Bo Ramsey w/ Erik Koskinen
Bo Ramsey, who was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, and has lived in Iowa City the past few decades, has carved out a unique career for 40 years. And it shows not one sign of slowing down. He has been involved in enough high-profile and low-down endeavors to have become somewhat of a legend, but a legend who still hides from the spotlights and leans away from stardom. Maybe that’s because Ramsey has mystifyingly maintained a devotion to the music side of the music business, and lets everything else fall by the side. Naturally, an all-instrumental album was just a matter of time. After buying the Harmony guitar, a series of inspirations began to land. First were some musical ideas that got recorded on Ramsey’s phone, and then a band of like-minded musicians began to converge, and get mixed and matched. Finally drummer JT Bates and bassist Marty Christensen found themselves together in Bo Ramsey’s kitchen with engineer Adam Krinsky. Of course, it had to be in the kitchen because that’s where the idea was born and that’s where it had to come to life. Still, the emotional side of the music had to emerge before “the keepers” started being recorded. That is exactly what happened in the two days the players were together in that Iowa kitchen. With Alex Ramsey chiming in on three tracks by way of Minnesota, adding lush living-room piano and perfectly hushed basement keyboards. . . For those who might recognize Bo Ramsey by his association with artists like Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown, Kevin Gordon, Pieta Brown, Charlie Parr and others, his new music is the perfect introduction to someone who always listens and plays with his own sonic vision in full motion . So not surprisingly, the list of Ramsey’s accolades is long: including Grammy-Award Winning Guitar Player, 2 Time Grammy Nominated Producer, Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Iowa Blues Hall of Famer. And if there were other Iowa halls of fame he would no doubt be in them too. But above all, Ramsey is a proud card-carrying member of his own hall of fame, which is the one where he chases the sounds in his head and his heart. He is always looking for a way to wrestle them into a recording so he can share that love of music with friends and strangers alike. WILDWOOD CALLING is an album for the ages, and the perfect calling card for anyone with an interest in hearing the past, the present and the future rolled into one. Long may Bo Ramsey run.
– Bill Bentley. July 2016.
Minnesota-based singer and songwriter Erik Koskinen’s new EP Cruising Paradise features six songs that were recorded over the past few years but never planned to be released until now. “I’ve been working on all kinds of projects the past few years and have written a lot of new songs,” says Koskinen. “But these six seemed to have a thread all the way through, a story from song one to song six.”
The title, “Cruising Paradise,” was an homage to Sam Shepard, the actor and writer who died earlier this year. “Shepard’s death is a significant loss to me. This has been a year where we’ve lost giants. Pioneers in literature and music are gone. Who’s gonna step up and fill the vacuum?”
Tom Garneau recorded the first single from the EP, “Broke Down,” at Real-Phonic Studios in the summer of 2016. Guitarists Mike LeBeau and Paul Bergen, bassist Steve Garrington, and drummer JT Bates are featured on the track and video available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pD19z_ECT6k
Cruising Paradise follows Erik Koskinen’s first three albums, America Theatre, Live At the Real Phonic Radio Hour, and Keep It to Yourself, all released on Koskinen’s own label Real-Phonic Records.
Kum & Go Theater // Doors 7:30PM // Show 8PM // $15 Advance // $20 Day of Show