Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams Reminisce on Falling in 'Love at First Sight': 'It Was Our Destiny' (Exclusive)

The couple, who have been married since 1988, are releasing their fourth album 'All This Time' on April 5

<p>Gregg Roth</p> Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

Gregg Roth

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

The year was 1986, and all it took was one look between Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams at The Bottom Line — an old music venue in New York City — for the pair to fall head over boots for each other.

Fast forward 38 years, and the pair of married musicians are releasing their fourth album, aptly titled All This Time, on Friday, April 5.

“I had COVID when it was brand new, and my whole life stopped. Teresa was in Manhattan. She couldn't come up to our house in Woodstock. We couldn't be together. We were on the phone every day. She pulled me through it,” Campbell, 69, tells PEOPLE of what inspired the new record all about “relationships,” adds Williams, 68.

<p>Gregg Roth</p> Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

Gregg Roth

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

Campbell got so sick at one point that he spiked a terrible fever, and Williams worried he was headed for organ failure if the fever didn’t improve.

“It catches me even still when I go back in that space,” she recalls, getting choked up. “The day after his fever broke, it was just relief. You're flooded with relief. And then the next day, it was just this cloud. You're just let down from the joy, you just realize we have truly been through the valley of the shadow of death.”

As Campbell recovered with his wife's support, he found that he was also re-energized by songwriting.

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“Slowly after I started to come out of it, these moments of inspiration would come. And for me, it's always a melody first,” explains Campbell, who also served as Tracy Chapman's fiddler. “Some melody would start playing in my head and it would be inspiring, and then I'd pick up a guitar and record the melody and slowly all that stuff started to snowball.”

Then, with the help of Williams’ masterful lyricism, the couple’s fourth album came into focus.

“The name All This Time is just perfect because it's like different phases of a relationship and the ups, the downs, all of that, it's in there,” says Williams.

<p>Gregg Roth</p> Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

Gregg Roth

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

The pair first met in 1986 when a mutual friend of the couple — then strangers — invited them both to perform at The Bottom Line in New York City.

“And at that time, it was in the middle of this urban cowboy nonsense in New York, which had been going on for years, where country music was fashion and every woman in New York with a guitar thought they were a country singer,” says Campbell.

Despite his initial hesitation, however, the multi-talented musician agreed to the gig.

“I show up at the rehearsal, and I saw Teresa, and then after my jaw got back up off the floor, I heard her sing, and I was in,” he adds. “She was so refreshing. This was a woman who claimed to be a country singer that actually was a country singer. That had everything going. It was completely authentic, and I was smitten. That was it.”

Williams recalls a similar story from her perspective — down to the anticipation that her counterpart was going to be completely lackluster, too — until she heard his song selection.

“I thought I was just really going to be a big problem in New York City with the New York City players because I was a snob, and I thought they wouldn't know how to play country music. I thought it was an oxymoron, actually, ‘New York City country player,’” she recalls. “I heard [Larry] playing before I saw him, and he was inside, it was some Hank Williams music. I was just like, 'Whoever you are, you're saving my life.' So I was in love from hearing him. And then after the rehearsal when we locked eyes and I thanked him for coming down… it really was love at first sight for me.”

Still, the couple had to overcome a few road bumps on their way to happiness (namely, Campbell had to get out of another relationship, first).

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“It took a year for us to get back together because of mitigating circumstances, but I thought about her the whole time, and it was our destiny, for sure. We got married October 15th, 1988,” he says.

Campbell quips, “One of the few things I remember!"

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