Subject: [Harp-L] Death in Our Family (Pat Ramsey)

You've done Pat proud. He truly is your 'real' father in every sense of the  
word, and you his son. You two couldn't have cared about each other more if 
you  were kin. I've always felt those we choose to be our 'family' can mean far  
more to us than blood relatives we're given no choice about. At least it's  
worked that way in my own life. 
I learned of Pat through you and your years-ago writings on Harp-l, and  then 
met him at my very first Jason Ricci Annual SPAH Blow-off in Kansas City. I  
took some photos..not the best since they came out a bit dark, but the one I  
treasure the most and just happened to be looking at again the other 
day...shows  you beaming with happiness as Pat played. The look of pride  and joy on 
your face to have him there as your guest said it  all.
I'm unutterably sad for you today. Despite how well you always write, your  
eulogy of Pat was most probably the hardest thing you've ever had to put  into 
words, yet your love for him ensured that you'd air your pain and grief to  
the world, just to help us know a little about the Pat Ramsey you  knew.
All my tears are for you today, my friend. I'll be thinking of at  
last..raucously playing his harp and singing "Build me a Woman" most  
favourite of his songs.
"Message: 12
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 18:46:29 -0500
From: Jason Ricci  <jason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] Death in Our Family (Pat  Ramsey)
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Message-ID:  <C5476C85.4B8C%jason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Content-Type: text/plain;   charset="ISO-8859-1"

I am breaking my "no harp l post rule" today  and only today, to let you all
know that a man who has been more of a real  father to me than my own and one
of the most important innovators and players  of this instrument has died
today at 3:11 pm after a long, painful, and  frustrating battle with Hep C.

Pat Ramsey is in my book the very first  real rock and roll harmonica player
to play the blues. Pat played what he  heard those musicians around him do,
they were not harp players. That's how  he came up with the sound he had. He
never cared about harmonica licks or  other players, although he loved,
admired and appreciated them all very much,  Pat was interested in creating
music and navigating his instrument the way  other musicians do like Johnny
Winter, Julian Kasper, Walter Trout and so  many other greats he didn't care
about trends, industry behaviors or anything  else besides the music he was
making. He just played and the way he played  made me move from Maine to
Memphis in 1995 to be at every one of his shows  and learn from him. What I
learned was so much more than scales, licks, and  ways to navigate different
chord changes. I learned slowly and stubbornly,  how to tray and start being
an accountable human being and take  responsibility for my actions at least
the ones that were getting me in  trouble. Because of Pat I learned I was a
drug addict. He never once pointed  a finger at me either.Never even told me
directly that he thought that. He  simply told me stories about himself and
his past that were exactly the same  mistakes I was making and would make and
even though I didn't listen much I  remembered them like nightmares. Those
stories became a sort of check list  for me as the years, crimes, nights in
jail and failed ventures and  relationships piled up until I could no longer
be in all out denial anymore.  Pat was patient, loving and always available
for me even when I was strung  out at 4:00 in the morning. The people I hang
with now call this "planting  the seed".  When I turned myself into the cops
for a crime I had not  even been caught, suspected or charged for in order to
get into jail where I  knew I could be away from the drugs for the most part,
I did it with Pat's  guidance and the only person besides my mother who
bothered to write me (and  I didn't even deserve anyone in my life!) was Pat
Ramsey. He sent me Shirts,  hats, and smokes. My mail was screened in there
because it was this boot camp  like scenario offered for individuals that
wanted help instead of simple  incarceration. Pat's letters after being
screened were more than once read  aloud to the all the inmates as an example
of positive living. That's how  powerful a person he was.

I would be nowhere in my music, my life or my  sobriety without the guidance
of this incredible individual named Pat Ramsey  who truly never got his due.
Pat's love obviously extended much beyond me he  was a huge influence on Sean
Costello who I came to know through Pat when he  appeared on Pat's first solo
record: "It's about time" in 1995. Sean was  fifteen years old and Pat knew
before almost anyone how talented he was.  Sean's playing on that record to
date is still ground breaking as the record  itself remains so as well. Billy
Gibson is the young man who I first heard at  blues city café in 1995 on a
jam night that after stepping down from the  stage and accepting my
compliments, told me: "You think I'm good....Wait till  you hear this next
guy." Billy went on to produce that record ("It's about  time") and hire the
young Costello. Pat never had the opportunity to touch as  many players as
even I have had. Some of that is bad luck, music business  bullshit, and some
of it is just plain Pat's fault, but those he did touch  remained changed
forever in a way that very few players have ever been able  to do. I am one
of those. Pat would have crowds gathered around him on Beal  ST. in between
sets laughing and hanging on his every word as he told music  business war
stories, Jokes and tales of Johnny Winter, and the Allman  Brother with his
pessimistic and cynical sense of humor. He may have appeared  bitter and he
certainly was often, but he never gave up, never lost the love  of music and
always inspired and demanded respect!

Pat was very sick  for many years with Hep C, The Interferon never worked,
back problems and  other medical ailments plagued him without pause until
finally early this  summer he was hospitalized, after that it has been a
painfully slow winding  down process and in one way his death has come as a
gift, as it has ended his  suffering at last. Five fays ago he was moved from
his house to hospice. I  got to spend some time with him, Jimmy and Clyde
Ramsey two weeks ago. I had  never met Jimmy Ramsey before so that was cool
too. Pat looked like he was 90  years old and was very sick. He was in good
spirits for the most part, I gave  him a Joe Spiers harp, and some bread we
had raised for him at our Nathan P  Murphy's Benefit. Pat was well enough to
get a little jealous of me that I  was going on tour with Walter Trout but
then congratulated me of course. It  would have been unlike him to not be a
little pissed at that and he certainly  does in many way deserve to be doing
this tour instead of me. We called  Walter that day too, Pat had never met
him but was a big fan and very much a  peer and kindred spirit. Walter made
Pat feel great and Pat seemed to be in  perfect working order at least for
that phone call! Pat told Walter: "I love  what you have done for this

Pat was only in Hospice for  a little over a week. His drummer Steve Howell
has been incredible, keeping  everyone informed sometimes two or three times
Dailey, taking care of Pat  every day and being an incredible help to the
family. Steve has been a hero  through out all of this and has my utmost
admiration, respect and gratitude!  Steve Howell is an incredible human being
and friend to all of us! Without  Steve Pat's passing would have been very
hard on me in many ways too personal  for me to describe here.

Pat is survived by his two son's James (Jimmy)  and Clyde Ramsey (Who sings
and plays just like his Dad) and his wife. He  will be missed but never
forgotten his influence serves to date as the  skeletal structure behind
everything I play. To Pat: my friend, the man who  called me his "Son", my
mentor I commend your life and your music here in  print now and in every
positive word I speak, and every note I will ever play  and most I have
already, God Bless You and Thank you Sir for your Love,  creativity, strength
guidance and appreciation for truth. Play on in heaven  where no one will
care how many notes you play only if they count, and you  made them all count
here on earth. Thank you my Father! So much of this story  is about me and
others as a life so often is. I am proud to write this here,  and very proud
to have known this man. I have shouted it my whole carrer from  the stage, on
you tube and to any one who will listen. He lives on in me and  in you. Go
buy some records at do your homework and get  that man
in your harmonica vocabulary. You can also donate money to his  family there
as well. To the "Reverend" Pat Ramsey as Billy called you. We  miss you
already my friend.
Jason Ricci

Jason Ricci & New  Blood

Other  contacts:
Management: dave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Public Relations:  pr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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