Camille Harp
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Camille Harp

Band Americana Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"Pop Review w/ Doug Hill 1/13/06"

Camille Harp Family Band delights Deli

The Norman Transcript

By Doug Hill

pop writer

Camille Harp's latest brilliant release, "Like the Rain" (2005), was produced by Carl Amburn and recorded at Norman's Mousetrap Studios.

"It's definitely been our highlight of the past year," Harp said before her show with Alan Orebaugh (guitars) and Chris Foreman (percussion) Jan. 13 at The Deli. "Since August I've sold about 600 copies. It's music I've played with the band over the last couple of years. I made it with Carl Amburn (piano, guitar), Terry Ware (strings), Warren Field (bass), James Wyrick (drums) and Victor Rook (bass) on one song," she said.

"I'm fixing to go back in the studio again at the end of this month in Tempe, Arizona, and record some new stuff. Hope to have it out this August. I still need to do a little more writing for this third album. Six or seven songs are complete. It's pleasing me because I'm doing what I want to do. I've been doing a lot of acoustic with just Alan instead of a full band," Harp said.

She's a lady wanting to make a record that will change people's lives. Harp knows the feeling. She cited Patty Griffin's "1,000 Kisses" and "Living with Ghosts."

"I can't listen to those albums long because they remind me I have a lot of growing to do. I'm also a big fan of Rachael Yamagata. I heard her at the Austin City Limits music festival. She inspires me with songs like mine about heartbreak and relationships," Harp said.

Wildest dream: "Being able to play music for a living and not worry about the money (laughs). If I was a millionaire that's exactly what I'd do."

Harp's first job was working with her pop, Garry, pouring concrete, pulling nails out of forms and shoveling sand. "I still get out there and swing a sledge hammer every now and then. Hard work makes me feel I accomplished something. But my first real job as a teenager was at a glass shop in Chickasha. Made five bucks an hour and thought I was loaded. All summer, I answered the phone and did my nails," Harp said.

Unexplored musical direction: "I would like to try punk rock. I love rock 'n' roll but have a tendency to stick to my roots. So I don't stray too far from the country folk rock," she said.

Riot grrrl project Killer Camilleon in the future?

Her biggest concert disappointment was senior year in high school. "It was Metallica. Corrosion of Conformity opened and blew them out of the water. When Metallica got up there, it was kind of a letdown," Harp said.

Major challenge: "Believing in myself. I realize the competition is really stiff. I'm a realist and play music because I love it, not because I'm trying to make it. I slump in my writing which is frustrating. In a book I'm reading called 'The War of Art,' professionals sit down and write. Do your work everyday and eventually something good will come," Harp said.

She went to play.

Aron Holt

Mama Sweet's frontman Aron Holt opened on guitar, singing of "...sweet, salty kisses," accompanied by Orebaugh and Foreman. A year in Brooklyn has polished the boy. Holt was wearing sharkskin and getting his country rock on. He has a song Nashville will buy called "The Prettiest Girl at the Dance." Holt may be at his strongest doing black cat bone blues. Guitar was occasionally tumultuous but the soul was solid.

Camille Harp

Her daddy Garry Harp played a few tunes before she took over the stage. He was excellent. A wholesome David Allan Coe with better vocals.

The acorn doesn't fall from the oak. Camille's voice has a similar, comforting red dirt richness that'll make you say, "Goodness gracious, child."

She presented satisfying originals such as "Green Eyes." People knew the lyrics. They danced just like it was "Mustang Sally." Camille's mom Shirley came on for a golden duet. They sang a capella covering "(Would You Lay With Me in a) Field of Stone." Harp's family values were heartwarming. Show listings and her five-song CD "Like The Rain" are available at

- The Norman Transcript

"Camille Harp on News Channel 4"

26-year-old Camille Harp pours her life into her music. She relates personal stories of love, heartbreak and loss through her intensely emotional songs. Music is in her blood.

“My parents are both musicians and they used to play the rodeo circuit when I was a kid,” said Camille, “and I’d get up and sing songs at the rodeos starting at about age four. They played in the High Country Outlaw Band. My mom was always the coolest chick ever because she played bass. She was just hot up there. I always wanted to be like her. My dad was always captivating an audience because he is such a strong presence on stage and a great player.”

Besides her parents her musical influences include Hank Williams, Jr., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Tanya Tucker. She describes her music as a mix of different genres.

“I’m definitely country influenced with a little bit of pop, and folk undertones,” laughed Camille. “I think a lot of the songs I write are so diverse. None of my songs are strictly country or strictly rock and roll or strictly blues. I like all kinds of music and I think it definitely comes out in my writing. I don’t want to be pinpointed into one specific category. I like the Bonnie Raitt comparison a whole lot and I get Janis Joplin a lot also. I’m probably the same genre as Sheryl Crow.”

The inspiration for her songs come mainly from her life and the relationships that most of us would like to forget.

