Ted Russell Kamp’s California Son

By Brian Rock

Ted Russell Kamp may just be the hardest working man in Americana. While many artists are just now releasing their first new albums since the onset of Covid 19, California Son, marks Kamp’s third full length album of original music in that period (and his fourteenth overall). In addition, he has been an in-demand session musician, co-writer, and touring musician (most notably with Shooter Jenning’s band.) The fruits of his tireless work ethic are evident on this new album.

The title song is both a mini biography for Kamp and a love letter to his adopted home state. Chronicling his pilgrimage to the Golden State to begin his music career, he fondly remembers playing the Troubadour. He laments arriving too late to play the Palomino. He recalls the lure of Laurel Canyon and the bright lights of Los Angeles. A gently rolling folk-rock rhythm perfectly captures the coastal vibes of Southern California. Savoring his musical journey, Kamp has clearly enjoyed his, “20 years with the top down and my songs on the radio.” This song is tailor made for convertible cruisers wherever the sun is shining.

“Miracle Mile,” is another ode to La La Land, driven by Joe Walsh inspired guitar licks and pulsing Hammond organ. “High Desert Fever,” praises the less populated portions of California with a lively, honky-tonk rhythm. Inspired by a solar eclipse, “Shine On,” pays tribute to Los Angeles in mellow, Laurel Canyon tones as Kamp recalls the city’s bright lights, “When you’re up all night from Zenith to Horizon.” In fact, the influence of Laurel Canyon permeates every song of the album. Combining country, folk, and rock influences, Kamp recreates the casual cool of Jackson Browne, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Pure Prairie League. His desert-parched, Jim Croce voice adds a distinctive flair to his music. 

“Hard to Hold,” is a heartland rocker celebrating hard to tame women. “Roll Me till the Sun Comes Up,” captures the fun and feel of early Little Feat to celebrate the joys of finally catching that hard to hold woman. If that relationship should prove short-lived, Kamp still manages to find, “The Upside to the Downslide.” Touches of Memphis blues/rock help him find solace in knowing, “There’s nothing left to lose.” And as an extra bonus, Kamp notes, “If my friends don’t understand just what I’m going through, I’m gonna put it in my songs.” Further contemplating the songwriting process on the ballad, “One Word at a Time,” Kamp eloquently describes the process where, “Me and the page try to meet halfway.” Until those songs hit the big time, Kamp sings the Piedmont blues inspired, “Hanging On Blues,” to commemorate the 9 to 5 grind that precedes success. “Every Little Thing,” is a folk/rock anthem to keep following those dreams, no matter how crazy they seem. “Ballad of the Troubadours,” celebrates all those songwriters who have come before. Whether they achieved success or not, Kamp praises their endless quixotic quest to create, “A song that lasts forever.”  Whether singing about the creative process or the Golden State that inspires his creativity, Ted Russel Kamp shines as bright as the California Sun.  |  fb  |  buy

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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