Although Cam’s first single for Arista Nashville, “My Mistake,” was a fun, flirty tribute to the kind of no-good suitor you just can’t turn away, “Burning House” finds her holding onto a guy who’s falling apart. Of all the tracks on her four-song, self-written EP, which hit stores in March, it may be the most influenced by traditional country music.
Cam, whose given name is Camaron Marvel Ochs, tells Rolling Stone Country that her love of country music began on her grandparents’ California ranch, where she spent time as a small girl.
“When I was really little, it started because my grandpa was cowboy-ish,” she recalls. “He loved horses and he would throw water on our faces at 5 a.m. and say, ‘If you want to ride the horses, you gotta go feed them now.’ And he loved country music, so a lot of my early memories are tied in with that kind of music. So there’s that classic feel with Patsy Cline, and then new stuff like Bonnie Raitt, and then in high school, it was reigning Nineties country like Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw and Shania Twain, and that was the coolest thing ever. That definitely shaped me.”
Bones isn’t the only one to notice the singer-songwriter. Emmylou Harris personally invited Cam to sing “Burning House” at a Country Music Hall of Fame fundraiser in Los Angeles last year, and she performed at Stagecoach Music Festival — held in her native California — this April. Last week, she took part in a panel discussion at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville as one of CMT’s newest Next Women of Country.
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After raising money on Kickstarter to make a full-length record with pop producers Jeff Bhasker and Tyler Johnson, Cam signed with Sony Music’s Nashville branch. Look for the new project in the coming months.