“My song writing inspiration,” Harp said, “comes from unfortunately drama and heartache. If I get the least bit comfortable in a situation, then I’m probably not going to write a song. I’ve got to have something to stir it up. My favorite song I’ve written is “Somebody.” I’ve written a bundle of songs that at certain times in my life that I’ll always remember them, why I wrote them and how I wrote it, but “Somebody”, when I wrote it I was so happy that I got a good song out of a bad experience. As stupid as it may sound, it made me feel like I went through that pain to write the song.”

Camille was playing with a full band but now she plays acoustic shows with a few backing musicians.

“I’m playing with a guy named Alan Orebaugh most of the time. Terry Ware, from my old band, he still plays with me. Terry’s amazing, he makes me feel completely incompetent,” laughed Camille. “I like playing acoustic shows right now, ask me again in two years and I’ll probably be bored with acoustic and I’ll want to go back to a band. My favorite place to play is the Deli in Norman. It’s kind of a free-for-all there. You can do whatever you want to do there. Whoever wants can come and sit in with me, it’s kind of a jam session.”

Camille revealed that she has problems with her voice and has been battling it for years. It has caused her to take time off from playing.

“I have a lot of voice problems,” stated Camille. “Singing over a drummer is really hard for me. I have scar tissue on my vocal chords and I’m always fighting it. I think playing acoustic is easier for me because there’s less sound on the stage for me to compete with. It started when I was nineteen. I had a gig that I played every Friday or Saturday night and I played that for like a year. I got sick and I got horse and was still trying to play. I didn’t want to call in sick and not play the gig. I just never allowed myself to heal. It’s just pure vocal abuse. I took a month off about a year ago and then I recently took another month off. My voice was getting better and I thought I could do it again, but I’m still having trouble with it. I think I’ll always struggle with it. When I’m tired or if the bar’s real smoky then I have a hard time, it takes a lot of energy to sing. I was not able to finish a show recently because my voice was leaving. I went to a doctor one time and he told me that I could have surgery and have the nodes removed, but just the way I sing they would probably come right back or I would sound totally different. I don’t think that’s something I want to do.”

Camille currently has a CD out now that was recorded in 2002, but feels the need to explain it for those who have heard it.
“I’d like to explain it, defend myself a little,” Camille laughed. “We went into the studio and recorded it in two days about two hours a night. We spent no time on it at all. Because of some confusion and a middle man, the sound engineer thought we were recording a demo and I was wanting to record a real CD. It was just totally thrown together. The band had been together for about two or three months and I had never been in a studio before so I didn’t know what to expect. I had no direction and no guidance.

Camille’s next CD will be released as an EP in the next coming months.

“This one is with the same guys, plus Terry Ware,” Camille said. “We’re recording at a place called the Mousetrap in Norman. It’s just five songs, fo -


Like The Rain-2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Camille Harp crosses musical borders from blues to rock to folk-based pop. It may be hard to categorize, but it's easy to get caught up in the emotion and realism of Harp's writing. Her smoky voice combined with unforgettable songs is quickly drawing listeners into her live shows.

Harp grew up in a musical family. Her parents have toured in and around Oklahoma with their band;High Country Outlaw; for more than 20 years. It was through them that Harp caught the fever to perform after joining them onstage in front of large rodeo audiences. As a child Harp would stand in front of the stage and stare at her dad until he invited her up to sing. It was a sign of things to come. At 13 she started playing guitar and at 15 she penned her first song.

My parents ran a bar when I was in high school, says Harp. “I would sneak in and play to people. I would join in on open jams with older musicians just to learn from them.

After cutting her teeth on country and rock classics, Harp has developed her own style. Saying she is gritty like Melissa Etheridge, rockin' like Janis Joplin or bluesy like Bonnie Raitt may hold some truth, but it's not what Harp's music is all about. Songs like Camilleon and Taste show a surprisingly mature and distinctive voice.

At age 27, Harp could almost be called a musical veteran. She has fronted a band, worked as a solo performer, written and recorded. Calling music her “creative outlet” she has a dynamic presence on stage that only comes with experience.

In the beginning, Camille was armed only with a seven-song acoustic cd recorded at Bell Labs in Norman , Oklahoma . Harp spent the next couple of year's impressing listeners at solo gigs with just her guitar and her voice. Opening shows for fellow musicians around Oklahoma City , Norman and Tulsa is where she got her start. In June of 2002, she hand-picked bassist Warren Field and drummer James Wyrick to join her stage show. With a pocketful of songs, Harp joined Field and Wyrick in the studio in November of 2002 to lay down tracks for a 10-song cd titled Camilleon. Nearly a year later, Harp, Wyrick and Field asked seasoned guitar slinger, Terry “ Buffalo ” Ware to complete their sound. Back in the studio, they recorded a five song EP titled "Like the Rain" which was not released until August of 2005.

In September of 2004, Harp, Field, Wyrick and Ware split ways. Camille now plays acoustic gigs with a musical stew of people including Alan Orebaugh, Tom Young, Daniel Walker and also Terry Ware.

Harp's songs continue to touch and inspire a growing audience. Her warm stage presence and knack for self-examination and heartfelt honesty continues to win over audiences. Comparisons may abound, but Harp consistently raises the bar and redefines the boundaries of her music.