Well here we are. An Official Ram Boola Black Best of compilation. A greatest hits? No. An essential? Not really. Actually it’s just a compilation of all the songs from the beginning up to now that I think are some of my best. It feels like it’s been an eternity on this journey I call the the Ram Boola Black but it only has been only about 6-7 years. I have learned a lot musically, had some great help along the way and I have been able to express myself through these songs in which I’m forever grateful.
So here they are. The best of what I call The Ram Boola Black. Enjoy.
Planet Hurt - (The Ram Boola Black EP) 2007
This is one of the first songs I wrote and actually got out. I was so jazzed at the time to be able to hear back an idea that I had created and actually think…hey that’s not too bad. My buddy Allen came in laid down guitar candy and a solo as well as Vee came in and laid down bass. While the production is super raw, I think there is a rough gem of a good song there.
Kenzie - (The Ram Boola Black EP) 2007
I wrote this about my brother Mckenzie. I remember the demo being laid down on a cassette tape and hearing the gardeners weed eater in the back ground as the idea unfolded. An emotional song that I needed to get out at the time. I’m still proud of this one. Al played guitar candy and Vee played bass.
Rust and Red - ( “II” ) 2009
This was from the “II” record and probably my favorite song I have written. Drawn from time spent out at a special spot in the California desert, I went with sort of that imagery. Al played one of my favorite solo’s of all time and I was so happy to capture that magic on one of my songs. He’s still pretty proud of this one and I’m glad too. Vee played bass on this one as well.
Help Somebody (myself) - ( “II” ) 2009
From the “II” record as well. After writing this one, I felt it was a really good album closer due to the outro. I always felt that if I ever got to play this one live, this would be the last song of the night. It feels like closer. Allen & Vee played great on this one. I love the shimmery chorus high guitar chords.
Mr. Lawrence - (Getting It Out) 2010
This came later in the Getting It Out sessions. I changed my entire approach from the “II” record and played 98% everything on this record and kept it very loose. 1 takers, different guitar tones and leaving imperfections etc. etc. I played everything on this and it was my first time ever using keyboards on a track. A song about a man I only met a few times who predicted my best friend that was a girl, would end up marrying me. Needless to say I’m happy about this track. Always brings me back to Oxnard,CA.
If We Were In Mexico - (Getting It Out) 2010
This was the first song I wrote after “II” record and I did it as kind of a joke. I was messing around with some loops from garageband and laid this one down and it ended up being kind of like a happy accident. Allen came in and helped me out with adding some nice chords on top which enhanced the song. Jazz chords, pseudo bossa nova beat and the smell of the rose of love I gave you…..what more could you want in a song?
You & I ( A.N.T.C.H.) - (Fooled With Isolation) 2011
From the FWI record. This was an extremely emotional record for me to make at that time and I remember the chorus of this song plaguing me, It wasn’t until I wrote the underlying chorus vocal lines that this song really came together. A song about missing the California desert and reminiscing about driving there with my wife. We had moved to Houston recently and I was feeling melancholy. I’m pretty happy how this one came out and it’s my buddy Randy’s favorite off this record. By the way, A.N.T.C.H. stands for “ A Nod To Colin Hay”. He has such great vocal vibrato. I tried copying it. My buddy Randy approves.
Higher Places - (Anywhere) 2012
This was the first song I wrote for “Anywhere” and I wrote the lyrics while jogging on a treadmill. My brothers friend Eric Sengbusch came in and played a great solo on this one. A song about knowing I’m going to higher places after this life. Some people might disagree….. “But I know”…..Thanks to Chad Kibodeaux for the lyric inspiration.
Bury Underneath - (Anywhere) 2012
This song was an easy one that came together. I remember the drum take was a one taker and getting really lucky with it. Some odd chords that I played which were funky and cool until my old singer Bill pointed out one dissonant note. After finally hearing it, it was literally poking me in the eye so I had to modify the original guitar chords. Eric Sengbusch really made this track shine with a beautiful solo. I’m still happy with the strangeness of this one.
Molly - (Anywhere) 2012
With all the rock being serving up on “Anywhere”, I felt I needed a little acoustic ditty to break the record up. Molly was a family cat that had gone on to the rainbow bridge and I was determined to write about her. Recorded live with a single mic, 26 attempts and one single background over dub, I made it happen. I miss you sweet Molly.
Learning From You - (Big Head EP) 2013
This song took a few rewrites to make what is it now but is one of my favorites. The Big Head sessions were done out of what I felt was a severe inner urgency to purge my emotions. I was pretty angry at the time and I was yelling at the great beyond so to speak. I borrowed a VHT amp that had ridiculous gain and I ran with it. I love how the verses came out and it meant a lot when I sang it. This song and the song “You” from the EP are almost sister type songs. Yelling to the universe is what is was. In the midst of that…it kinda rocks.
Down That Road - (Big Head EP) 2013
This song was written very quickly at the end of the BIG HEAD sessions and the title was inspired by my friend Randy Barr. He gave me the title and I ran with it. After writing 4 beefy rock tunes, I thought it might be nice to have a little acoustic break in the batch of tunes. Solo by yours truly.
Midnight Moon - (From There To Here EP) 2013
This song was recorded in my apartment in Houston because I had recently lost my lock out. I had to move all my gear into my pad which really bummed me out. Since I couldn’t set the drums up, I decided I might as well mess with some garageband loops. It was here I decided I was going to start another EP and make it an acoustic one since I couldn’t crank it up loud. So with a little loop and some jazz chords that have taken me years to be able to play, Midnight Moon was born. I channeled as much STP as I could for this one. Thanks Robert & Dean.
Steve Cohen @ Lake Transfer Productions for the remastering, Dick Smith for the wonderful artwork ( Thanks Dad ), and Thank you to all my friends and family from the bottom of heart who have helped me along the way. Most of all, Thank you to my wonderful wife for her extreme patience and support. I love you.