Stranger Blues

Bo Ramsey Records

Ramsey’s latest is a laid-back homage to blues greats and great blues — kind of a guest DJ turn where instead of spinning his favorites, he performs them.  The tunes all are given a coat of equal parts swamp and shuffle: Lightnin’ Slim meets J.J. Cale.

The opening Elmore James chestnut sets the mood, highlighted by Ricky Peterson‘s suave B-3 fills and son Benson Ramsey‘s long, drawn-out harmonica notes that evoke visuals of ghost trains.

On “You Got Me Dizzy,” he does his best Jimmy Reed impersonation. Howlin’ Wolf is channeled on “No Place to Go” (aka “You Gonna Wreck My Life” and nearly identical to Wolf’s more-famous “How Many More Years”). On Muddy Waters’ “Little Geneva” and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Unseeing Eye,” guest Joe Price lays down some mean but restrained slide guitar. Elizabeth Cotten’s “Freight Train” is recast as a dreamy instrumental that would do Bill Frisell proud. And on the traditional “Where the Sun Never Goes Down,” he does that Ry Cooder thing on the Weissenborn.

It’s decided: Lucinda Williams and Greg Brown can’t have Ramsey anymore, because the world needs him to make more of his own records.

1. Stranger Blues
2. Hate To See You Go
3. Sitting On Top Of The World
4. Jump, Baby, Jump
5. Crazy Mixed Up World
6. Little Geneva
7. You Got Me Dizzy
8. I Wanna Get Funky
9. No Place To Go
10. Unseeing Eye
11. Freight Train
12. Where The Sun Never Goes Down

Total time: 47:21

External Links
artist’s link