Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shawn Camp's first Telluride

Getting a little bit of a late start on Telluride coverage, I'm all set now in the press tent at the festival with Internet access. It's going on three on Thursday afternoon. Drew Emmitt is on stage with Sam Bush guesting on fiddle, and I'm supposed to be over at the Elk's Park Stage for Hit & Run Bluegrass.

Catching up on an interview I did with Shawn Camp on Tuesday before flying into Telluride. We had been trying to hook up for a chat since meeting at Wintergrass earlier this year, and with Camp scheduled for a Saturday afternoon set at the TBF main stage, this seemed like a good time for it.

Camp said that this will be his first appearance at Telluride. "I've played in Colorado quite a bit and I've heard about it for years, but this is my first opportunity to play here."

When Camp plays bluegrass festivals, he always seems to assemble a pickup band of acoustic players from other acts playing the festival. At Telluride, it will be Mike Compton, Noam Pikelny and Bryn Bright. "You never know who is going to be in the combination or how it will come out," he said. "We'll just let it fly."

He said the set would feature the material from his Station Inn record, some bluegrass standards, and acoustic versions of songs on his new electric album, Fireball.

"Although the songs are more rockabilly, I don't pay much attention to genres. You can take a hard-core Bill Monroe song and lay it alongside a Chuck Berry tune and there isn't much difference. All of it holds hands and it is just a matter of how you want to color it. "

Fireball came out in March and is doing well on the Americana charts. One of the songs," Would You Go With Me," is climbing the country mainstream charts as a single for Josh Turner.

A notable part of Camp's acoustic act is the three-song Sis Draper suite, songs he composed with Guy Clark that are based on classic fiddle tunes and tell the story of Camp's Arkansas roots.

He told me that there are five or six more of those. "We've talked about putting it together as a musical play. We're pretty far along now with the songs and need to bridge the gap between them with dialog."

Okay, we'll see Shawn again on Saturday. Now I'm off to the workshop stage. More later.

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