You don’t often picture the wilderness when you think of LA. But there’s actually seven hundred thousand acres of forest in Los Angeles County. In fact, it’s has one of the largest wilderness areas without roads in the lower forty-eight. It also has the media capitol of the world sitting right there in the middle. This Southern Californian duality runs deep in the Los Angeles bred band The Alpine Camp.
The band is comprised of bass, drums, guitar, piano, pedal steel and banjo. The Alpine Camp could hang with the bluegrass crowd if it wasn’t for the drummer. You could also expect Gram Parsons to waltz through the door since they can chicken pick with the best. But, at its core, the group is an Americana Roots Rock outfit with pop sensibilities. Their live shows showcase the band’s improvisational prowess and run the gambit from ethereal soundscapes to balls to the wall shredding all framed within the context of the great American songbook.
The band is supporting their latest release Hybrid, a collection of originals along with live performances showcasing the band’s aptitude for improvisation. “With Hybrid they get the best of both worlds,” said Chris Bell “it’s as close as you can get to our live show.”
The band started as a way for Bell and songwriting partner Charles Etienne to continue their lifelong musical partnership. Bell had traveled to Nashville and fallen back in love with country, bluegrass and songwriting in general. When that love turned into melodies, Etienne was there to foster those ideas into finished songs. From there, what started as a one off project, blossomed to include some of the most deft players in Southern California. The musicians who added their signature sounds to those initial recordings have since become permanent and integral members of what is now The Alpine Camp.
The Alpine Camp has spread their mountain tinged roots rock far and wide since 2014. Since then they have performed at Earth Jam, the California Oysterfest, OC Music Fest and shared the stage with Atlas Genius, The Brothers Comatose, Midnight North, The Motet and Ghost Light amongst many others.
The Alpine Camp seems to think traditional roots instrumentation and exploratory rock can coexist and so do their fans. Since you can ski and go to the beach in the same day in Southern California, maybe they’re right...
Chris Bell - Guitar, Vocals
Charles Etienne - Keyboards, Vocals
Jeff Stella - Bass
Joel Martin - Pedal Steel
Adam Hall - Banjo, Dobro
Shad Wilhelm - Drums