If you can call his ongoing stint with the Fabulous Thunderbirds “woodshedding,” then guitarist David “Kid” Ramos has definitely paid his dues. He replaced Jimmie Vaughan – Texas-sized shoes to fill, if ever there was – in the quintessential blues combo in 1995 after playing with James Harman, the Blasters, Roomful of Blues, and others. All of that woodshedding has paid off on this solo album.
With this type of resumé, Ramos has been able to call on some friends to play along. The T-Birds’ Kim Wilson adds vocals, Harman sings and blows his harp, Los Lobos’ Cesar Rosas and swingman Lynwood Slim sing a number or two, and other well-known buddies play everything from Hammond B3 to sax. The result is a top-notch backing band and a full horn section.
Ramos’ blues here range from T-Bone Walker-inflected swing to B.B. King’s singing lines to Albert Collins’ chilling solos. Above all, however, Vaughan appears to play a big part in Ramos’ fretwork, as his lines are spare, tasty, and waste no notes.
On this album, Ramos was armed with an arsenal that included his trusty 1959 Fender Esquire, a 1952 Gibson ES-5, 1957 Mary Kay Custom Shop reissue, and a 1961 Supro Reso-Glas resonator played through a 1959 Bassman, 3 X 10 Bandmaster, Vox AC-30 and assorted other amps. His tone is as impeccable as one would expect given the means to the end.
This is one fun album. It’s packed with finger-lickin’ good guitar and hot blues that will make your mouth water for more.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’99 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.