Floyd Ramsey, Mid-Century Sounds: Deep Cuts from the Desert

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double LP

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Ian Schneider | July 10, 2017

Floyd Ramsey, Mid-Century Sounds: Deep Cuts from the Desert [Fervor Records]

There’s nothing quite like the first subtle sound of a scratch on brand new vinyl. Black and white wax will do the trick, with contrasts in both the vinyl itself and on the packaging of the double LP to intrigue the listener and intensify the experience. The needle hits the cut, and we’re off to the races. MidCentury Sounds: Deep Cuts from the Desert is the culmination of music pioneer and legend Floyd Ramsey, perhaps best served on vinyl with a fresh iced beverage in hand. Although Floyd is known for having worked in the background, he greatly impacted pop music’s start in the mid-1950s through the 1970s. Ramsey had a keen eye for talent, and helped legends such as Sanford Clark and Duane Eddy jump start their careers and put them into the mainstream consciousness.

MidCentury Sounds: Deep Cuts from the Desert is a compilation of some of Floyd’s most impactful works. It is full of three decades worth of hits, deep cuts, and b-sides from Ramsey’s archives, totaling at twenty-nine incredibly well produced tracks. There are also unreleased tracks seeing the light of day on this album.  Many of the songs have a country western feel to them, but there are also some amazing pop/soul ballads throughout.

A common thread throughout many of the works is singing from the underdog’s point of view, a slight self deprecating approach that most people can relate to heavily, both in life and in love. Beginning with the slow, steady tempo of “Never With Your Heart” by Ralph Smith and Bob Taylor’s Western Aces, the lyrics tell a cutting truth and the sound makes way for more instrumentally intricate tracks, such as “I Got the Blues” by Glen Morris, “Two Time Loser” by Joe Montgomery, “A Better Man Than Me” by Gary Trexler, and Judy Lunn’s “Old Enough to Have a Broken Heart, among many others.

All twenty-nine of the tracks will fare well played by the hearth in a beautiful, old building. But what we really want to see is the revival of this music happening at backyard barbecues and at house parties, opening up a discourse of where modern pop music originated, and the unsung heroes who had a big hand in its development. Ramsey is – without a doubt – a big player in this generation of gorgeous, robust, crackling sound that brings with it beauty in its imperfections.

Side A
1. Ralph Smith with Bob Taylor’s Western Aces – “Never With Your Heart”
2. Glen Morris – “I Got The Blues”
3. Joe Montgomery
– “Two Time Loser”
4. The Tads – “She Is My Dream”
5. Dave Moore – “Four In The The Morning”
6. Gary Trexler – “A Better Man Than Me”
7. The Newton Brothers – “Start At The Bottom”
8. Ted Newman – “Plaything”

Side B
1. Patti LaSalle – “How Many Times”
2. The Gigolo’s – “Night Creature”
3. Nick Landers – “You’ll Never Wear A Halo”
4. Ritchie Hart And His Hartbeats – “Do It Twist”
5. Roosevelt Nettles
– “Drifting Heart”
6. Judy Lunn – “Old Enough To Have A Broken Heart”
7. Al Casey Combo – “Cookin'”

Side C
1. Waylon Jennings – “My World”
2. P-Nut Butter – “I’m Glad I Knew You”
3. Phil And The Frantics – “What’s Happening”
4. Donnie Owens – “Boo Hoo”
5. Tommy Strange – “One More Time”
6. Sanford Clark
– “Once Upon A Time”
7. Nadine Jansen – “So Goes My Dream”

Side D
1. Christopher Blue – “Happy Just To Be Alive”
2. Lon Rogers & The Soul Blenders – “Too Good To Be True”
3. The Harvey Truitt & Jack Miller Project – “Get Up”
4. Motion – “One Afternoon”
5. Soul Blenders – “Blending Soul”
6. Fat City – “Ain’t No Time For Stoppin'”
7. Michael Liggins & The Supersouls – “Loaded Back”

You can stream the album on Spotify, or buy it on iTunes.

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