About The CD “Crawstickers” by Scott Ramminger
The CD “Crawstickers” features 11 original tunes by Scott Ramminger (one co-written by Brian Simms and Dave Chappell; another co-written by Brian Simms.) both of whom play on the CD.
Scott Ramminger is a singer/songwriter/saxophonist based in the Washington DC area. The CD "Crawstickers" features original Americana, blues, roots rock, N'awlins, funk, swing, and more. Nicely crafted, fun songs with solid grooves and a lot of reasons to smile along the way. In addition to Ramminger on vocals, tenor, bari, and alto saxes, the album features a great cast of musicians.
Guitarist Dave Chappell is one of the top players in the Mid-Atlantic area. The same can be said for Baltimore keyboardist Brian Simms, who plays piano, electric piano, organ, and accordion on the disk. Drummer Pete Ragusa, whose infectious grooves propel the tunes, spent 30 plus years in The Nighthawks, perennial favorites on the blues circuit. Bass player Claude Arthur is a veteran of ex-Commander Cody guitarist Bill Kirchen's band, "Too Much Fun." Percussionist Josh Howell is a regular in the band of well known blues guitarist Tom Principato. Trumpeter Vince McCool is a fixture in the popular J Street Jumpers and many other bands. The disk also benefits from the vocals of two or the DC areas top female vocalists, Mary Ann Redmond and Patty Reese. In addition to serving up great backing vocals, the two each sing a duet with Ramminger. While firmly rooted in the blues, the material on the CD reflects Ramminger's diverse taste in music. "I can't think of another CD that has one song with accordion on it and another with a solo that quotes a Sonny Rollins tune," Ramminger notes.
The CD was recorded and mixed by Chris Murphy of RHL Audio in Annandale VA. “We did the basic tracks in two days in the studio. Then we went back and added to those bones,” Ramminger notes. Ramminger recorded the horn parts for the CD in his own home studio. Mastering was handled by one of the top mastering engineers in the country, Gavin Lurssen of Lurssen Mastering in LA. Winner of four Grammys, Lurssen recently mastered the Alison Kraus/Robert Plant CD, Raising Sand, and the Elton John/Leon Russell collaboration, The Union. “I was real excited to get Gavin to do the project, and he told me he dug it, which was very cool,” Ramminger said.
"Crawstickers" are "things that stick with someone, not always in a positive way," Ramminger says. "The thing you did 20 years ago that your wife still brings up when you get into a little argument." Ramminger named his band The Crawstickers, and "the tune just followed naturally." The back cover of the CD and the disk itself feature a smashed up saxophone. "I went to a lecture by Sonny Rollins a couple of years ago. He told a story about how he was practicing so much that one of his wives got mad and smashed up his horn. I thought -- wow -- if I made my wife really mad, that would be the ultimate. I had an old piece of a bari sax that was no good for anything. It was a strange brand and was missing many key parts. How I came to own it is too long a story to tell. But I decided to put it to work illustrating the concept of a Crawsticker. So it ultimately got recycled . . ."
Detailed Player Bios
Dave Chappell, guitar, is one of the most in demand rock guitar players in the Mid-Atlantic. He has won 11 Washington Area Music Awards and has performed with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge, as well as pianist Johnny Johnson and guitar wizard Danny Gatton.
Brian Simms, keys, is a Baltimore-based keyboardist, vocalist, composer and arranger. He has recorded and toured with Rounder recording artist Disappear Fear, opening for and performing with Indigo Girls. In addition to leading and composing for his own critically acclaimed band, Junkyard Saints, Brian performs with many of the DC area's most notable bands and musicians, including Billy Coulter, Patty Reese Band Chopteeth, Squeeze Bayou and 2009 Grammy-nominated group Milkshake. He was voted 2009 Musician of the Year by the Washington Area Music Association.
Claude Arthur, bass, has performed with Keller Williams, Rounder Records artist Slaid Cleaves, former Commander Cody guitarist Bill Kirchen, and many others.
Pete Ragusa, drums, spent over 30 years as the drummer in the highly regarded blues band, The Nighthawks, and has performed with some of the greatest names in blues.
Vince McCool, trumpet, is a musical veteran of more than 30 years who got his start playing in the great city of New Orleans. He is in great demand for section and solo work in D.C. and Baltimore. Vince has played with Tina Turner, The Spinners, and Charles Brown, as well as a number of Jazz greats including Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Mulgrew Miller, and Junior Mance.
Josh Howell, percussion, performs regularly with the well known Washington DC-based blues guitarist Tom Principato and a host of others, including the Texas Chainsaw Horns.
Mary Ann Redmond, in addition to fronting her own band, has toured with Mary Chapin Carpenter, and sung with a host of top performers from Nils Lofgren of E-Street Band fame to Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan fame.
Patty Reese, vocals, has won 11 Washington Area Music Awards and peforms some 250 dates per year with her own band, in a duo format, and as a solo act. She has also won a wide range of songwriting awards for her original compositions.