West Coast House Party

West Coast House Party

by Kid Ramos
     
 

West Coast jump blues was spun off Texas roots to entertain the stylish and newly moneyed African Americans who migrated to California in the '40s and '50s. The greatest proponent of this early R&B was guitarist T-Bone Walker who could do the splits and play his guitar behind his head at the same time. Though Kid Ramos isn't known for his acrobatics, his pompadoured…  See more details below

Overview

West Coast jump blues was spun off Texas roots to entertain the stylish and newly moneyed African Americans who migrated to California in the '40s and '50s. The greatest proponent of this early R&B was guitarist T-Bone Walker who could do the splits and play his guitar behind his head at the same time. Though Kid Ramos isn't known for his acrobatics, his pompadoured hair, retro outfits, and lively yet loose guitar licks recall this potent and playful era. With guest guitarists Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Duke Robillard, Rusty Zinn (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Charlie Baty (Little Charlie and the Nightcats), Rick Holstrom, and Junior Watson (Canned Heat) joining in, West Coast House Party turns into one big blues gala. A horn section and vocalists Lynwood Slim, Kim Wilson, "Big Sandy" Williams, James Harman, and Janiva Magness help produce a booting sound akin to the energetic package shows that toured the country during the early days of R&B. The material is a mix of tunes from the era -- Roy Brown's "Love Don't Love Nobody," Amos Milburn's "House Party," Dave Bartholomew's "Real Gone Lover," and Jimmy Nolan's "Wipe Your Tears" -- and originals like "'Lizabeth" that have the authentic feel of the '50s. But with all the props that Ramos, who produced the set, pays to the past, he never lets the party atmosphere languish into total nostalgia. Many of the cuts are first takes, giving the set the kind of immediacy necessary to pull off one good rockin' party.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
The third release from The Fabulous Thunderbirds' muscular lead guitarist is less a solo album than a forum for the obviously well-connected Kid Ramos to host a congregation of some of the country's best swing-influenced talent as they blow through an hour of prime West Coast jump blues. Between the ever-present horns and a long list of lead vocalists, including Lynwood Slim, Duke Robillard, Big Sandy, the Thunderbirds' Kim Wilson, and ex-employer James Harman, trading off the spotlight, it's tough for Ramos to assert himself as a guitarist with a distinctive sound amongst the excitement of all the guest appearances. Interestingly, the star also invites like-minded guitarists such as Little Charlie Baty, Rusty Zinn, and one of the genre's founding fathers, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown to his party, further diluting the effect of his own contributions. That minor complaint aside, this is a consistently exciting and joyously well-performed disc of upbeat jump blues, played with a one-take intensity that's contagious. The musicians sound like they're having a blast and that infectious feeling translates to the music, as this gifted crew runs through relatively obscure covers of Amos Milburn, Ray Brown, and Dave Bartholomew tunes, along with a handful of originals that sound as if they were written in the '50s -- the golden age of this swinging sound. "Real Gone Lover," featuring Kim Wilson's vocal and powerful harp, is the only track where the horns sit out and the sound is stripped down to a rugged trio, providing the listener a chance to hear Kid Ramos tear through a tune without regard to the tight charts that are this album's feature attraction. The extensive 12-page booklet not only offers detailed track information -- a must with a project that includes so many different musicians and soloists on each tune -- but provides a capsule history of jump blues, adding immensely to the enjoyment of the disc. Ultimately, you won't learn much more about Kid Ramos' substantial talents as anything but a terrific bandleader and the guy you'd want in charge of the guest list to your next shindig. But it's to his credit that he selflessly hands over the focus on his own release to his talented backing band and guest stars, culminating in a winning project, astonishingly free of egos from any of its participants.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/29/2000
Label:
Evidence
UPC:
0730182611021
catalogNumber:
26110

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kid Ramos   Primary Artist,Guitar,Soloist
James Harman   Vocals
Duke Robillard   Guitar,Soloist
Larry Taylor   Acoustic Bass
Kim Wilson   Harmonica,Vocals
Charlie Baty   Guitar
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown   Guitar,Soloist
Stephen Hodges   Drums
Rick Holmstrom   Guitar
James Intveld   Vocals
Fred Kaplan   Piano
Joe Krown   Organ
Steve Marsh   Tenor Saxophone
Jeff Big Dad Turmes   Baritone Saxophone
Rusty Zinn   Guitar,Vocals
Junior Watson   Guitar,Vocals
Mike Turner   Trumpet
Lynwood Slim   Vocals
Johnny Viauk   Tenor Saxophone
Janiva Magness   Vocals
Robert Williams   Vocals

Technical Credits

Jerry Gordon   Executive Producer
Jerry Hall   Engineer
Jim Washburn   Liner Notes
Mark Castle   Art Direction
Kid Ramos   Producer

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