Arbor Lane Music
Saxophone player Scott Ramminger gives us all original songs on this jumping and jiving album featuring a cool horn section and keys as part of his band; an assortment of vocal talents back him on the songs, too.
Doug Belote (with a little help from Johnny Vidacovich) is on drums, George Porter Jr. (with help from Roland Guerin) is on bass, Shane Theriot is on guitar, David Torkanowsky is on keys, Rick Troslen and Greg Hicks are on trombone, and Eric Lucero is on trumpet. These guys do a smashingly good job and are a tight band.
“Living Too Fast” is a nice opener and features Tommy Malone in vocal support and has a nice piano. It’s a medium tempo-ed jazzy sounding blues that swings. Bekka Bramlett joins in for vocals on “Someone to Disappoint.” There is a nice sax solo on this one. Next up we have Francine Reed who sings with Scott on the title track. The sax gets the first solo followed by the piano; the song has a metered tempo and it’s fun little cut over all. The sultry “Hoping That the Sun Won’t Shine” features Bramlett returning to sing. It’s a cool ballad with a restrained sax solo that melds well with the song’s somberness. “Give a Pencil to a Fish” is a cute and funky cut with clever lyrics. The McCrary Sisters back Ramminger here with a gritty performance. Nice organ solo work and a guitar solo add to this one. The slow blues of “Winter is Always Worse” is dark and deep. Vocals, guitar and sax share the spotlight in this well done and soulful number.
Funky trumpets intro “Get Back Up” where the McCrary Sisters help Scott get down and get funky. Sax, guitar and organ get solos– another good cut! Janiva Magness joins Ramminger for “It’s Hard to Be Me,” a jumping little number. Scott gives a prolonged solo and Magness’ backing vocals are solid. The next song features Tommy Malone and “a cast of thousands” which is really seven male backing vocalists. “Mystery to Me” is a another jumping cut and the band and singers have a ball turning in a great performance. Slow blues follows with “Off My Mind” as Ramminger talks his baby out of killing him. Another trio of solos as before with heavy horns is featured here.
The MCCrary Sisters return for “I Need a New One” and “Walk a Little Straighter.” The former is a moderately paced lament to old age with another sax-guitar-organ solo grouping while the latter is a driving cut about a review of life at the pearly gates. Sax and the Mcrary’s are big here and the horns and piano backing are fine. “My Girl For Life” is an R&B ballad with organ, horns and guitar pacing themselves sweetly with the feeling and tempo. Roddie Romero helps on vocals in the fast and jumping boogie woogie “Stubborn Man.” Ramminger and Theriot offer solos and Romero adds his accordion to the mix to good effect. Later, Torkanowsky adds a piano solo which takes us out and closes an overall fun and exciting album.
I enjoyed the CD and it’s swinging sound. Great horn work, solid vocals and guitar, well done keys, star powered backing vocals and a pro backline make for a superb sound and a really well done album. I enjoyed the songs top to bottom and Ramminger delivered on each! Well done and well worth trying out!