Ramsay Midwood

Shoot Out at the OK Chinese Restaurant

Hot tips are always welcome. In this case, Jeff Eccles, a guy I went to high school with and later worked with at Tower Records’ corporate office, called to yank my chain about a record he’d heard. Can’t recall exactly what was said, but somewhere in our conversation, the words “Tony Joe White,” “Meters,” “Exile on Main Street” and “old Lightnin’ Hopkins vibe” must have come up, because I was all ears when this disc showed up a few days afterward. Midwood, who has the perfect name for a laid-back singer of the shitkicker persuasion, has made a swell album of 11 tunes, 10 of them originals, that slither along the ground like a side-winding rattler. This is mighty spacious music, with silences between the slide guitars and accordions and Midwood’s worn-leather voice. Pure Americana. As Midwood puts it, “If you don’t like it you can kiss my ass / Because I drive a monster truck.” Sweet.