Rolling Stone features TRK & California Son 4/21/24

Ted Russell Kamp’s Been Shooter Jennings’ Secret Weapon for Years. He Steps Out on New Solo Album

‘California Son’ shines a light on the L.A. musician, who’s played live and in the studio with Jennings on Grammy-winning albums by Tanya Tucker and more.

Ted Russell Kamp just can’t quit L.A. Despite an extended stint in Seattle and growing up in Upstate New York, Kamp is a California country-rocker through and through, and his latest album, California Son, reads like a love letter to the Golden State.

But it’s also a snapshot of one of the most prolific, if under the radar, careers in country music. A Grammy-winning musician and producer, Kamp is revered by those in the know for his work with Shooter Jennings, with whom he’s played since 2003, but he’s also worked with icons like Jessi Colter and Tanya Tucker, along with countless rock acts.

California Son is Kamp’s 14th studio album and assembles 12 songs rich in Americana and indie-folk textures. “High Desert Fever” is a slice of classic, wandering honky-tonk, “Hard to Hold” underscores his outlaw country bona fides, and the title track nods to the hold that L.A. has over him.

“I learned from each album, the plateaus and personal growth,” Kamp says. “You can hear my love of the Band, Jackson Browne, the Old 97’s, the Byrds, and Gram Parsons in them — when Americana was still called alt-country.”

Originally from Westchester, New York, Kamp was immersed in music early on, taking up trumpet in elementary school, then the bass in ninth grade. By high school in the mid-1980s, he got involved in a slew of projects, from school orchestra to garage bands in a revolving door of rock, soul, and ska outfits.

“Like many people who grow up in and around New York City, you assume the entire world revolves around New York City,” Kamp says. “So, I just assumed I would grow up in the suburbs and then live in the city.”

Instead, Kamp landed at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Situated in the rural countryside of the Southern Tier region, Kamp double-majored in English and philosophy.

“But my entire social life and every day after [class] was all about music,” Kamp says of the college bands he played in throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He toyed with the idea of attending graduate school to become an English professor, but had to first quell the voice within him encouraging his tightly-held rock & roll fantasy.

“I told my parents, ‘Hey, I’ve got to try music for a year or two,’” Kamp says. “If it doesn’t work, then I’ll go back to grad school. But I have to at least try.”

In August 1993, he packed his car and left New York for Seattle, 2,800 miles away. But after about seven years there, he was still coming up empty and headed south for L.A.

“I realized I’d done every hundred-dollar gig you can play and I was never going to join Soundgarden,” Kamp chuckles. “It was an easy decision to move down to L.A. rather than come back across the country.”

There, he waded into numerous musical circles and eventually crossed paths with Jennings, himself under the spell of Los Angeles.  They were kindred spirits.

“One of the reasons I moved to L.A. was to meet someone like Shooter,” Kamp says. “He was looking for a bass player. I was kind of the right person for the job, in terms of my love of Seventies classic rock, country, and outlaw music.”

Kamp notes he used to cover songs by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter — Shooter’s parents — in bar gigs before ever meeting Jennings. Now he’s a two-decade member of Jennings’ band, playing bass and appearing on albums going all the way back to Jennings’ 2005 debut, Put the “O” Back in Country.

“I always tell Ted that he’s my lifelong musical partner. From the minute I met Ted he was by far the best bass player I’d ever seen, but also just a really smart musical mind,” Jennings tells Rolling Stone. “He was into thoughtful, complex music and he wrote great songs. In all of the 22 or 23 years that I’ve played music with Ted, at every session or on every stage, he has never once shown up without his ferocious dedication to the music, his amazing leadership qualities, and his team spirit attitude. Ted has been the main collaborator in my life, a constant support and a friend as he shares my personal musical journey with me. And he is just plain groovy.”

Kamp says it’s been rewarding watching Jennings get more creative with his music. “Especially with this killer run of albums he’s been producing,” he says, “these artists coming to Shooter to break out of their box, get creative, and do something a little different.”

In 2019, Kamp was brought onboard as the bassist for Tucker’s album While I’m Livin’. Co-produced by Jennings and Brandi Carlile, it won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Country Album.

“I love being a sideman,” Kamp says. “I’m lucky that I’m eclectic. But I love writing songs, making records, being an artist, being a solo singer-songwriter and a band leader.”

“It’s been a phenomenal ride,” Kamp says. “And the adventure keeps continuing.”

BY GARRET K. WOODWARD
APRIL 21, 2024

New Song coming out 1/23/24

I want to announce a brand new song called California Son that is now released.

Here’s the link to purchase the single: California Son. Preview in the jukebox player below or here.  

It is also the title track of a brand new record that I am releasing on March 23 in alliance with KZZ Music. Stay tuned for more info on singles, videos and shows.

