All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

151

Ramsay Midwood: Shoot Out At The OK Chinese Restaurant

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Subsequent to creating a buzz out on the West Coast, vocalist/guitarist Ramsay Midwood relocated to Austin Texas, performing amongst the nouveau crop of rock-based C&W bands. But this Virginia native’s rather asymmetrical past, including stints as a bike messenger and bit actor, only bespeaks part of the story. His affections for bluegrass and American roots music came to fruition during his upbringing in Virginia. Moving forward, Midwood toured Europe, where this outing was initially issued for the German Glitterhouse label back in 2000. With notoriety and rave reviews emanating from the European press and elsewhere, California-based Vanguard Records has insightfully re-released the artist’s debut.

The CD artwork suggests a lightheartedly retro approach, featuring the imprint of an LP on what would be the jacket sleeve and the inclusion of: “electronically altered for stereo” on the front cover. Midwood launches the festivities with a lower register, murmuring type vocal delivery on the catchy (and radio friendly) tune titled “Chicago.” Otherwise, Midwood’s art is founded upon an earthy style of prose, complete with mild distortions to the English language, or perhaps something that might ring like cowboy jargon. He combines downright hilarious lyrics with a downtrodden outlook, amid his charmingly eccentric view of life. Loose comparisons to Woody Guthrie may be in order, while Midwood evokes widespread imagery that also conjures up notions of dingy, roadhouse saloons. Moreover, the ensemble provides sympathetic support via its sprightly melding of country rock and blue grass with melodic themes and straight four beats.

The artist injects some black humor and Americana-like musings into the proceedings with the piece titled “Spinnin’ on this Rock,” featuring lyrics about shooting his friends and losing his job on the dock. Overall, Shoot Out at the Ok Chinese Restaurant is a strangely beautiful event. As Midwood’s bucolic yet altogether ingenious lyricism hits the mark in a rather prolific way.

Vanguard Records


Track Listing: 1.Chicago 2.Mohawk River 3.Monster Truck 4.Feed My Monkey 5.Esther 6.Waynesboro 7.Spinnin

Personnel: Matt Margucci: trumpet

Title: Shoot Out At The OK Chinese Restaurant | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Vanguard Records

Tags

Related Articles

Read Shades CD/LP/Track Review
Shades
by Doug Collette
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World CD/LP/Track Review
Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Pattern Recognition CD/LP/Track Review
Pattern Recognition
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Just This CD/LP/Track Review
Just This
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Live at Sowieso CD/LP/Track Review
Live at Sowieso
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read "More Songs About Error And Shame" CD/LP/Track Review More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Autotelic" CD/LP/Track Review Autotelic
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Země" CD/LP/Track Review Země
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 12, 2018
Read "Combo 66" CD/LP/Track Review Combo 66
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 6, 2018
Read "The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24" CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "The Great Nostalgist" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Nostalgist
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 10, 2018