by Tom Faddis
Scott Ramminger is a rabble rousing, sax blowing blues vocalist that writes tunes that are centered around today’s real-life problems, with a bit of wit and wry added in for good measure, the recipe offers just the right amount of spice and kick, and is oh so finger licking good.
No longer a pup Ramminger is well-traversed in the pitfalls of love and sings about it with a great sense of humor. Backed by a stellar line up of Pete Ragusa (former Nighthawks drummer), Chris Brown (bass), Vince McCool (trumpet), Ariel Francis and Wes Lanich (keys), and Clarence “Bluesman” Turner, David Kitchen and Keith Grimes trading off on the guitar chair, the proceedings reminisce of the Rev, with fire and brimstone and a tonic for a damn good time.
A full sized helping double-disc size, there no lack for tasty menu choices to fill your ears with elements of R&B, Americana, and funk all laced together with a blue shoestring for a tight fit. “I Love Your Smile,” is a politically correct play-on words for the male chauvinist in us all. While tunes like “Linda Lu,” offers a classic blues shuffle with all the trills and thrills of what makes blues best. “Nasty Habits,” is a confessional for the man who knows he just wants to be a guy and Ramminger sells it quite well.
Ramminger’s voice has a talk-sing quality to it; reminiscent of your favorite uncle telling stories at the holiday gathering you dread attending, but when he arrives you know the night is just about to be turned on its head.
Disc two kicks off with “Hokey Pokey Blues,” and once again you are treated to Ramminger’s hilarious lyrical droll. Ramminger recently moved from the DC, Maryland area to Tennessee, but hasn’t forgotten his favorite “Annandale Girl.”
Closing out the party is “Ain’t Gonna Do It,” and freewheeling, high flying up-tempo shuffle that features Ramminger blowing a saucy solo on tenor adding a depth that elevates the tune with a bluesy timbre that works. Clarence “Bluesman” Turner and Keith Grimes turn in some excellent picking, as the audience claps and cheers with vigorous encouragement for the band.
Overall, the recipe for success is in the tunes themselves. Ramminger has an exceptional gift with turning a phrase into a witty moment that doesn’t make you chagrin, but actually makes you chuckle. His matter of fact vocal style gives the tunes a believability that is never contrived. Its feel-good blues, with a touch of ornery, that is worth adding to your collection as that go to disc.
Track to sample first: “I Love Your Smile,” The tracks to take a chance on are “Nasty Habits” and “Hokey Pokey Blues.” Ah shit – you’ll love em all, just buy the disc.