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

Jason, my  heart goes out to you. I could feel the mixture of emotions that 
you were going  through as you wrote this. The pride you show in knowing, 
loving, and learning  from Pat shows through to me and brings back memories of a 
very good friend and  mentor that I lost about 10 years ago. I'll be thinking of 
you as I go about my  day, and I'll keep you in my prayers. 
         Much Love
         BiscuitBoy Blues

On Mon,  Nov 17, 2008 at 5:46 PM, Jason Ricci <jason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>  wrote:

> 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  
> 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
>  music"!
>  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

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