Willis Alan Ramsey, the elusive Texas singer/songwriter who released one ground-breaking CD in 1972 and then disappeared from the music scene, is coming home to Dallas for a return engagement at Poor David's Pub next Wednesday, Aug. 25.
Ramsey's self-titled album appears on most every critic's "must listen to" record list. There's been talk of a second record for years now, but I'm not holding my breath.
Most every Texas musician I've interviewed talks about Ramsey's music and how it influenced their own style.
Lyle Lovett said, "When I started out in the music business, I wanted to be Willis Alan Ramsey."
His work is mentioned with the likes of other independent music greats Guy Clark, David Allen Coe, Rodney Crowell and Townes Van Zandt.
Ramsey's early success came at a price, however.
When I interviewed him earlier this year for the Songwriter's Sojourn series, he said, "I got more wishes than I deserved at that point. I had to pull back and figure out what had just happened ... it was many, many years until I truly appreciated all the great opportunities I had."
I discovered Ramsey in the late 1960s when he was trying to break into the business, playing in dives up and down Greenville Avenue with his buddies Jerry Jeff Walker and Jimmy Buffett. His record is always in rotation in my car and on my iPod.
I missed his Poor David's debut in May, but nothing will keep me away this time.
Can't wait to hear him sing "Northeast Texas Women" live again.
Here's a clip of America covering "Muskrat Love," a tune made popular by Captain and Tenille. I love this version ... it *almost* makes up for C&T's sappy arrangement. At least, America handles the harmonies like WAR wrote them.
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