The Upshot: A statement of intent from an artist long past the need to be anybody’s sideman.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Having already established himself as a team player, both on his own records and those he makes as a sessioneer, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ted Russell Kamp has been paring down the last couple of albums, especially the voice-and-bass The Low and Lonesome Sound. So it was probably inevitable for him to release a record entitled Flying Solo. A couple of guest harmony and guitar spots aside, Kamp goes it alone here, accompanying himself on guitar, Dobro and mandolin as well as bass.
As with the prior LP, his approach really throws the spotlight on his songs – always a good idea, as Kamp has repeatedly proven himself one of the best traditionalist roots tunesmiths going. Mixing TRK klassiks “If I Had a Dollar,” “Steady at the Wheel” (originally recorded by his sometime employer Shooter Jennings) and “Let Love Do the Rest” with ace new tunes “Life on the River,” “Nothing to Lose” and “When She Flies,” Kamp presents a strong case for being a first-call songwriter in Nashville. (A Nashville based in another, less image- and fashion-conscious dimension than ours, but still.)
Flying Solo isn’t meant as a resumé – it’s a cohesive statement, as if every song was recorded one right after the other, rather than over the course of several years in studios around the world. But it serves as a statement of intent from an artist long past the need to be anybody’s sideman.
DOWNLOAD: “When She Flies,” “Nothing to Lose,” “If I Had a Dollar”