Cameron McLaughlin


Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Roanoke, Virginia, Cameron started playing bass as a freshman in high school in 1996. He was self-taught for many years until he met local bass legend Bernard Hairston. After a year of lessons, and graduating high school, Cameron went to Virginia Tech and was immersed into the jazz department where he became the driving force behind the school’s jazz and vocal ensembles. He also played in as many as 5 gigging bands at a time during his 8 year tenure in Blacksburg. During that time, Cameron played no less than 2000 shows, and shared the stage with many established artists such as: The Legendary Wailers, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, Molly Hatchet, Lupe Fiasco, Ludacris, and many others.

After graduating college in 2004, he collaborated with Michigan bassist Matt Henninger to create a dual bass project which ultimately led to the creation of Balancing Act. Centered around the intricate bass work of Matt and Cameron, Balancing Act put together an organic mix of funk, neo-soul, and groove jazz on their self-titled debut album released in 2006. An unusual concept in theory, the two-bass style of this six-piece ensemble worked superbly in practice and allowed Henninger and McLaughlin to layer various melodies and rhythms on top of each other in sophisticated and increasingly funky ways. They went on to garner positive reviews from Bass Player Magazine, and Bass Guitar Magazine. They also licensed the album to MTV, and clips were used for episodes of Punk’d and Making the Band.

Cameron continued to hone his abilities on stages across the states with various artists including Danni Rosner, the Alliens, and Duality, and wound up being an integral part of his cousin Samantha Farrell’s projects from 2007 to present. Samantha had begun working with LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthew’s Band, and she needed a capable bassist to give her music the attentiveness that it deserved. Cameron moved to Charlottesville, VA in 2008 to record and work with Samantha on what would ultimately become the first and last executive produced record by LeRoi, who passed away due to complications from an ATV accident.

Following LeRoi’s death, Cameron moved back to Roanoke and continued to work with and share the stage with world class musicians locally and abroad.

Cameron is an eclectic bassist not bound by genre who tries to find new functions for his bass at every chance. Cameron, now 29 years old, has been playing bass for 14 years, and he continues to push the boundaries set forth by convention.

Personal Note: I like things a bit dirty and gritty. I enjoy artists who aren’t afraid to take chances and try something new. I like to hear humanity in music. I don’t like limitations, however, I try to balance minimalist function with spontaneous interaction and exploration with the musicians that I’m playing with. I like manipulating time, as there is so much space that is rarely explored. I specialize in “playing the gig,” while also maintaining a conscious effort to express myself as an individual and as an artist. Do not hesitate to contact me for lessons, studio, live, or touring opportunities.