actor and director Stacy Dean Campbell grew up in Carlsbad and made it big in the entertainment, film and literary fields. After his career took off, he settled in Nashville but The Land of Enchantment will always be home. “We've got pretty deep roots in New Mexico. We go way back for a couple of generations. I would call it my home state,” Campbell told The Paper.

Campbell started his music career in his twenties. In 1992 Columbia Records released his first album, Lonesome Wins Again and a follow-up album, Hurt City. When he moved to Warner Brothers, his song Ashes of Old Love, reached #3 on the Americana Music Chart in 1999. 

Campbell came back to New Mexico after a decade in Nashville to focus on his writing passion and penned his first novel, Cottonwood and Rambling Heart, a collection of short stories, essays & song lyrics. In the film arena, Campbell directed projects for Kris Kristofferson, LeeAnn Womack and Eli Young Band and others. Campbell and Kris Kristofferson co-hosted the acclaimed music series Troubadour, and his debut film Birth of Saint Eliseo - Protector de las Esposas, received praise from several notable film festivals. 

Campbell and Fuller have formed a new production company together called Loose Rooster Films, which, for the time being, will be based in Nashville. “The series is designed specifically for documentaries with a music element to them that will be very much involved with Bronco Roads,” Fuller told The Paper. “There's a lot of things going on in the state both historically, culturally and present day that are really good subjects for the series.” 

Bronco Roads is set to debut on National PBS in 2024. Why PBS? “I really enjoy their programming. And I feel like what I'm aiming to do with these particular projects they are the best fit and its where I feel really at home as a director, producer, and even an on-camera talent,” Campbell said. “I've always gotten a real welcoming response there. I'm a big fan of that of that platform, I've got good, good comrades there. I'm kind of excited about that.” By utilizing PBS, the series has the potential to reach an estimated viewing audience of 198 million television viewers and an online audience of approximately 33 million unique monthly visitors. 

The Bronco’s Tale - Ridin’ with Stacy

There's a whole “grab bag of feelings” that drew Campbell to write and direct Bronco Roads. “You love home, and home is always a place that grounds you and keeps you foundational. Sometimes it takes getting away from that to realize that you have that, and that you need that, and that you longed for that in a healthy positive way.” 

“I bought the Bronco in New Mexico after I read the book John Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie. I had the idea to go seek out and rediscover my own version of America. It is all original, except the wheels. It's been a good partner and it's got quite a bit of sentimental value. I'm excited to get back out there and share some more stuff with people.” 

Campbell said his hope is that the viewer rides shotgun in the Bronco traveling along with him. He wants you to jump into the Bronco as he takes you on a journey “chasing the story”. “They’re not an observer in the backseat watching things. I like them to feel involved in and drawn in,” Campbell explained.

Bronco Roads’ focus this time around is the American West. “It will probably start from New Mexico, being my home state, and then it will meander outward from there,” Campbell said. “Visiting Bernalillo was definitely a help, and visiting the Silva Saloon. Someplace like that, dates back to the 30s post prohibition and there’s some folklore of Al Capone hanging out there. Some of those elements are all over the place, and all over New Mexico in particular.” 

Traveling from “point A” to “point “B” takes a backseat if Campbell finds a rabbit hole to explore that wasn’t in production notes. “Primarily the series is about music, stories, places and people, and rediscovering my own sense of America. And, pretty much everything that I do has some type of a musical component to it. That's definitely a part of my DNA,” Campbell explained. 

Campbell said the upcoming projects he’ll be embarking on will have a deep-rooted base in New Mexico as his home state. “I'll be migrating out for the stories that may not specifically be right there, but the base of what we're doing will definitely, spear from here.  It'll have a definite New Mexico tie and definitely New Mexico flavors.”

Best of luck Loose Rooster! 

Sponsorship Opportunities for Bronco Roads are still available. For more information on the series contact Stacy Dean Campbell at 575.706.7111  or Brock Fuller, 520.604.2803


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