Down in the Den, the latest album from Ted Russell Kamp, is one heck of a fun listen. It offers fourteen tracks that veer effortlessly from the feisty rock ‘n’ roll opener “Home Sweet Hollywood” to the New Orleans riverboat vibe of “Waste a Little Time” to the honk-tonk of “My Turn to Cry”, all connected by two threads.
The first is Kamp’s enthusiasm for life and music. These songs have an inherent musical smile, even when the lyrical subject matter doesn’t. The second is the downright funkiness that propels Down in the Den. I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised that Kamp, a seasoned bass player, knows his way around a groove….
“The Good Part” is a particularly joyous example of Kamp’s twin musical pillars. Simmering organ, lap steel, rousing electric guitars, and, of course, Kamp’s bass, combine a chugging Tulsa rhythm with some classic truck drivin’ country.
The song’s new video, which Twangville is honored to premiere, features Kamp and some friends performing the song in an LA studio. It was captured in 360 degree format so that viewers can peek around the studio to see each performer as the song progresses. The Good Part, indeed.
I wrote the song in Nashville about 10 years ago with Billy Burnette. This is actually the oldest song on the new album.
It was originally a rockabilly song (which is one of Billy’s true loves) but I re-envisioned it as a Tulsa Sound “Lay Down Sally” style groover when I was in Tulsa doing some shows with a seriously cool all star band including Chuck Blackwell on drums (Leon Russell, Taj Mahal), Danny Timms on piano (Kris Kristofferson) and Matt Mason on guitar (solo artist I was producing a record for at the time). That is one of my favorite grooves to play and always works well in a bar setting so I was looking to write more songs in that style. Then when I did this short tour with these Tulsa guys I reworked a half dozen of my songs on the spot so they could do what they do because they all played that feel and vibe so naturally.
The basic session was recorded in Nashville at 16 tons studio on Music Row too with:Dave Dunseath (dr), Jason Cope (el gtr), and Bart Ryan (lap steel). I played bass and sang a scratch vocal while we cut it live. Then I played Hammond and sang the final vocal later that day.
Then, back in my studio the Den, my friends Brian Whelan and Jennifer “Funkyjenn” Gibbons added piano and harmony vocals, respectively. I finished it with some percussion and acoustic guitar.
Unfortunately, none of these players were available for the video shoot. We did that in L.A. at the Station House where I do a ton of recording. and this is a 360 video so people can scroll around and see all the players performing at any given time.
In the video we are seeing all L.A. friends and players I love working with: Jim Doyle (drums), Storm Rhode (guitar), Jeff Howell (Hammond), Johnny Hawthorne (lap steel), and Pi Jacobs acoustic guitar and harmony vocal.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.