Ted Russell Kamp, like all artists, writes about what he knows. Kamp spends his life making music for a living, touring and making records and sings about life, love, traveling, surviving the chaos of the modern world and making music in the process.
Walkin’ Shoes is an album of 13 songs, all penned or co-written by Kamp, that deals with these familiar themes but his adept use of poetry, humor and honesty and his rich understanding and reinterpretation of American roots music make Walkin’ Shoes a joyous and inspiring ride. “A lot of these are traveling songs or songs about personal change—so the very earth metaphor of walking shoes applies to at least half of the songs,” Kamp explains.
Kamp’s voice is full of wisdom (“When you play rock and roll long enough, the blues is what you get” he sings on "This Old Guitar"), tongue in cheek humor (“I could have played it safe, I could have stayed in bed, but I won’t stop and stay at home, I’ll rest when I’m dead” he sings on “Home Away From Home”) and wistfulness (“I’m not asking for much, just a horizon and a touch, of a hobo’s lullaby” he sings on "Highway Whisper".
The music is a combination of classic California singer/songwriter music with hints of country and soul. With nods to Bob Dylan and the Band, Leon Russell and Waylon and Willie, it reflects the sound of the many cities and cultures Kamp has become familiar with and the cities he calls his homes away from home. The Big Takeover wrote, “Kamp simply knocks one ball after another out of the park…Saturated in talent and sincerity.” Kamp explains his process, “For a while I had a more pristine and Nashville approach and I’m enjoying letting my rock and poetic roots come out more. I want my songs and images to be poetic and earthy at the same time.”
Kamp is a musicians' musician. He has toured the world as a singer/songwriter, playing solo and with his band, and released 11 solo albums. He has been called "a striking singer/songwriter ... absolutely hypnotizing" (Music Row, USA) and "terrific ... a star on the rise in the tradition of great troubadours like Guy Clark" (No Depression, USA). His record, Get Back to the Land, debuted at #1 on the Euro Americana Chart and his last 4 records have made the US Americana Chart's Top 100 Records of the Year.
Ted Russell Kamp is also a producer and one of the most in demand bass players in Los Angeles. As a bassist, Kamp has been playing with Shooter Jennings since 2004 as well as written numerous songs for Jennings including the 2005 hit "Steady at the Wheel". He has also played with Wilson Phillips, Jessi Colter, Wanda Jackson, Rosie Flores, Billy Ray Cyrus and countless other great artists both on the road and in the studio.
“When I started to see this record come together, I booked one last session with John Schreffler and Jamie Douglass who were also touring with me in the Shooter Jennings band, as well as Dan Wistrom,” he explained. Other guests on Walkin’ Shoes included Sam Morrow (Who co-wrote “Paid By The Mile” and joins Ted singing), Jaime Wyatt (who sings “Heart Under Pressure” and “Freeway Mona Lisa”), and Brian Whelan (Who sings “Get Off The Grid”, “Home Away From Home” and plays guitar and keyboards on the record).
“I wanted to capture a live energy of a handful of musicians in a room,” Kamp describes. “It is also more country influenced with some serious nods to the classic Sun Studio recordings of the late 1950’s as well as when Bob Dylan first went electric.”
Whether he’s headlining a major show in the Netherlands with European superstars, playing Gruene Hall in mid Texas in the dead of summer, rocking an LA honky tonk with some of the best players in town, or working in his new studio to pull the soul from each song, Ted Russell Kamp pours his drive and musical talent into every note. “Most of these songs have to do with traveling, exploring and looking and learning, to try to have a better tomorrow than today,” he muses. “People are surprised to find that I’m not such a southern rock guy…especially when they meet me through Shooter Jennings. They’re often pleasantly surprised when they realize I’m a nice and poetic guy and my music reflects that.”