Bo Ramsey | In The Weeds

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Blues: Delta Style Rock: Americana Moods: Featuring Guitar
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In The Weeds

by Bo Ramsey

Ten songs (two co-written by Greg Brown) featuring Bo's unique sound, a host of session players, and guest appearances by Kelly Jo Phelps, David Zollo and the sultry Lucinda Williams highlight this release.
Genre: Blues: Delta Style
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. In The Weeds
3:15 $0.99
2. Ain't It Hard
4:26 $0.99
3. Precious
6:21 $0.99
4. Forget You
3:38 $0.99
5. Big Bill
5:48 $0.99
6. Sidetrack Lounge
4:56 $0.99
7. King of Clubs
4:10 $0.99
8. Desert Flower
5:34 $0.99
9. Everything Is Comin' Down
3:28 $0.99
10. Living in a Cornfield
5:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Born and raised in the blue-collar Mississippi River town of Burlington, Iowa in 1951, Robert Franklin 'Bo' Ramsey not only played a vital role in shaping Eastern Iowa's distinctive blues-rock hybrid, but has continued in his still-vibrant career as a performer, much-in-demand producer, recording session guitarist and "hired gun" in touring bands of high-profile national acts.

Ramsey broke out in the early-'70s with the seminal Mother Blues Band, a honking powerhouse which also featured Iowa blues legends Joe Price and Patrick Hazell. In the latter part of the decade, the guitarist broke off to form Bo Ramsey & The Sliders.

Merging the sounds of his beloved Chess Records blues masters with Rolling Stones muscle and swampy, river basin funk, Ramsey & The Sliders enjoyed a strong following on the Midwest circuit for nearly a dozen years.

Following a brief hiatus in the late-'80s, Bo began a collaboration/friendship with revered folksinger Greg Brown that continues to the present. Ramsey has played guitar on ten of Brown's discs, and produced/co-produced 1990's Down In There, 1994's The Poet Game, 1996's Further In, 1997's Grammy-nominated Slant 6 Mind, 2000's Covenant and 2006's Evening Calls (all on Red House), as well as 2000's Over And Under and 2004's Honey In The Lion's Head for Trailer Records.

The pair has toured the U.S. and abroad extensively. The past 16 years have brought a dizzying array of cross-pollinations. In between gigs with Greg Brown, Ramsey briefly co-fronted a band with Nashville singer/songwriter Kevin Gordon, led his own bands (The Backsliders and The Middle Of Nowhere), and — for the past few years — has recorded and toured with singer/songwriter Pieta Brown.

Bo produced (and added his guitars to) Iowa City treasure Dave Moore's Breaking Down To 3 (Red House) Tucson roots-rocker Teddy Morgan's Lost Love & Highways (Hightone) and, most recently, acclaimed singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault's Ghost Repeater, due in 2006 on Signature Sounds.

He also co-produced Dave Zollo's Uneasy Street (Trailer), Pieta BrownÕs self-titled debut (Trailer), I Never Told (T Records) and In The Cool (Valley Entertainment), Kevin Gordon's Down To The Well (Shanachie) and — perhaps most notably — alt-country superstar Lucinda Williams' Essence (Lost Highway).

The Lucinda connection began in the early '90s, when Williams heard Ramsey's 1991 masterpiece, Down To Bastrop, in (of all places) a New Zealand record shop while on tour. She subsequently contacted Bo, and the two became fast friends. Ramsey played on her Grammy-winning Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (Mercury), and joined her band for part of that disc's tour.

Bo produced and played on the basic tracks for Lucinda's follow-up, the Grammy-nominated Essence — again joining her band on tour in support of that record.

All told, Ramsey and his trademark scruffy cowboy hat garnered two TV appearances with Williams on "The Late Show With David Letterman" and one each on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and "Late Night With Conan O'Brien."

Other tube appearances include playing with Lucinda and Elvis Costello in the first segment of CMT's "Crossroads" series and again with Lucinda in award-winning German film director Wim Wenders' "Soul Of A Man" segment for Martin Scorsese's seven-part series on the blues for public television.

In addition, Bo's distinctive, inimitable guitar sounds have graced the recorded works of numerous artists, including extraordinary Nashville singer/songwriter Kate Campbell's Visions Of Plenty (Compass), folk god Pete Seeger with Larry Long on If I Had A Song . . . : The Songs Of Pete Seeger, Vol. II (Appleseed), a track on alt-folkie Ani DiFranco's Swing Set (Righteous Babe), and two tracks — which he also produced — on country-roots queen Iris DeMent's latest disc, Lifeline (Flariella). He's also appeared on discs by R.B. Morris, Mark Stuart, Brother Trucker, Joe Price and Jennifer Danielson.

Oh, yeah, and he also produced a six-song session for Joan Baez . . ..

The demand for Ramsey's unmistakable imprint on other artists' work has tended to keep his own work on the back-burner, but Bo's a fine, evocative and passionate writer in his own right and a commanding singer and performer.

Bo Ramsey HAS recorded nine albums under his own name, three of which — the aforementioned gem, Down To Bastrop, 1995's Bo Ramsey & The Backsliders: Live and 1997's In The Weeds — remain in print on Trailer Records.

His latest is "Stranger Blues," a long-promised — and much anticipated — project rounding up Bo's inspirational nuggets drawn from the likes of Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Elizabeth Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson and others.

Produced by Bo and Pieta Brown, "Stranger Blues" features appearances by Greg Brown, Joe Price, Pieta Brown, Benson Ramsey and Ricky Peterson. The disc will be released on Bo Ramsey Records and will be available through in summer, 2006.

Bottom line: this ol' Iowa boy surely can rockit — always has, always will . . ..

— Jim Musser, March 2006



to write a review

John Fergus

In The Weeds rocks twangs scratches kicks and crawls.
.In The Weeds has grassroots roughage with gravel in there too to grow through.

Virginia Ivanicki

Bo reaches down deep with every song.
We call it touching your core now, but it used to just be called reaching right into your gut. Whatever it's called, that's where these songs go. If you're walking down a country road, anywhere, hearing these songs, you know you and the land are one and it's always been that way - sometimes things are hard, but we're ok. Elemental, in lyric, voice, instrument. And something more than that - Magic.

Jayne Fletcher

The CD is a keeper from start to finish.
From a music lover, I just need to commend Bo Ramsey on a well rounded cd. Besides Precious and Sidetrack Lounge, Ain't It Hard is a song I keep returning to time and again.
I have not had the pleasure of seeing him perform live...I hope to one day. Thank you Bo for your contributions to the music world.

Glenn Francis Cusano

I first heard Bo on college radio last month in Hartford CT. I was blown away and had to buy the CD quick. I'm a songwriter and his music is inspiring me to make my own CD for CD Baby. The title track is the best hard-luck American rock tune I've heard in years, the whole album is perfect for hot summer nights. Jack of Clubs may be the best written American song of all time. It's that good. The imagery of this whole album is so real, you can feel it. Sidetrack Lounge is another good example. Bo, please come East so we can see you live.