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Willis Alan Ramsey

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kerry Dexter
Lyle Lovett calls Willis Alan Ramsey's lone recording one of the greatest records of all time. Long a cult classic passed from hand to hand in smokey bars and clubs, it found a life of its own. Eleven laid-back but literate precursors to the Lovett/ Nanci Griffith/ Michael Martin Murphey vein of songwriting fill the disc. Best known and probably least representative is "Muskrat Love," which became a hit for the Captain and Tennille and the group America. The blues-infused "Northeast Texas Women" and an understated tribute to Woody Guthrie, "Boy From Oklahoma," make Lovett's respect seem more warranted. Leon Russell, who has covered several of the songs, plays backup, ...
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07/20/1999 CD Good 003 Item may show signs of shelf wear. Booklets may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. ... Access codes may or may not work. Connecting listeners since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kerry Dexter
Lyle Lovett calls Willis Alan Ramsey's lone recording one of the greatest records of all time. Long a cult classic passed from hand to hand in smokey bars and clubs, it found a life of its own. Eleven laid-back but literate precursors to the Lovett/ Nanci Griffith/ Michael Martin Murphey vein of songwriting fill the disc. Best known and probably least representative is "Muskrat Love," which became a hit for the Captain and Tennille and the group America. The blues-infused "Northeast Texas Women" and an understated tribute to Woody Guthrie, "Boy From Oklahoma," make Lovett's respect seem more warranted. Leon Russell, who has covered several of the songs, plays backup, and Ramsey's songs have also been recorded by the likes of Waylon Jennings and Shawn Colvin. All in all, Ramsey's influence loomed far beyond his own career; to date, he's not recorded a followup to this visionary 1972 debut.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
In many ways, Willis Alan Ramsey's debut album makes him sound like the archetypical Texas singer/songwriter; there's more than a little Guy Clark in his approach, a healthy dose of Townes Van Zandt, a dash of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and one can hear the echoes of what Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett would draw from this music. But Ramsey's style -- an engaging mixture of cowboy poetry, post-hippie wit and wonder, and singer/songwriter introspection -- burst forth fully formed in 1972, while Van Zandt was still barely a rumor outside the Lone Star State, and Clark had yet to make himself heard on vinyl; Ramsey was at once a contemporary of the first wave of Texas songwriters, and one of the artists who blazed the trail for what would become one of the most fruitful tributaries of American roots music. While a number of artists covered material from Willis Alan Ramsey the Captain & Tennille most famously with "Muskrat Candlelight" -- retitled "Muskrat Love" -- though Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, and even Jimmy Buffett fared better creatively, one listen to the album is enough to convince anyone Ramsey was as much a performer as a songwriter. The bluesy drawl and frayed edges of Ramsey's voice convey a road-worn maturity that betrayed his youth he was in his early twenties when he cut these sessions, and his production in collaboration with Denny Cordell is remarkably intelligent and imaginative for someone with so little experience in the studio. From the tragic road story of "The Ballad of Spider John," the weary nostalgia of "Goodbye to Old Missoula," and the Woody Guthrie tribute of "Boy from Oklahoma," to the horny twang of "Geraldine and the Honeybee" and the goofy music-biz meditation of "Satin Sheets," Ramsey hardly makes a false move or a poorly considered gesture through the course of the album's 40 minutes. Part of the mystique that has sprung up around Willis Alan Ramsey's debut album is that he dropped from sight after recording it due to differences with his record company and a lack of enthusiasm for the realities of the music business, and has yet to release a follow-up, and it's hard to imagine anyone who has heard it not hoping there's more where this came from. If your recording career was to be contained in a single album, though, you'd be very fortunate if it were as good as Willis Alan Ramsey.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/20/1999
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 099923801924
  • Catalog Number: 8019

