Union native and solo musical artist Matthew Campbell, with City of Union Music, will tour the area after a year touring abroad.

Previously a member of the Indie-pop band January May, the group parted ways and Campbell is “taking on the road by himself.”

Campbell said he came up with the idea for the band name “City of Union,” while taking promotional photos. The band is called City of Union, but when he’s in Union, he adds “music” to keep any confusion at bay.

While taking pictures at city hall, the curtain that says “City of Union” framed one photo, Campbell explained.

And while at first, the name was mostly just an homage to his home and that photo, it has since evolved into something more.

“People from Union will think it’s just the name of a place, but people (abroad) will look at (the word Union) as unity and togetherness,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he’s excited to be back in the United States and home, in Missouri.

“I expected to be bored with the landscapes, but I’ve realized that Missouri and surrounding areas have their own sort of beauty that I never saw until I left,” he said. “I’m seeing things in a whole new way and it’s kind of exciting.”

Background

Campbell, the son of Marty and Terri Campbell, grew up in Union. He graduated from Union High School in 2012.

In grade school, he and his brother, Zechariah Campbell, joined a band, January May, and began playing cover songs. In 2014, band members moved to Houston, Texas.

In 2016, the band broke up and the brothers moved to New Zealand.

This is Campbell’s first time back in the United States in over a year.

After the tour, he will travel to Melburn, Australia, to embark on a new musical project with City of Union Music.

The style is similar to that of January May, Campbell said.

“The only thing that really shifted is I got away from the focus on the musical parts and really honed in on lyrical content,” he said. “I’m trying to write songs that have lyrics where you can feel something and that tell a story.”

Performances

Campbell will perform Friday, Sept. 8, at 8:30 p.m., at Elmer’s Tavern, 2 S. Church St., Union;

Sunday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. at Marquart’s Landing, 300 W. Front St., Washington; and

Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m., at Pasta House, 101 E. Independence, Union.

All performances are free.

The tour will end in Shreveport, La., Oct. 5, before Campbell leaves for Australia.