Solitaire – #1 on Euroamericana Radio Chart

On May 1, 2021, Solitaire debuted at #1 on the Euroamericana Chart! Thanks to Jan Janssen and to everyone at CRS / Continental Records in Netherlands for getting the record out to all the DJs and helping make this happen. Also thanks to so many of the great friends and DJs playing the new album including Jos van den Boom at Crossroads Radio, Freddy Celis and Rootstime.be, Fred Schmale, Joost Festen, Thomas Kaldijk, Anita Luchies, Teppo the Country Doctor in Finland, Peter Holmstedt in Sweden and many more. To see the full chart, please check it out here: www.euroamericanachart.eu – I am already booking a tour in Europe for next February (of 2022) and I can’t wait to get back and play and see my European friends. For booking info, pleas contact Kurt at bookings@rootstown.be

Press and Video debuts for Solitaire

It’s been a great few months as we prepare for the release of Solitaire. On March 12, Americana Highways premiered the first single and video for My Girl Now. On April 12, DittyTV.com premiered the second single You Can Go To Hell I’m Going To Texas and on 4/29 The Bluegrass Situation will feature Lightning Strikes Twice.

And here are some great new comments from the Press:

“Kamp flips the script here letting pandemic isolation bring his folkie side to the fore, as well as his multi- instrumental prowess.  This is a first class, intimate set where the songs are as intimate as the recording itself.  Tasty stuff (and) well deserving of wider recognition“. – Chris Spector at Midwest Record

“A new release from Ted Russell Kamp always me happy. I’ve definitely come to rely on him to provide some well-crafted, meaningful and engaging songs, songs that speak to us on that human level that is both intimate and universal. Memorable and beautiful folks songs that offer a shoulder and a friendly ear, as well as a friendly voice. (These songs) describe perfectly how a lot of us have been coping lately.” – Michael Doherty at MichaelsMusicBlog

Once again, this talented fellow hits one out of the ballpark. In a world full of pretenders and wannabes, Kamp comes across like a real fellow making real music. honest and endearingsongs have all the freshness and spontaneity of someone who has just discovered the joys of making music for all the right reasons. – Baby Sue at lmnop.com

Solitaire – new album coming May 7

I am excited to announce that my new album, Solitaire, will be coming out on May 7, 2021. Pre-sale began for the record on the day of the release of the first single and video, My Girl Now, on March 12. The second single and video was for You Can Go To Hell, I’m Going To Texas which came out on April 9.

The record was mostly written at home and recorded in The Den during 2020 and is a mainly acoustic record echoing what a lot of us have been going through this last year in quarantine. I’m excited to have some great friends, co-writers and guests on it including Micky Braun (from Micky and the Motorcars), Tony Scalzo (from Fastball), Matt Szlachetka, Brian Whelan, Ed Jurdi (from the Band of Heathens), Mark Mackay, Granville Automatic and Josh Morningstar.

Stay tuned for more news!

Rolling Stone features TRK

On 7/27, Rolling Stone featured Ted’s video “Have Some Faith” in it’s Best Country Song Picks of the Week. They wrote “The country-rock MVP — along with his 12 album solo career, Kamp has played with everyone from Shooter Jennings to Whitey Morgan — offers a timely reminder in “Have Some Faith.” The first single off his just released LP Down in the Den, it’s a heartbreak song that nonetheless works well for our current moment. Like all of us, he’s looking for a reason to believe.” Here’s the link:

Press Coming In for DITD

Great press and reviews are coming in for Down In The Den. Here are some highlights:

“Magical … Down In The Den celebrates the artist’s signature mix of country, Americana, soul and roots music at every turn. Armed with a rich and articulate baritone voice and his top-tier talents.” – Robert Kindler – RockWrite

“Absolutely excellent … Ted Russell Kamp is a fine songwriter … that can certainly write a lyric that grabs you.  There is joy in the music and in the vocal delivery. Ah, yes, we all need this sort of thing right now.” – Michael Doherty

“Ted Russell Kamp’s latest release is a joy … The songs are interesting, varied and provide a platform for his virtuosity, the arrangements and voice have a soulful sway with a rhythm that’ll move your feet. His ear for a tune and arrangement are outstanding. The only negative is that he’s having far too much fun: maybe he’s the antidote to 2020?” – Tony Ives, Country Music People (UK)

Ted Russell Kamp remains a solid citizen in the Roots Rock neighborhood, a purveyor of loose Rock that flirts with Country and Blues while dashing between Folkie with a guitar and full-blown band leader. It is all done quite well.” – Bryant Liggett, TheAlternateRoot

  1. High Desert Fever - preview Buy 0:39
  2. California Son - preview Ted Russell Kamp Buy 0:49
  3. You Can Go To Hell, I'm Going To Texas Ted Russell Kamp 4:17
  4. My Girl Now Ted Russell Kamp 3:17
  5. Path of Least Resistance Ted Russell Kamp 2:52
  6. Home Sweet Hollywood (featuring Shooter Jennings) Ted Russell Kamp (featuring Shooter Jennings)
  7. Waste A Little Time With Me Ted Russell Kamp 2:45
  8. Right Down to the Wire Ted Russell Kamp 4:03
  9. California Wildflower Ted Russell Kamp 4:05
  10. If I Had A Dollar Ted Russell Kamp 3:04
  11. Rainy Day Valentine Ted Russell Kamp