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Willis Alan Ramsey Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Leon Russell Piano, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes
Red Rhodes Pedal Steel Guitar, Steel Guitar
Jim Keltner Drums
Robert Aberg Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bottle, Slide Guitar
Kenny Bulbey Drums
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Tyller Collie Drums
Waller Collie Drums, Vocals
Nick DeCaro Accordion
Tim Drummond Bass
John Harris Piano
Eddie Hinton Guitar
Russ Kunkel Drums
Cathy Pruitt Cello
Carl Radle Bass
Dusty Rhodes Fiddle, Violin
Tim Self Fiddle, Violin
Mike Sexton Vocals
Larry Stedman Piano
Larry Steelman Piano
David Ward II Bells, cowbell
Ernie Watts Saxophone
Charles Perrino Guitar, Vocals
Leland Sklar Bass
Technical Credits
Willis Alan Ramsey Composer, Producer
Waller Collie Contributor
Denny Cordell Producer
Nick DeCaro String Arrangements
Robin Hood Engineer
Frosty Horton Contributor
Elliot Mazer Engineer
Peter Nichols Engineer
Bob Porter Engineer
John Porter Reissue Producer
Bob Potter Engineer
Al Schmitt Remixing
David Ward II Sound Effects
Grant Conch Sound Effects, Contributor
Terry Dodson Sound Effects, Contributor
Ellis Widner Liner Notes
Marlene Bergman Art Direction
Oblio Contributor
Wayne Dailey Engineer
Ron Burnham Contributor
Suzanne Ammon Reissue Design
William Matthews Artwork
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best ever...!!!

    Having met and heard Willis Alan back when he began in Austin in '72 it just grips me to my core to hear his wonderful music again. I can't believe he never released anything else in all of these years.

    My friends and I used to pile down to this little speak easy in the basement of the Dobie Mall to hear him whenever he came to play. It was such a neat, personal, intimate setting to get to know him and his music. He was just one of us.

    Now, 37 years later, I just missed him playing here in San Antonio at a music circle and am sick about it. We caught him at Bourne Stage about 15 years ago nd it was so good see him again.

    When I listen to his music I cry, because I am so quickly transported back to my youth when I first heard his ballads and was just beginning life out on my own. Good friends, wonderful music, and discovering love for the first time. It just doesn't get any better than that...!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Buried Treasure

    Finding this CD is very similar to finding a buried treasure. I was living in San Marcos, Tx. when this album first appeared along with others, such as B. W. (Buckwheat) Stevenson and Michael Murphy's (Martin was later added) "Cosmic Cowboy." The mythology of this album has grown extensibly as the years have passed. Trivia facts have abounded by those who remember this music. And let there be no mistake, it is great music, and a collectors album. There are no accolades worthy enough to bestow on this disc. There should be a sixth star to denote a masterpeice. Yes, I am proud to say I own a copy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    TIME MACHINE OR GREAT ALBUM..........BOTH

    I finally have Willis Alan Ramsey again. Listening to these songs for the first time in 25 years has brought back many great memories. I have my own little time machine that I can have transport me at any time. Lost my vinyl copy back in 1979 (one of those great memories took it along with everything else when she found out about one of those other great memories). This album is so fresh. It could have been made today. My friends love it. What a perfect combination of country, blues, folk ........or in other words........that special sound that is only Willis.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One Of The Great Albums Of It's Time

    This may be the greatest album no one heard back in the late 60's and 70's. That Ramsey did not repeat is a shame. I believe he was still writing in recent times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic!!!

    When this album came out, I was a college student and stoner listening to all manner of worthless music that has faded from the earth. I lost the LP to some bad breakup years later. I finally found the CD, and it was like the best friend I ever had walking in the door. I consider this to be one of the greatest albums of all time. Just a great, great, great collection of songs. Good to see you, Willis! Swear to god, I can't listen to Angel Eyes without going wet in the eyes. Time will do that to a man. I saw you in Athens, GA at the ''Last Resort'' in 70-something (hey, I said I was a stoner then) and we had a beer and talked about W. Guthrie. Please put out another collection soon.

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