Scott Ramminger

Advice from a Father to a Son

(Arbor Lane Music)

Scott Ramminger, Advice from a Father to a Son, album coverAny record that lists such top flight players as pianist David Torkanowksy, guitarist Shane Theriot, bassist George Porter Jr. and drummer Johnny Vidacovich is bound to have its thrills regardless of whose name is emblazoned on the cover. This one is no exception, even considering its frontman is really a DC-based saxman. But Scott Ramminger’s got enough cred—not only with his own New Orleans-influenced Crawstickers but by holding his own as an instrumentalist, vocalist and writer. A couple of things make this potential recipe for disaster work—Ramminger’s originals hit on a lot of the Crescent City idiom such as Torkanowsky’s rollicking Professor Longhair riffs on “I Really Love Your Smile” and PBR-like rhythmic funk attack of “Funkier Than Him.” The explosive roots-rockin’ “This Town’s Seen a Lot of Me” is NRBQ on roux while the groove-struttin’ “Magic in the Music” gets stronger as it goes. He doesn’t feel the need to dominate on sax just because it’s his show but tastefully adds his parts when the feeling’s right. Lyrically, he can be serious without being heavy handed (“The Other Man’s Shoes”) and often he’s funny, as evidenced by the title song and “More Than One Flavor.” Though the last three tracks feature his DC mates, when it comes to jamming with New Orleans’ elite, Ramminger can hang just fine.