Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scott Ramminger Crawstickers Arbor Lane 2011

In a recent conversation with tenor saxophone great Bob Mintzer, I was reminded of something very profound and insightful as Mintzer stated "not everything sucks" and then proceeded to launch into a ten minute diatribe as to why critics don't bother him and he pays them little mind.

Fair enough.

Scott Ramminger is one of those rare musicians that draws from a myriad of roots and would seem to be having too much fun being Scott Ramminger to give a second thought as to what someone thinks he should be or how he should approach his music. Ramminger's music is just that, his own. An eclectic mix of blues with enticing rock and jazz sensibilities that add just the right flavor to an artist too busy doing his own tunes to try and do a riff on somebody or something he is not.

The opening tune "Crawsticker" is reminiscent of one of my favorite bands Roomful of Blues whose motto is "Aim The Beat At Their Feet!" To attempt tunes of this nature you need to surround yourself with cats that can flat out blow and this group is tight and lays down a blistering groove. "Real Fine Gumbo" throws in a little spicy 'nawlins flavor into the pot as the party keeps flowing. "Three Dollar Beer" pulls from Ramminger's country roots having grown up watching the old Porter Wagogner Show. Crawstickers is a reflection of who Scott Ramminger is and a pretty clear indication of his musical DNA. Arguments can be made that it is not jazz, it is not blues, it is not Cajun...But no one can say this release is not entertaining!

Scott Ramminger is 52, sort of a late start for a professional musician. I became a critic at 48...So if Scott Ramminger has anyone in his corner it would be me and thousands just like us!

Keep playing Scott Ramminger! Real talent and real passion is something you can not draw up in record labels board room!

Tracks: Crawstickers; Magic Eightball Never Lies; Give A Pencil To A Fish; There Must Be Something Wrong With You; Real Fine Gumbo; Three Dollar Beer; Fast And Loud; I Dreamed I Met Jesus; That Rumba Beat; Annandale Girl; The Country's Gone From Me.

Personnel: Scott Ramminger: vocals, tenor, bari, and alto sax; Dave Chappell: electric and acoustic guitar; Brian Simms: piano, electric piano, organ, and accordian; Claude Arthur: bass; Pete Ragusa: drums; Josh Howell: percussion; Vince McCool: trumpet; Mary Ann Redmond: vocals and harmony vocals; Patty Reese: vocals and harmony vocals.

Additional musicians on "Real Fine Gumbo."
Perry Conticchio: clarinet, Michael Cloppert: trombone; Johnny Combs: tuba.