A landmark of the progressive country movement, with some of the sweetest, most memorable songs of the '70s, this album has both a rough and silky warmth, distinguished by Ramsey's bass, guitar, and harmonica work, and by his great patience and musical care. As good as the songs are, Ramsey's country-soul voice, owing more to his Alabama roots than to Texas, is even finer. And even if you've never heard of him, you'll recognize his compositions. "Muskrat Candlelight" is notorious, and if that song makes you wary, it shouldn't. Ramsey's version has a soulful glide and captures an elusive romantic tone. David Bromberg
recorded "Northeast Texas Women" and Jerry Jeff Walker
covered "Ballad of Spider John," but the mythic air of Ramsey's originals--especially "Boy From Oklahoma," the best song ever written about Woody Guthrie
--has never been equaled. Unfortunately, the reticent, demanding Ramsey never found that groove again, and while rumors of a follow-up have circulated for decades, his exquisite debut is all we have. --Roy Kasten
CD has 11 songs. Published by Wishbone Music.