Ted Russell Kamp
Cool West Coast Country Music For Driving Long Distances.
Ted Russell Kamp is one of those names and I’m sure even ‘one of those faces’ that will get music fans scratching their chins thinking “Where do I know him from?”
Well; primarily he’s been Shooter Jennings bassist since 2004 and he’s toured with and appeared on albums by ‘name’ artists as long as your arm too.
With all that in mind it’s staggering to think that this is his 11th solo outing! Where does he find the time? Thankfully he does find the time, because right from the bouncy Rocking Country Twang of opening track Home Away From Home right through to Country Rock of finale Roll On Through The Night his class and quality shines through with every word and note.
I really don’t know what has impressed me most here, the songwriting? Heart Under Pressure (Co-write with Jaime Wyatt) and Freeway Mona Lisa would have hipster critics drooling if they were on trendy albums by guys in fashionably battered trucker caps and designer stubble; but here they just help shore up even better songs around them.
When I were but a lad, a DJ called Dave Lee Travis on Radio 1 played the likes of the The Eagles, Doobie Brothers and Creedence long before they became Stars; and called it ‘Driving Music’ and that’s what I guess these delightful and well crafted Modern/Alt. Country songs are to me……. when I’ve had this album; and in particular We Don’t Have To Be Alone, Get Off The Grid and the oh so lonesome sounding Just About Time For a Heartache the miles just fly by.
While I appreciate the hard work that goes into writing and recording, Ted manages to give both Less Thinkin’/More Drinkin’ and Written in Stone an effortless sense of cool; which is quite an achievement.
Speaking of skillful songwriting we have to jump back to the beginning for the two songs that tie for the title of ‘Favourite Song’ here; track #2 Paid By The Mile (co-write with Sam Morrow no less!) is cracking song about the trials and tribulations of a touring musician who if he got paid ‘a dime for every line on my face’ or a ‘nickel for every song he tried to write’ and ‘if he only got paid by the mile’ his life and bank account would be a whole lot more healthier!
This followed by This Old Guitar which is probably even a companion piece, as it’s very much a songwriter’s song that will touch other musicians more than fans like me; but when Ted sings,
“When you play rock and roll long enough, the blues is what you get”
You know exactly how he feels and where he’s coming from.
WALKIN SHOES has been like a breath of fresh air this week, with Ted Russell Kamp creating a cracking album that criss-crosses all of the strands we can think of in Country music with consummate ease and skill. Plus these songs are capable of sounding right at home in your local bar or on the stage of some gigantic hall in front of 10’s of thousands.
Released USA March 15th 2019
Released Europe 25th September 2018