How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With this second solo release of his career, David "Kid" Ramos didn't settle for a typical set of macho guitar blues. Instead, the Fabulous Thunderbirds axeman called in a talented collection of blues cats and orchestrated one of the most eclectic blues releases of the year.
With jazzy horns expertly charted by Jeff Turmes, Gene Taylor's hucklebucking piano, the leader's economical guitar, and an assortment of gifted vocalists, Kid's eponymous debut on Evidence swings hard from start to finish. The singers include Kim Wilson, Willie Chambers of the Chambers Brothers, Cesar Rosas from Los Lobos, Lynwood Slim, Janiva Magness and James Harman. The latter was Ramos's former boss in a blues band many considered LA's finest ever, the James Harman Band. Harmon's entire late-'80s quintet reunites here as drummer Stephen Hodges, pianist Taylor and bassist Willie J. Campell provide Ramos with a musical nucleus.
With catchy songs such as Harmon's county-blues ditty "Walk-Around Telephone," the Albert Collins-inspired instrumental "Cold Chicken And Beer," the Memphis-style slow blues of "Open Up Your Heart," and Ramos's Coasters-like vocal debut on "I Would Be A Sinner," this one delivers some exquisite blues, boogie and R&B.