Reviews

Stash’s Walk The Walk


By Brian Rock

All-star session musicians and solo artists, Ted Russell Kamp, Rich McCulley and Joey Peters team up to form, Stash, and release their debut album, Walk The Walk. The trio have over twenty full length albums to their credit as well as various TV and film projects. Covering the full spectrum of Americana, they combine country, rock, blues and soul in a baker’s dozen of satisfying songcraft.

“Smoke and Mirrors” starts the set off with a prime example of Americana “porch music.” Banjo and slide guitar set the laid-back tone, then electric guitar and Hammond organ come in to add a gritty touch as Kamp warns about the dangers of addiction and those who deal in it. Describing the methods of these modern-day snake oil salesmen, Kamp sings, “What I got is what you need… Nothing to conceal. You can trust me baby ‘cause I’m the real deal.” But for those foolish enough to deal with the devil, Kamp reveals the consequences: “And when you finally see, and it’s all gone wrong; it’ll be too late ‘cause I’ll be gone.” Whether dealing with street dealers or medically degreed OxyContin pill pushers, beware those who promise to ease all your problems with a quick, chemical fix.

For a newly formed combo, this band is amazingly tight. Even more remarkable, they keep that synchronicity flowing through a wide array of musical styles. Like Ken Jennings on Jeopardy, they have all the answers, no matter what the category. Each of the three members of Stash also adds to the degree of difficulty by playing multiple instruments on the album. The net effect is that this newly formed trio sounds like a seasoned, six-piece band. With various acoustic and electric guitars, banjos, and mandolins, keyboards, multiple percussive instruments, horns and even harmonica, the band creates a rich, layered texture on every song.  Kamp’s earthy, expressive baritone vocals bring that music to life across multiple genres.

“Queen of the Highway” is an outlaw country twist on the traditional ramblin’ man theme. In this take, the rambler is the woman who leaves the man waiting at home. The band gets gritty with the Texas blues of “One Step Ahead of the Law.” Horns and castanets create a spaghetti western sound on “Ain’t That Kind of Man.” “By Your Side” adds subtle touches of Salsa to its western stylings. “Sweet Salvation of the Dawn,” is a traditional country tale of a man on the run. Mandolin strains define the gentle Folk of “Into the Sunset.” The band cranks up the energy on the blue-eyed soul of “Talk the Talk:” recalling the fell of “You Can’t Sit Down’ by the Dorells, the song is rollicking call to live up to your ideals. Shifting to rock, the band gives a musical mystery tour of 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s styles in “What I Need,” “One Track Mind,” and “You’re The One.” The album culminates with the irresistibly catchy, Mitch Ryder inspired, “Hey, Hey Hey.”

Although the word “stash” means “to hide” or “something of value that’s hidden;” with this much talent, Stash shouldn’t stay hidden for long.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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