Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ted Russell Kamp: “The Low And Lonesome Sound” (2015) CD Review

Ted Russell Kamp plays bass with Shooter Jennings, and has also played with Wanda Jackson, 29 Mules and James Intveld, among others. His new album, The Low And Lonesome Sound, is largely a solo effort, meaning just vocals and bass, though he does have some guest musicians sitting in with him on certain tracks. Interestingly, I just reviewed another CD that was all bass and vocals – Sinne Eeg’s new album with bass player Thomas Fonnesbaek. This is a sound that I really love, and this new CD from Ted Russell Kamp is a delight. A few of these tracks were recorded live in the Netherlands. All tracks but one are originals, written or co-written by Ted Russell Kamp.

The CD opens with “Rainy Day Valentine,” which begins with a mellow, but nice line on bass, almost as if it were guitar. There is something intimate and honest about the sound of just vocals and bass, and that works well with lines like “And every time she’s here, I get the notion/That we could have forever for a while” (a line I really like) and “And she don’t ever worry about tomorrow/’Cause she’s got everything she needs tonight” and “You know, she’s always been the one to pour just one more glass of wine/She won’t ever be mine, but she’s my rainy day Valentine.” (The way he sings those last lines reminds me a bit of early, good Billy Joel.) “Rainy Day Valentine” was written by Ted Russell Kamp and Dave Kennedy.

That’s followed by a live recording of “Boom Boom,” a song written by Ted Russell Kamp, Jennifer Gibbons and John Schreffler, one that Kamp and Gibbons perform in Funkyjenn with Jennifer on lead vocals. The version on this CD is just bass and vocals, allowing that great rhythm on bass to take focus. And I really like Ted Russell Kamp’s vocal delivery here. And of course when he sings, “Boom boom boom boom,” you can’t help but think of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” This song is certainly referring to that one, at least in that one line. By the way, you can really only tell that this is a live track at the very end, when you hear the audience applaud.

“Deep In A Dream” is one of my favorite tracks, mainly for its great vibe and rhythm. This one is really about the bass, and includes an excellent bass solo. And the feel is like some back room at a smoky beatnik joint. Jason Sutter joins Ted on percussion on this track (credited as playing “pizza box” on the back of the CD case). “Because I’m deep in a dream of you/And you’re the only one who can wake me.” That one is followed by another favorite, a mellower tune titled “A Whole Lot Of You And Me,” written by Ted Russell Kamp and Dylan Altman. This is a live recording from Bergen Op Zoom in the Netherlands. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “I’ve got a little bit of money and a little bit of gas in my car/I’ve got an old dirt road, and it don’t have to take me too far/Because I know where I’m going, and I’m rolling right to your door/’Cause a little bit of you is all I’m looking for.” Ted also included this song on Night Owl.

“Help Is Coming” has kind of a sweet vibe. Ted plays dobro on “Help Is Coming,” and Dave Tolley is on percussion. That track is followed by the album’s one cover, a really nice rendition of Townes Van Zandt’s “Tecumseh Valley.” Aubrey Richmond joins Ted Russell Kamp on violin on this track.

“Another Love Song” is a good country tune written by Ted Russell Kamp, Dylan Altman and Eric Paslay, and included on Night Owl.  There are actually two versions on that CD, and the version here is closer to the “Tulsa Style” version at the end of that album. And it’s interesting to hear a country song that is just bass and vocals. It actually works well. “Don’t want to see another slow dance/’Cause it just brings me down/I don’t need another love song/I just need you right now.” This is the third and final live track from the Netherlands, and it includes a bass solo. The album then concludes with “Nothing Shy Of Perfect,” another of this CD’s highlights. It has a totally cool vibe, and Ted plays trumpet on this track. Jason Sutter returns with his brushes on that pizza box for this one.

CD Track List
  1. Rainy Day Valentine
  2. Boom Boom
  3. Deep In A Dream
  4. A Whole Lot Of You And Me
  5. Help Is Coming
  6. Tecumseh Valley
  7. Another Love Song
  8. Nothing Shy Of Perfect
The Low And Lonesome Sound was released on June 9, 2015 on PoMo Records. 

No comments:

Post a Comment