I Got The Blues So Bad, I'm A Smurf
:: Come Down ::
:: Trout ::
:: Honey Wine ::
I had never heard of Hamilton Camp until I bought this record and started researching him. And it's one of those things where I thought to myself, "where have I been all these years?". Not listening to enough 60s folk revival music I guess, and apparently not watching enough movies or TV either, when you consider Camp was an elite bit-part actor and a folk singer of some renowned. Starting out as a child actor in the film "Bedlam" with Boris Karloff at age 12, he went on to many character rolls in film and TV, and became particularly well known for his voice work in animated shows like The Smurfs (Greedy Smurf). He was also in Second City in his native Chicago, where in about 1960 he became a folk singer, teaming with Bob Gibson. Together they released one LP, "At The Gate of Horn" recorded live at the famous Chicago folk club (Mr. Camp was known as Bob Camp at that time, changing his name to the more distinctive Hamilton after the duo broke up).
Hamilton was soooo influenced by Dylan, by his own admission he emulated him to a tee. His first solo album, released in 1964 featured 7 Dylan compositions. Camp was no slouch of a songwriter however. His 1st solo outing featured "Pride of Man", which was later turned into a psychedelic anthem by Quicksilver Messenger Service.
On this album, released in 1969 Camp once again covers Dylan, as well as Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon, but nothing can compare with his take on Dylan crony Bob Neuwirth's "Trout" (or Lunatic's Quadrille), which in the liner notes, Camp himself does not know what to say about. Nor do I. I threw in a couple of his original compositions too, just so you can get to know that man himself just a bit.
His voice has an interesting quality. Not unpleasant, but you can kind of see why he went into doing cartoon voices too. Unfortunately, Hamilton died suddenly of heart failure just last October, at a time where he was very busy with movie roles, acting in Shakespeare stage productions and appearing at folk festivals. According to his website, he had also just completed work on a new album. I wonder how many Dylan songs are on it?