The band built on a family’s love of music and need to share it.
The Love-Camp family is full of musicians of all genres, using their passions to bond with one-another and bring the community together. Vicki Love and Russ Camp have known each other since high school where they were once friends. When they met again six years ago, the pair was undeniably perfect for each other from the start. Russ was in a band back then, and focused on his musical career throughout the years among other pursuits. Vicki established her business in Calaveras called Salon Soleil, and like Russ, has a heart for music. With their newly-combined musical families, Vicki and Russ married and melded their lives together in melodious love.
Russ grew up listening to the beautiful sounds of ragtime piano music by his mom, and Spanish guitar melodies by his grandfather. A treasure he still carries on stage with him today is a gifted guitar he began playing at age 10. Seven years later, Russ was playing at his first show. He went on to travel throughout the Bay Area and Sierra Nevadas for shows, continuously growing in his music through today.
In fourth grade, Vicki began practicing the art of music. Throughout her teens, she participated in a Christian rock band at a church in Arnold. Vicki always knew music held a special place in her soul, which made her new life with Russ even more exhilarating. It all came easy. After years of carrying her musical devotion behind the scenes, Russ brought out the performer in her that she didn’t quite know existed before. “Everything I do and everything I am passionate about is in the arts.” Naturally, Love Camp is another piece of her identity, an outpouring of zealous artistry.
Their music is soft, smooth and introduces listeners to a feeling of warmth, like a night by the fire with family. It’s uplifting, with cover songs by some of their most beloved artists. The family has multiple bands in it, as their children are dedicated musicians as well.
From punk rock, Old Country and Classic Rock, to the acoustic melodies of Love Camp, this family does it all. Russ has been mulling over the idea of starting an additional band so that he can switch between his acoustic and electric guitars within his music.
Vicki was influenced in her childhood by the work of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Buck Owens and Hank Williams. To this day the songs of these artists are the songs she dances along in life to. She feels that her taste in music is eclectic, and is reflected in the style of Love Camp performances. Having multiple outlets of creativity is the life Vicki aspires to maintain each day. She creates in her salon by day and rocks her heart out during shows.
Love Camp, the name of the couple’s duet, serves as an ode to their combined last names. “It’s kind of funny,” says Vicki, “I was thinking of putting his name first, so it would be Camp Love, but that sounded like the name of a nudest colony. So that wouldn’t have worked out!” Vicki laughs at the notion and explains their settlement on Love Camp for the name of the band. It rolls off the tongue, and carries weight because of the meaning behind it. Her affable and outgoing character lights up the room as she continues to speak about her family and the ways local art culture is so deeply intertwined with her life in Calaveras.
Being in the duet has given the pair a wonderful connection to the community and small businesses within it. “We all support one-another,” Vicki states. Sitting behind the window at the front of Salon Soleil with the sunlight streaming in, she is in her happy place. The walls are adorned with intricate and beautiful accent pieces created by her daughter Lauren who also works in the salon. A content customer sits in the salon chair as Lauren finishes applying hair color. This business, settled in Angels Camp on Main Street, is one of the many along the road with a goal of empowerment and growth in the community; beginning with personal connections to each person who walks through the door.
Love Camp performs at many locations in Calaveras and Tuolumne. Collaborating with venues gives the couple a chance to bring together members of the community and help support local businesses. Vicki expresses the joy she has in stemming together an ever-growing network of people through events and shows. “One thing that’s fun is building ourselves to this point and becoming more recognizable,” she adds, “We see a lot of friends and clients form the salon at our gigs.” Having the ability to play at so many local venues helps bring community support to their music as well.
Each month, Love Camp plays at Snowshoe Brewing Company in Arnold. They’re also known to play at Inner Sanctum, the Waterwheel and many other local hot spots for live music. To see where they’ll be playing next or to book them for your next event, follow Love Camp on Facebook!