Kid Ramos

Greasy Kid Stuff

Now 42, guitarist Kid Ramos isn’t a “kid” anymore, but in 1980, when he was just 21 and joined harmonicist James Harman’s band, his nickname fit, and it’s been with him ever since. After seven years with Harman he quit music; then, in 1995, he joined the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The muscular Ramos credits Harman with teaching him about music, and on this, his third CD for the label, he’s invited his former boss and six other harp hounds to join him.

Among the highlights on this 17-track “blues harp extravaganza” are Harman’s “Gratitude Is Riches and Complaint Is Poverty,” with Ramos and sax man Jeff Turmes blowing up a storm à la Elmore James and his Broomdusters; Rod Piazza’s surprisingly jazzy instrumental, “Devils’ Foot"; Paul deLay’s stellar workout on “Ain’t Gonna Holler"; Rick Estrin’s jumping “It’s Hot in Here"; and Charlie Musselwhite’s relaxed take on “Rich Man’s Woman (On a Poor Man’s Pay).” (Harpists Johnny Dyer and Lynwood Slim also provide some harp power.)

This is a meaty CD that is equal parts a symposium on jump blues and an impressive display of musicianship and songwriting.