Live in Italia
This record promises 13 great songs from a live recording of a concert performed in Forli, Italy, in August of 2005. The band had been sounding so good that our band member, the superlative Antonio Gramentieri (guitar, peddle-steel), hired a multi-tracker. Thus we captured an inspired outdoor concert in an Italian plaza where there was standing room only. The material was well-recorded, then masterfully mixed by Rob Halverson in Austin. The fine collection of songs was captured only thanks to Antonio and Strade Blu, as well as Danny Montgomery (drums), Massimo Sparagli (bass), Mirco Monduzzi (guitar), Bubi Staffa (percussion), and my long time partner in crime Neti Vaan (violin, backing vocals). This is what can happen when 4 musicians from Italy get together with 1 from California and 2 from New Orleans after a whiff of Sangeovese wine and a white-knuckle journey through the hills. May 2007 Review in Offbeat Magazine, new Orleans, by Ruby Masters - This CD was recorded live in Forli, Italy at the Strade Blu music festival in August 2005. Violinist Neti Vaan and several Italian musicians join singer/songwriter/pianist Bart Ramsey on stage to play 13 of his songs. For a live recording, the sound is incredible, with a great mix by Rob Halverson in Austin, Texas. Ramsey is a clever songwriter who writes original tunes in many diverse styles. Every song on this album is in a different style, from country to funk to European swing to blues to klezmer to New Orleans Mardi Gras mambo and even a rumba. Ramsey shines on the gypsy tune "All The Way Down," which has a delightful, drunken sound that is achieved in part by being in two time signatures with the chorus being a waltz. The players move gracefully from style to style, peppering each song with musical nuance, and Vaan's violin playing is consistently lively and lovely. Ramsey's lyrics are amusing, even if the subject matter is philosophical, as in the ballad "Although" when he makes light of many perplexing paradoxes, singing, "Although I think I'm really close / I'm probably really far away." Ramsey takes enjoyment in his word play and his playing. His sense of humor is pervasive, and you get the feeling that he is winking at you, letting you in on the fun.