Reviews

Zazou City - A New Orleans Swing Band
Amnesia Cafe
Bart Ramsey’s Amnesia Cafe doesn’t fit into any one genre. His piano playing has a jazz flavor, while his thoughtful, reflective lyrics suggest a singer-songwriter background. “The Carpenter,” for instance, finds him contemplating Jesus, wondering, “was he distant from the flesh, / did he like the hookers best?” Here and throughout the album, Ramsey’s sense of humor lightens potentially heavy subject matter.

Energy bubbles beneath Ramsey’s trademark folk/jazz/anything-goes style, thanks not only to the singer-pianist’s efforts, but to those of Neti Vaan on fiddle, Tim Paco on bass and numerous others. The entire record possesses a real joie de vivre, poignant for being understated.
Zazou City - A New Orleans Swing Band
Live in Italia (Jumping Man Records)
BART RAMSEY & 39 STRANGERS:  This CD (Live In Italia) 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.
Zazou City - A New Orleans Swing Band
Bart Ramsey & Neti Vaan: Little Red Wagon, and In Search Of A Cheap Hotel
Bart Ramsey’s powerful lyrics & melodies, and Neti Vaan’s passionate fiddle playing combine in a repertoire that flows easily from folk-jazz to country-blues to roots-rock. This is World Music seen through a Louisiana lens, with outstanding original songs, plus border-hopping fiddle tunes and songs in traditional styles, including cajun, mexican, texican, and swing.

Ramsey's artistic signature defies conventionality. While others often lead you through landmines of life's dark side, Ramsey's similar portrayals become so intriguing, you have to wonder what makes this songsmith tick... The arrangements, featuring Ramsey's maestro piano playing and Neti Vaan's haunting, soulful fiddling, are highly melodic, packed with exquisite playing.
Zazou City - A New Orleans Swing Band
Bart Ramsey & Neti Vaan: Little Red Wagon, and In Search Of A Cheap Hotel
Ils forment à eux deux une extraordinaire association aux vertus stimulants, qui rassemble diverses traditions musicales venues du monde entier et véhicule une énergie, un enthousiasme et une grande intelligence musicale.
Zazou City - A New Orleans Swing Band
Back In Old Blighty
bart_and_geeseBart Ramsey & Neti Vaan are an exceptional and exciting combination bringing together diverse musical traditions from around the world and performing with energy, enthusiasm and brilliant musicianship. Neti is a passionate, fluent fiddle player with tremendous stage presence and energy. Bart, on keyboards and guitar, provides perfect balance and writes superb songs, ‘This Is Not My Voice’ being a powerful and moving example. Together their performances are gripping, and full of vitality and variety, with catchy rhythms and superb timing. They are highly talented and deservedly recommended.