THE BLUES AND ROOTS MUSIC BLOG
by Memphis Marty
Vocalist/Saxophonist Scott Ramminger fifth album release Rise Up.. a natural blend of blues, jazz and funk
Scott Ramminger has gone down a slightly different path on Rise Up, his fifth record since 2011. Where his previous studio discs have been heavy on horn sections and backing vocals, “Rise Up’ features only five players — Ramminger on vocals and tenor sax; Wes Lanich on piano and Hammond B3, Shane Theriot on guitar, Paul Langosch on upright bass, and Emre Kartari on drums.
“I set out trying to make a record that had a slightly different sonic footprint, sort of a stripped down, more acoustic vibe. I hired a fine jazz drummer and upright bass player. And at one point, with my producer hat on, I asked them to play less like we were at Blues Alley (a famous DC jazz club) and more like we were playing in a Brooklyn strip club in about 1960,” Ramminger says, laughing. He adds that the another idea that drove the record was taking this more acoustic sound across a wide range of groves and song types.
Rise Up moves from the opening shuffle, “Thinking About You,” to the laid back funk of “Rise Up,” to the old school R’n’B of “Daisy” to the swing of “The Feeling When I’m Falling.” The whole record is pretty woody and natural sounding — a great sounding Yamaha Grand Piano, a real Hammond B3 and Leslie, killer upright bass, drums, my tenor sax, and a bunch of Shane Theriot’s cool old guitars and funky old tube amps.’
Ramminger contends that the varied backgrounds of the players juxtaposed against the variety of styles and grooves create an interesting effect on the record. “Basically Paul Langosch on bass and Emre Kartari on drums are mostly jazzers. Paul played with Tony Bennett for years. Wes, on keys who went to Berklee and can play all kinds of music, but is primarily a blues and rock guy.” Shane Theriot on guitar can play anything, but is best known for playing in the Neville Brothers and for currently serving as the musical director on “Live From Daryl’s House” and being the guitar man in Hall and Oates. I am mostly a blues, roots, old school R’n’B guy. So it makes for some interesting musical moments, I hope.”
official website: https://scottramminger.com
Marty’s review: Scott Ramminger’s “Rise Up” is a down to earth, back to roots blend of jazz, funk and blues (with a touch of soul) that resonates with very note and beat and will have you snappin’ and tappin’ with every track. Scott has surrounded himself with a very proficient bunch of musicians that bring everything together with style and perfection. Scott’s vocals are stylish and natural and are a cohesive fit with this tight and finely-calibrated production. Scott has deliberately kept the album to 8 tracks and this works well as it is not over or under done, a clever move (so is it an extended EP or a mini-LP?). Whichever way you look at this will warrant repeat listens.