The first annual Rancho Mantequilla Music Award was announced today. The winner is Ramsay Midwood. Shoot Out at the OK Chinese Restaurant, Vanguard, 2002 is a jewel of laid back funky blues, hysterically funny songs played by seriously great musicians. Standouts on this album: Don Heffington’s brilliant, spare traps; Randy Weeks’ wicked thumb picking; Danny McGough on keys; Kip Boardman on bass and keys; Josh Grange, guitar; Brantley Kearns, fiddle.
This has become my go-to practice album. As in–fun to play along with. If I could choose a band, I’d pick these guys, with one addition: Tony Gilkyson on Kay guitar.
Tony Gilkyson, left, with Ramsay Midwood band, Evangelo’s, Santa Fe, 2015.
Shootout was recorded in Hollywood before Midwood and several primo SoCal musicos split for Texas. Most of the LA–Texas ex-pats are doing well with regular local work in places like Sam’s Town Point, The Mucky Duck and, in Midwood’s case, constant touring. The band that I saw in Santa Fe, 2015, (with Tony Gilkyson sitting in) has been on the road forever. The epitome of precision in the service of laid-back, sparely arranged blues. Sing alongs like Monster Truck are icing on a very rich cake.
The simplicity of Midwood’s songs is genius. I’d just about kill to write one as good. Congratulations Ramsay!
The 2016 Rancho Mantequilla Music Award
Home of the RMMA.