Friday, July 3, 2020

Jose Ramirez - Here I Come - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Here I Come, from Jose Ramirez, and it's a very cool, R&B flavored, contemporary blues release. Opening with title track, Here I Come, Jose Ramirez leads on vocal and guitar, backed by Jim Pugh on piano, Wes Starr on drums and Nate Rowe on bass. Showing his first solo, he's low slung and with plenty of Texas feel...think Jimmie Vaughan or Anson Funderburgh styling. Very nice. Slow blues, I Miss You Baby sounds like it's right out of the T Bone Walker songbook and with solid vocals by Ramirez and the backing of  Texas Horns (Mark ‘Kaz’ Kazanoff, John Mills and Al Gomez) this track is rich. Listen to Ramirez make that guitar sing... nice. Anson Funderburgh actually shows up on Gasoline and Matches and lays in some stinging riffs over the Horns, a funk bass line by Rowe. Very nice. Goodbye Letter is a real nice slower blues with some of Ramirez's best vocals on the release and excellent rolling piano work by Pugh. Sit back and let him stroke the strings... solid phrasing and great tone. Combining the guitar loping riff of SRV and the warm organ work of Pugh, Three Years has a real soothing blues feel and gives Funderburgh and Ramirez plenty of space to work. Very nice. Super soulful, As You Can See, is one of my absolute favorites on the release with strong lead vocals by Ramirez, and plenty of fat horn work. Ramirez holds back on his guitar until the tail of the track but it's a perfect short of heat at just the right moment. Excellent! Wrapping the release is strong shuffle, Stop Teasing Me, with cool organ work by Pugh under Ramirez's solid vocals. His lead guitar lines and the tight drum work is a perfect balance and with continued pressure from Pugh on his Hammond, this track is a stong closer for a really strong release. 

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