Kid Ramos review…April 25, 2018….

KID RAMOS

OLD SCHOOL

RIP CAT RECORDS  RIC 1802

KID’S JUMP–ALL YOUR LOVE–TELL ME WHAT YA WANT–MASHED POTATOES AND CHILI–HEARTBEAT–YOU NEVER CALL MY NAME–ANNA–WES SIDE–MONA LISA–JESUS COME BY HERE–I CAN’T WAIT BABY–WEIGHT ON MY SHOULDERS–HIGH SOCIETY WOMAN

Hard to fathom, but it has indeed been seventeen years since David “Kid” Ramos released his last album, “Greasy Kid Stuff,” back in 2001.  During that time, he has raised two sons into young adulthood,  kicked cancer squarely in the @$$, and still kept his eyes on the prize of being one of the best artists it has been our privilege to know and enjoy.  He’s back and stronger than ever with “Old School,” for Rip Cat Records.  It’s a mix of Kid’s originals and cool covers that allows his guitar and vocals to  bring you an excellent set of blues and standards.  It also marks the vocal debut of Kid’s son, Johnny Ramos, on two cuts.

We’ve been fans of Kid and his guitar since a chance meeting down on Beale Street back’ round the turn of the century, and that huge, fat tone he coaxes out of his axe is still front and center.  His versatility within styles is prominent, too, with three outstanding instrumentals.   One of those leads off, as Kid pays a sweet tribute to B. B. with the swingin’ “Kid’s Jump,” followed a bit later with the Sixties’-flavored “Mashed Potatoes And Chili.”  “Wes Side” rounds out the instrumentals, a downright jazzy ode to Wes Montgomery, featuring organ from Bob Welsh.

Kid’s two vocals, on “Mona Lisa” and the Buddy Holly-esque “Heartbeat,” both hearken back to his days with Los Fabulocos.  Johnny Tucker on vocals turns in two of our favorites, with a tune co-written by Johnny and Kid.  It’s just Kid’s guitar and Johnny’s plaintive vocal on “we make love, but You Never Call My Name,” and, a bit later, Johnny’s vocal takes a gospel turn over Kid’s lead work on “Jesus, Come By Here.”

We had three more highlights, too.  Johnny Ramos shows his maturity and his relative ease in reaching the upper register on his vocals on a bluesy read of Sam Maghett’s “All Your Love,” with Pops wailing away on that signature riff.  Later, he takes a cool turn with Arthur Alexander’s iconic “Anna (Go To Him).  The set closes on a swingin’ West Coast note, with T-Bone’s classic “High Society Woman,” featuring vocals from Kim Wilson.

Frankly, Kid, we are glad to see this album come to fruition.  Please don’t wait so long before you go “Old School” on us again, OK?  Peace, brother…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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