Record Review - 3 December 16 2004

In Nashville, great songwriters are a dime a dozen, and it is usually a simple twist of fate that lifts the lucky few into that evasive place of critical and financial success. Shawn Camp, who has been kicking around Music City for more than a decade, has made a name for himself within the small songwriter circles. But public acclaim has eluded him, even with a stint as a Warner Brothers recording artist. Better known as a hit writer for folks such as Garth Brooks, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn and others, Camp has the ability to work effectively in a number of styles such as mainstream, radio-friendly country, hardcore honky tonk, and, as featured on Live at the Station Inn, pure bluegrass.

Recorded informally over two evenings at the legendary Station Inn, Nashville's premier bluegrass club, Camp uses the forum to showcase his lyrical collaborations with the likes of Guy Clark, Jim Lauderdale and Cowboy Jack Clement. He's backed by some of the finest pickers in the city, and he performs a dozen finely crafted tunes that tell of the tragedy of war ("Soldiers Joy 1864"), loss of love ("Dear Departed"), and cheatin' hearts ("The Guilt Was Gone") — all the elements of real country music.

Wrapping up the loose and friendly set with an energetic take on "My Love Will Not Change," which was a minor hit for the Del McCoury Band earlier this year, Camp proves that he's a multitalented guy, both as a writer and performer. Here's hoping that there's more where this came from.??