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

Deepest condolences on your loss Jason and a greater loss to our Harmonica Community, your tribute was eloquent, respectful and quite moving, thank you for sharing it with the list. It is a shame Pat did not get more recogntion in his lifetime as he was quite a heavy Bluesman and way beyond with his progressive approach to music. I never really was too familiar with his work and thanx to you for turning more players onto to him. I actually dowloaded some of his music a few yrs ago on your reccomendation and was knocked out by how "ahead of his time he was".

His Solo work and music with the great Johnny Winter will live on for the world to remember him well Pat Ramsey.

Love & Peace,
Rob Paparozzi

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jason Ricci" <jason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 6:46 PM
Subject: [Harp-L] Death in Our Family (Pat Ramsey)

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

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