~ Dan Willging, Offbeat, New Orleans
Guest musicians featured on the album are Rob Halverson (guitar/mandolin), Peer Wassenaar (bass), Tim Paco (bass),
Johnny Vidacovich (drums), Michael Messer, (drums),
Reggie Houston (saxophone), David Leonard (trumpet), Theresa Andersson (backing vocals), Chip Wilson (guitar), and Ben Schenck (clarinet).
Originally from Chicago, singer/songwriter and piano player BART RAMSEY has lived in New Orleans for half his life, give or take a few years in West Africa, Central America, and Europe. His first professional gig was in Bamenda, Cameroon, when he became the regular organist for the traveling Nigerian band "Jerry Cooper and the Jark Brothers." Once the band dissolved, he moved to New Orleans to write a couple of novels and soak up the music of his adopted hometown. Bart is a prolific songwriter with twisted tales to tell and an off-beat sense of humor. His lyrics have been described as "vivid, evocative mini-epics." He also writes cross-cultural instrumentals that sound like classics, especially since he started carrying the accordion with him everywhere. It also serves as a bullet proof vest. Bart's singing voice has been described as "whiskey-soaked," although he prefers red wine. Besides piano, he also performs on guitar and accordion, and records with a variety of other instruments, including harmonica, jaw harp, glockenspeil, percussion and toy piano.
Fiddler NETI VAAN is fascinated by the varied fiddle traditions she has encountered on her musical journey. She started her travels at an early age, when her family moved from the Netherlands to Texas by way of five years in Uganda and Kenya, always bringing along her fathers violin. Eventually, when her hands were big enough, Neti got started on that same violin. In Texas she discovered the local western-swing, tex-mex and bluegrass styles. After many years of honing her skills as a street musician on sidewalks from New Orleans to San Francisco, living in a converted Dodge van as a modern-day nomad, Neti moved to London in 1987. She went there to visit a friend and stayed long enough to become a founding member of the folk-roots bands "Companions of the Rosy Hours," "Bill Caddick's Urban Legend" and "Zumzeaux." In her work with Bart Ramsey, she adapts easily to the wide range of styles, and draws on her extensive repertoire of traditional and original fiddle tunes, as well as contributing spot-on harmonies. In New Orleans she is a member of the popular and award-winning swing/trad-jazz band "New Orleans Jazz Vipers."
Since they started working together in 1994, Bart Ramsey and Neti Vaan have divided their time between home in Louisiana, and touring in Europe for two or three months every summer. They have worked primarily in Britain, France, and more recently Italy.
Check out the artist's website:
1. The Lady I Hated to Lose
2. When I Grow Up
3. The Man Who Had No Name
4. The End of the Line
5. We Eat a Peck of Dirt Before We Die
6. I Thought It Was God but It Was Only a Ufo
7. When I Was Young
8. We All Gotta Make It
9. Little Red Wagon
10. Whatever Happened
11. Knock On Wood
12. The Hunger
13. Zopilotes Mojados
14. Tomorrow I Will Sleep
15. Wagon Reprise