Marty Fitzpatrick and I got the opportunity to work together after a two year absence, to host the Folk Alley webcast of the Americana Honors & Awards Show from The Ryman Auditorium a couple of weeks back. It felt like old times, as he was the Music Director, and I was the Program Director at X Country on XM. But in an even earlier incarnation, Marty and I used to meet every week to produce the syndicated show "This Week In Americana," which I hosted and he produced. We got together at his studio in Nashville to construct the one hour weekly show. Marty and I are both from New York originally, but heard the muse calling, and we both wound up gravitating to Nashville. Marty says proudly that Shawn Camp was one of the first friends he made as a newcomer to town. That's hitting the ball out of the park! During our tenure at XM, we loved having a home for Shawn, as he is somewhat of an unsung hero.
Sixteen years ago, Shawn Camp recorded his second CD, having had a first blush of success with his self titled debut. Back in those days the conventional wisdom was that you had to deliver a similar sounding record. The label wanted him to retool album number two in the image of the first, taking off the fiddles and dobros in favor of electric guitars. He didn't, and the album got shunted away to the "no zip sorting bin." Last year, Warner Music Nashville President John Esposito happened into an impromptu guitar pull with Shawn Camp. Afterwards, he facilitated the vault being unlocked, and the dust being blown off, and the issuing at last of the newly renamed CD 1994. Shawn comments, "This is an unchanged snapshot of that moment 16 years ago." The album contains A-list collaborations with Bill Monroe, Jerry Douglas, Patty Loveless, and his earliest tete-a-tete with Guy Clark in "Stop, Look And Listen." Speaking of snapshots, that is what Marty Fitzpatrick is doing these days...he's a professional photographer.
When Shawn visited us during the Americana Music Festival, he shared this song, which will be on the "new" album being released tomorrow. "The Grandpa That I Know." Amen.
- Jessie Scott