Friday, March 08, 2013

Scott Ramminger's Wise Fatherly Advice

Washington DC area saxophonist and vocalist Scott Ramminger impressed with his debut CD Crawstickers. It was full of good songs, strong bands and Ramminger’s strong saxophone playing and vocals. He has followed this up with a new recording Advice From a Father to a Son (Arbor Lane) that builds on the strengths of the earlier recording to produce a collection of performances that will satisfy both dancers and listeners. The album was recorded both in New Orleans (the first seven tracks) and the Washington DC area (last three). The New Orleans tracks have Ramminger’s tenor and baritone saxophones joined by David Torkanowsky on keyboards, Shane Theriot on guitar,   George Porter Jr. on bass, and Johnny Vidacovich on drums, The Washington, DC tracks include Tommy Lepson on organ, Dave Chappell on guitar, Jay Turner on bass and Barry Hart on drums. Nashville’s McCrary Sisters as well as DC’s Patty Reese are amongst those adding background vocals making for a strong cast of those supporting Scott on this.

Scott is a triple threat. He is a vocalist who brings warmth, depth of feeling, and humor, an able saxophonist who plays solidly in the vein of a Lee Allen or Red Tyler and a songwriter whose ability to craft songs together is quite notable. Without going through a detailed analysis of every track, a few highlights of the varied songs heard here include the opening I Love Your Smile, a song dealing with his wife’s many qualities (the clothes she wears, her derriere, fine sense of style, and he really loves her smile) with rollicking New Orleans piano from David Torkanowsky; a duet with Regina McCrary, The Other Man’s Shoes, with a message that folks should look beyond their own narrow views and try to see things from the view of the other man’s views with some striking guitar as well as a nicely shaped and clean-toned solo from Ramminger.

The title song which provides advice include that one be careful of a man in white shoes when buying a car; be generous to people who have less; eat more salad than you need; check your oil when buying gas; if go to an old girlfriend’s wedding try not to act like an ass; and don’t forget to call your mother, her love is second to none; enjoy everyday like it might be your last; advice from a father to a son, set to a lively second-line groove with a nice trumpet solo from Vince McCool; and the closing Sometimes You Race With The Devil, with a nice reggae groove and solid playing by the DC area studio group. This song recently took the Gold Award (the top honor) in the vocal blues/jazz category of the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest.

The remaining performances stand out in a similar fashion. About Scott’s earlier album, Crawstickers, I observed that it was seriously entertaining with plenty of substance in the performances. With Advice From a Father To a Son, Scott has produced an another excellent  rich musical gumbo that is certain to delight a wide audience.

I received this from a publicist.  Here is Scott performing Crawsticker at the Surf Club, the late, fondly remembered DC area venue.

No comments: