Shawn Camp has been kicking around Nashville for nearly two decades. He has played in the bands of some big stars (Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, to name two) and co-wrote some hits for others (Garth Brooks' "Two Piña Coladas" and Brooks & Dunn's "How Long Gone"). His solo work hasn't attracted him much attention; however, Fireball should remedy this situation. The title track gets the disc off to a red-hot start. The twangy rockabilly gem recalls roots rocker Dave Edmunds' glory days back in the late '70s and early '80s. Camp peels off several more delightful uptempo tunes in quick succession: "Tulsa Sounds Like Trouble to Me" (which rivals "Tulsa Time" as the top country-rock tune about that Oklahoma town), the fiddle-led "Love Crazy," and the Bakersfield-style honky tonker "The Way It Is." Even when he slows down the pace, the quality doesn't dissipate. "Fallin' for You" stands as a lovely ballad, while the soulful "Nothing to Do with You" glows warmly with Jim "Moose" Brown's B-3 organ work. Camp flashes his humorous side on ditties like "Hotwired" and "Beagle Hound," while showcasing his bluegrass chops on "Would You Go with Me." And on "Just as Dead Today," he combines these two elements into a darkly humorous tale. Camp loads this disc with all you could ask for in a country album. It even closes with the requisite drinking tune, the slightly tipsy "Drank." However, what impresses on Fireball is Camp's confident, assured performance -- as a singer, writer, and musician. It feels like a culmination of all his years working and toiling in Nashville. While this isn't an envelope-pushing effort, it does make for a wonderful listen. And that is all you can ask for in an album -- and more than you often get these days. A resounding success.
by Michael Berick