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bo ramsey | stranger blues

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United States - Iowa

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Blues: Electric Blues Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
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stranger blues

by bo ramsey

my intrepretation of old blues songs - blues
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stranger Blues
Bo Ramsey
5:08 $0.99
2. Hate to See You Go
Bo Ramsey
3:00 $0.99
3. Sitting On Top of the World
Bo Ramsey
3:58 $0.99
4. Jump, Baby, Jump
Bo Ramsey
4:25 $0.99
5. Crazy Mixed Up World
Bo Ramsey
4:11 $0.99
6. Little Geneva
Bo Ramsey
3:11 $0.99
7. You Got Me Dizzy
Bo Ramsey
3:28 $0.99
8. I Wanna Get Funky
Bo Ramsey
4:08 $0.99
9. No Place to Go
Bo Ramsey
5:20 $0.99
10. Unseeing Eye
Bo Ramsey
3:18 $0.99
11. Freight Train
Bo Ramsey
3:23 $0.99
12. Where the Sun Never Goes Down
Bo Ramsey
3:51 $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 www.boramsey.com in summer, 2006.

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

— Jim Musser, March 2006



to write a review

Mark Salo

This CD was focused and did what they wanted to do with it..
A few years back I bought Ramsey's first CD and Didn’t care for it. It didn’t hold together for me. This one is different. He sticks with the blues and shows a virtuosity with blues riffs and rhythms that are as good as anyone can play them. While being true to the genre, his unique style of playing comes through. If no one told me who was on the lead and I heard the CD, I would know who it was…regardless.

Virginia Ivanicki

Master of the subtle touch
Tasty production, subtle touches of sound that hit the bull's eye every time - like listening to a CD that was made especially for me. Everything I want to hear is there. I love Bo's smokey voice, the whispery touches are nothing short of intimate. Impossible to play once, this is a sexy, edgy, low-down soul grabbing musical ride. Up, down, and sliding sideways. I am greedy-hungry for more.


outstanding work from a fellow Iowan
LOVE LOVE LOVE Bo and Greg and David and all the other Iowa City and/or Iowa muscians that I have been listening to for over 25 years now.
Great to have Bo doing solo albums and best of luck to him and Pieta on their new marriage and upcoming parenthood!

kully mindemann

very tasty
great mix of material by blues luminaries, great vocals, and some really great playing. Bo and company get in the groove and stretch it out. especially love the title cut, stranger blues, and the last cut, where the sun goes down. I bought this for my brother but he might never get it.

Phil Bober

good ol' blues, as I remember it with it's "voodoo" feel!
Blues standards that hooked me as a teenager, played with basics, trem. and reverb thru lipstick pickups. Bo Ramsey has a real Gut feel for making you so aware of the guitars' voice yet not running thru clipped phrases, as done to death on so many blues numbers today.

Karin Leonard

After being a longtime fan of Bo and his original work, I really appreciate his
Totally entertaining...thanks BO!

Mark Ostrander

What is special about this CD is we get to hear Bo sing for a change. It's worth the price of the CD alone to hear his voice. Bo knows the blues.

douro crotch

superb singing, playing choice of material and production
no self written "bo" songs on this album just all round superb singing, playing, choice of material and production make it one of my albums of the year, which is strange as i am not a "blues" lover normaly. a benchmark album to compare with other "cover version" discs by all genres past, present and future. if you only buy a single album a year from your normal selection of artists or music types make it this one, the quality shines throughout.


Traditional Blues at its best
If you like sparse, swampy guitar playing mixed with a rough and tumble voice, you're sure to dig this CD. Bo gets some of coolest guitar sounds EVER recorded on his CDs, I have no idea how he does it, but they are fantastic, and his playing is deliberately phrased and well tought out. Jimmy Vaughan, who many think of as the ultimate "less is more" player, sounds like a wanker, compared to Bo. Fantastic CD!!! I highly recommend contacting Bo to get all his other CDs

Jayne Fletcher

Bo's got some blues
His guitar work is wonderful. You Got Me Dizzy and Unseeing Eye remind me why I fell in love with the blues.
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