When singer, songwriter and bona fide multi-instrumentalist Ted Russell Kamp
isn't in the studio crafting his own brand of classic, country-rock tunes, he works his bass alongside the man who put the "O" back in country as part of Southern-rock rebel Shooter Jennings
' much-heralded musical crew The .357's.
Kamp's new solo CD, Divisadero
, showcases his fascination with and study of American roots music, his observational approach to songwriting, and his skills on no less than a dozen different instruments including lap steel, bouzouki, accordion, trumpet, Hammond B3, percussion, vocals and guitars. The disc arrives in stores January 30 on Kufala Records through Hepcat Distribution.
, which Kamp also arranged and produced, he shifts easily from the role of steadfast sideman to take the lead, delivering striking songs and performances, recalling by turns the gritty eloquence of Willie, Waylon and Kris and the yearning melodies of '70s-era songsmiths Gram Parsons
and Jackson Browne
. He flavors the mix with the sweet sounds of Memphis, New Orleans and Muscle Shoals; and the marinated roots rock of the Southwest.
The record is a cohesive and stylistic montage, from rave-ups (disc opener "Swinging Doors"), and romantic narratives, to tear-stained ballads and confessionals, road songs and putdowns ("Better Before You Were Big Time," with Shooter sittin' in), and the heartbreak epic ("Looking for Someone," with the marvelous Jessi Colter
, providing the aching high harmonies).Divisadero
has garnered early praise from online retailer Miles of Music, the highly regarded purveyor of the finest in Country, Americana and roots music. "100% Guaranteed!! ... introducing a rich, weathered voice which recalls Steve Earle
... on this fine disc. Inspired by the Golden State's long, storied history of country-infused rock, hints of The Eagles
intertwine with tunes bearing Gram Parsons-esque melodies. Roadhouse rockers cozy up against lazy honky-tonkers evoking the burgeoning movement of 70s-era So-Cal Americana (while) Modern alt. country is no more than a shimmering 'lectric guitar chord away."
Jennings weighs in as well with this comment: "Ted Tussell Kamp is my friend and my bandmate first, but as an artist he stands strong with a vision of his own. Divisadero
is his latest offering of original material that will take ya on a trip from hellraisin' nights to hung-over mornings, and give you everything you want out of an album by the king of groovy. Good work Ted, I'm proud of ya! I could listen to 'Last Time That I Let You Down' over and over wondering 'why couldn't I write that!'"
Kamp, born and raised in the northeast, began his musical education in earnest soon after college during the several years he spent woodshedding in Seattle. He recorded four LPs with his trio Ponticello before relocating to L.A. in 2001, where he formed the group Union Pacific, played with numerous bands, did extensive session work and in 2003 started working with Jennings. And he has never looked back. Divisadero
, simply confirms his hard-earned status as a singer/songwriter of immense promise.
Kamp continues to tour with Jennings and will open several shows, including an appearance at Los Angeles' El Rey Theater December 9, where he will showcase songs from the new record.