Ohio’s CAAMP was founded by childhood friends Evan Westfall (banjo) and Taylor Meier (lead vocals and guitar) who have been playing music together since high school, but formed an official band in 2015. Although they didn’t consider themselves particularly adept at their instruments, they immediately proved to be strong songwriters. Their self-produced debut album came out a year later and CAAMP quickly grew in popularity, thanks to the viral Spotify hit “Vagabond” which currently has almost 40 million listens.
CAAMP’s music is built upon heart-felt and nostalgic songs about relationships and the life on the road, all brought to vivid life by Meier’s weathered, rust-coated, yet emotional voice that seems to carry the weight of a hard lived life despite his young age and the banjo and guitar dynamic between Meier and Westfall that conveys sepia-toned, American heartland authenticity.
In 2018, CAAMP put out a follow up, “The Boys” EP, which was split into separate, easily digestible Side A-Side B releases. The release added electric guitar to their dueling acoustic guitar and banjo to broaden their sound. Through several tours the band has steadily built a devoted fan base and eventually added bassist Matt Vinson.
CAAMP’s latest release, “By and By” was recorded in Texas and released on Mom + Pop Records. A larger sound palette has added increased depth to CAAMP’s music without sacrificing their honestly and intimacy—and that intimacy is key to their appeal. Even when CAAMP step off of the porch, so to speak, and get loud, their consistently passionate delivery invites the listener in like a “caamp fire.” You can hear the mountains, the rivers, the long drives across dusty highways, in every sweet melody.
Meier and Westfall probably never imagined that their coffeeshop band would be headlining tours and making appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but it is easy to see why their passionate performances have captured the attention of so many fans of roots music.
CAAMP should be one of the many highlights of this year’s Stopover Festival when they pull on banjo, guitar, and heartstrings at the Ships of the Sea Museum stage.
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