"The record that no home should be without"
November 16, 2007 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Willis Alan Ramsey is to music as Harper Lee is to literature: he only made one album, and that's sad in it's own way, but it's such an overwhelmingly perfect album, you're okay with it. "Probably the most imitated singer/songwriter you’ve never heard," his legion of followers includes Lyle Lovett, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Waylon Jennings, and he is rightfully considered one of the fathers of progressive country. He will make his second record in his own good time, whenever the hell that is. Oh, and one of his songs was made famous by the Captain and Tennille, but please don't let that dissuade you from exploring further.
posted by jbickers (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
"Muskrat Love" actually started out as a halfway decent song, but certainly not the best on an album I played so much I wore the grooves down to the point it would play both sides at once. See, because back in the day CDs were made of vinyl, and had actual grooves in them that....
Never mind. Get off my lawn!!!!
posted by Floydd at 5:01 PM on November 16, 2007

Did I miss something, or did you not link to any hearable music? I found exactly 30 seconds of him on the iTunes store, and a few snippets at the Amazon page.
posted by neuron at 6:24 PM on November 16, 2007

Like I said, I haven't heard this guy, but this makes me think of John Prine's first album, which kicks all kinds of ass.
posted by neuron at 6:26 PM on November 16, 2007

Sorry, you can't hear any more of his music unless you pay $18 for the CD, because that wouldn't be like, promoting his talent, it'd be just stealing his soul. Unless of course, Clear Channel or some other Radio Corporation decides he fits one of its formats and they play it and maybe then you'll hear it, and they get to put 18 minutes an hour of commercials between the songs they play and make lots of money, but unless he wrote it (because BMI and ASCAP are not idiots), he won't get a penny for the performance, because, you know, the Recording Industry considers radio the perfect way of promoting its artists for the last 60 years and will never change. Maybe a guy who backed away from the music biz over 30 years ago will be smart or independent enough to embrace new ways of promotion and distribution, but looking at his personal website, I kind of doubt it. Still, I live near the repeater station for KPIG which I will just bet has his one album in their library and I could make a request... I wonder if even they would be freaked out by somebody requesting something not because they've heard it and liked it but they've never heard it and they might?
posted by wendell at 8:48 PM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Show me on the dolly where he touched you, wendell.
posted by dhammond at 10:04 PM on November 16, 2007

Holy shit, a good friend of mine wrote that Dallas Observer article.
posted by notsnot at 10:27 PM on November 16, 2007

*touches dhammond with the dolly*
posted by wendell at 10:44 PM on November 16, 2007

Now I've got this mental image of wendell stroking some guy with the end of a hand truck.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:58 PM on November 16, 2007

I know I'm getting old, as I've got the whole album on my MP3 player. Satin Sheets and Goodbye to Missoula get listened to often.

Shawn Colvin did an excellent cover of Satin Sheets on her Cover Girl CD.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:14 AM on November 17, 2007

great post, copy-contro/aside. those muskrats are as adorable as tennille is creepy & the captain is uninterested. &so my giggles wriggled into shiggled wiggles.

a sharity blogger ought to up some W>A>R (!) -- should they do so, hit me with a note -- otherwise, i'll track totally fuzzy in the meantime.
posted by j.henry at 7:12 AM on November 17, 2007

Searching Pandora for W.A.R. brings up my favorite song by him, "The ballad of Spider John." But his stuff is really so far off the radar, there's not much more out there apart from 30 second samples. For heaven's sake, even YouTube has nothing by him.
posted by jbickers at 8:00 AM on November 17, 2007

If you're patient and work your search-fu, the whole album is available on Pandora.

Pandora tends to pair W.A.R. up with Tom Waits, the Eagles, Joe Ely, Linda Ronstadt, Pure Prairie League, and Marshall Tucker.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:32 AM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

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